AfriSQuare Forums

Home Forums African Marriages The Amhara Tribe of Ethiopia and their Wedding System

This topic contains 1 voice and has 0 replies.
1 voice
0 replies
  • Author
  • #6014
    Loret Dawit


      First off, Ethiopia shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the northeast of Somalia.

      The Amhara people are situated in the northwest region of Ethiopia with about 19,867,817 people in population according to a 2007 national census, and are regular speakers of Semitic and belong to the Semitic ethnic group, located in the indigenous region of Ethiopia, in Africa. The population in the Amhara region speaks Amharic, which is one of the branches of Semitic languages and serves as one of the five official languages of Ethiopia. It is believed that the Amharic language has a staggering population of 32 million+ native speakers.


      The Amhara tribe of Ethiopia has a rich and comely culture when it comes to their wedding system and their approach to marriage ceremonies.


      Ethiopia’s population practices orthodox Christianity. The reason it is practiced is to have a priest bless a couple on their wedding day. Women especially among the Amhara people are usually suited for marriage once they turn 14 and the groom maybe five years older than the bride, though wedding customs in Ethiopia vary among the tribes of the country. Their marriages constitute the Eucharist church marriage, a kin-negotiated civil marriage, or a temporary marriage, which the commonly engaged is the kin-negotiated civil marriage which is only entered into between a man and woman.



      Their marriages constitute the Eucharist church marriage, a kin-negotiated civil marriage, or a temporary marriage, which the commonly engaged is the kin-negotiated civil marriage which is only entered into between a man and woman.  The engagement process involves first, the proposal stage where the groom to be proposes to the bride to be and after the engagement, they bring their decision to the knowledge of both parents. Then the groom’s parents get to meet with the bride-to-be’s parents.


      A dowry is discussed and made, which usually consists of cash or cattle, sheep or goats, or a combination of cash and cattle, and noting that the dowry is a security measure that the bride-to-be has proposed to and taken.  After the proposal stage, both parents discuss the formalities of paying for the wedding ceremony, and the engagement is celebrated followed by the wedding ceremony, which is usually filled with funfair.


      The wedding attire is also one of the integral parts of the Amhara tribe’s wedding features which feature the groom and bride wearing the Kaba on the wedding day. It is mostly practiced of the bride wearing a white wedding dress and the groom dresses in a suit before covering with the male Kaba as they attend the church wedding.  The female guests aren’t left out of the ceremonious attire as they wear a Habesha Kemis and the Habesha Libs for men. It is a also tradition for women to wear their best Netela which is a large white cotton scarf.


      The bride usually spends countable hours braiding her hair and getting a bridal henna tattoo and decorated with gold accessories.  Telosh is a formal event that is held two days in progression before the main wedding takes place. This ceremony is usually held at the bride’s parents’ quarters and celebrated by both families. During the main wedding event, the groom and bride prepare to attend the church service beginning early in the morning of the faithful day.


      The ceremony begins with the couple exchanging vows and rings, cutting the cake, and popping champagne in celebration of the union. They are thereafter led by the flower girls, candle girls, groomsmen, and bridesmaids while singing in chorus the traditional Ethiopian wedding songs. The celebrations include both grandparents fully adorned in traditional attires. As a sign of appreciation, both the groom and bride bow and kiss their feet. They pronounce blessings on them for health, fruitfulness, and prosperity of the just instituted union.


      A photo session is instituted when the just married couple takes snapshots with family and friends and guests at the wedding ceremony. Thereafter, they are led to the stage to engage in their first dance as a couple. Popular food dishes served in Amhara weddings include spicy dishes, spicy meat, and vegetable-based foods. Guests are also served kiffo (raw meat).  To wrap up the beautiful and colorful event, a traditional dance Eskista popularly known to be displayed by the native people of Amhara is performed at the wedding by both men and women in a group.


    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.