Marriage, also known as matrimony or wedlock, is a legally recognized relationship between two people, known as spouses, that is recognized both culturally and legally.
As a result of the marriage contract, rights and obligations are established not only between them and their offspring but also between them and their in-laws.
Even though marriage is believed to be a cultural universal, the definition of marriage changes between cultures and religions, as well as overtime.
The union of two people is in conformity with the traditional standards of a particular culture, usually for the primary purpose of producing a family.
In Ghana’s traditional marriage system, the husband is the primary or sole breadwinner, and the wife is responsible for all aspects of household maintenance and child-rearing, with the wife bearing primary or whole responsibility for both.
In this post, we are going to discover some interesting facts about traditional marriage as it concerns Ghana and its major culture.
The traditional marriage process in Ghana
Traditional marriage in Ghana follows a series of processes that sometimes vary across different ethnic groups. However, a typical traditional process in Ghana follows the process below;
Groom informs his own family.
The first step in the traditional marriage process is the groom’s informing his family members that he has seen a wife. This happens during the courtship stage when the relationship is becoming serious. This stage is a less informal stage that does not require any rites or ceremonies.
The Knocking Ceremony
The next stage in the marriage process is the knocking process, otherwise known as ‘Kookoko’.
This “knocking” ceremony is performed in order to officially notify the lady’s family of the gentleman’s wish to marry her. When describing their mission, the delegation’s leader would use euphemisms and flowery language.
“Our noble son has informed us that he has observed a particularly lovely flower in your garden and that he would like to obtain permission to pluck the flower.
Such a picture demonstrates that the groom is willing to do what is right in the eyes of the community by asking the bride’s family to grant him permission to marry her. The “knocking” ceremony provides an opportunity for both families to become acquainted with one another once more.
After the knocking ceremony, which represents a rather informal attempt to notify the bride’s family of your intention, the next stage is when the process gets more serious with meetings organized between the families of the groom and the bride. This stage is important because it helps both families get more acquainted with one another and also ask very important questions about each other.
The next step is the formal introduction. Now the families have learnt well about each other and it’s time to make things formal. This is sometimes organized as a mini ceremony with entertainment sponsored by the groom. It is at this stage that the requirements (lists) will be handed over to the groom. The list contains a list of things (gifts) required to proceed with the marriage rite. Typically, the list may consist of food items, utensils, and clothing.
Acceptance of gifts and the main wedding rite
Following the exchange of gifts, the groom is introduced to the guests in attendance for the first time. In the next few moments, the bride is welcomed inside the apartment. She is escorted in by an entourage of female friends or sisters, in the midst of music and dancing; she is dressed in rich kente and decked with beads, and she is physically paraded around the room for everyone to see and appreciate her beauty. On the vast majority of occasions, the groom and bride are dressed in the same attire. She walks around the room, shaking hands with each member of the groom’s family as a gesture of welcome. During her introduction to the groom’s family, she is called “our queen,” “our lovely lady,” “our well-groomed woman,” and “the apple of our eye” by a lot of people.
The decision by the bride
Soon after she has been introduced, she is asked if she would like to accept the presents that have been brought by the groom’s family. It is asked again and again till the third time, to which she says “yes.” This is done to ensure that the bride has agreed to the marriage in words.
Thereafter, Abusuapanyin (head of the family) of the groom’s family receives the bride. In order to sit alongside her husband, the bride gets up and walks over to him.
A variety of pieces of advice are given to the couple, some of which are amusing and others serious. According to expectations, the counseling concentrates on issues like family obligations, sex, finances, etc.
Traditional marriage is typically considered to be a complete marriage process in and of itself.
In contrast, for couples who choose to have a white wedding, the traditional marriage ceremony or “engagement” is not the culmination of the marriage ceremony; rather, the white wedding is the culmination of the marriage ritual.