AfriSQuare Forums

Home Forums African Marriages What you should know about the Zulu Wedding Culture?

This topic contains 1 voice and has 0 replies.
1 voice
0 replies
  • Author
  • #6104
    Jess Brendan


      After lobola negotiations are concluded, a traditional wedding is the next step. Different cultures are represented in this kind of wedding. Even though the bride ultimately adopts her husband’s culture, traditional weddings occasionally take place between two different civilizations, thus those cultures will be represented on that day.



      The groom extends an invitation to his in-laws so they can discuss the wedding date at his house (ukubona izinkomo). The bride’s family is given all the cows by the groom, and they then choose a date that works for both families. The bride’s family will return home with the cows once they have settled on a wedding date and begin wedding preparations.



      The bride’s family purchases furniture, blankets, Zulu mats, brooms, clay pots, aprons, and other items that the bride will offer to her in-laws after the wedding ceremony. A box (a kist) for storing her garments and her husband’s presents will also be purchased by the woman.



      Similar to other civilizations, the Zulu wedding has several stages. Engagement, kitchen tea or hens party, infamous bulls party, and wedding are the traditional order of events in western culture. The first phase of a traditional Zulu wedding, which differs greatly from other wedding traditions but also has distinct phases, is the payment of lobola, which is currently the subject of much debate. During the izibizo celebration, the bride’s family will be given gifts after the lobola has been paid. The bride will then provide groceries for the groom’s family as a gift during the umbondo celebration.




      The groom’s family house is where the traditional Zulu wedding is traditionally held. The bride will leave her house in the early hours of the morning wrapped in a blanket that her mother will give her. The bride’s father guides her to the new family’s home and warns her not to turn around should she bring evil omens. Informing the ancestors that his daughter is formally leaving home to join another family, the bride’s father will shout out the clan names. The bride must enter the household through the kitchen without anybody recognizing her when she first arrives at the groom’s house in order to meet her husband’s ancestors; otherwise, the groom’s family will be fined because they should have gone to collect her. The bride’s family also travels early, and the wedding ceremony doesn’t begin until close to lunchtime.



      Two cows are purchased by the groom, and they are killed and consumed the day of the wedding. Additionally, he purchases a goat, which is butchered after the family’s head has spoken. The bride’s father also speaks briefly to show his support for the union as the groom’s father welcomes his new daughter to the ceremony. There is dancing and food after the ceremony.



      Prior to the wedding, gifts and cash are given to the bride’s family, but on the day of the umabo, it is the bride’s time to deliver the gifts. A new link between the two families is being formed through the gift-exchange ceremony.



      The bridesmaids and bride’s sisters present the guests at the wedding grass mats, blankets for the women, beer pots for the men, as well as some furniture and brooms, which are purchased by the bride’s family. While her bridesmaids distribute the presents, the bride sits on a grass mat and shows respect by not speaking to or looking at anyone. One by one, the names of the numerous recipients of the gifts are shouted out. Before being covered with a blanket by a member of the bride’s family, the wedding guests will lie on the grass mats. They then express their gratitude for the gifts by singing and dancing. The bridegroom’s sisters are called first, then older women, and finally the men. The bridegroom is announced last in the lineup.



      The bride gets up once the groom is called, creates a fake bed, and leaves to find her husband. When she locates him, she will lay down grass mats on the floor leading to the bed so the groom can get comfortable. The bride washes the groom’s feet using a basin, a towel, and soap. She then raises the bed coverings so the groom can get comfortable. Bridesmaids and other young women from the bride’s side strike the groom with little sticks as part of the theatrics, and the groom then flees.



      Zulu culture places a lot of importance on the umabo rite. Some individuals think that doing the umabo rite is a requirement for being legally married. Due to the fact that only through umabo will the ancestors recognize the union, couples who have problems with their relationships or have trouble becoming pregnant will occasionally go through the umabo process years after they originally started dating.

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.