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Traditional Wedding (Zulu Culture)

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Contents

What is a traditional wedding?

A traditional wedding is a last step after lobola negotiations has been finalized. This kind of wedding involves different cultures. Sometimes traditional wedding can be between two different cultures so those cultures will be represented on that day although the bride will end up following her husbands culture.


Who set a wedding date?

The groom invites his in-laws to come to his home so that they will discuss the wedding date (Ukubona izinkomo). The groom pays all the cows to the bride's family and then they set a date which is suitable for both families. After they agreed on a date the bride's family will go back home with the cows and start the wedding preparation.

Wedding preparations (Bride's side)

The bride’s family buys gifts that she will give to her in-laws after the wedding ceremony such as: blankets, Zulu mats, brooms, clay pots, aprons and furniture. She will also buy a box (Kist) where she can put her clothes in and her husband’s gifts.

The goat will be slaughtered after the head of the family has spoken to the ancestors that his daughter is getting married. The bride’s father buys a goat that will be used to perform a ceremony which is called umncamo and he want the ancestors to protect her.

Brides Fairwell (Ukucimela)

The family and relatives of the bride give gifts to the bride just to wish her a happy wedding and they advice her to be a good wife to her husband and family.


Wedding preparations (Groom's side)

The groom will buy two cows which will be slaughtered on the day of the ceremony. He will also buy a goat that will be slaughtered to welcome the bride. The groom’s family will prepare food and sorghum beer for a special day.


Wedding day


Bride’s mother gives her daughter blanket that she will use to cover her body when she is leaving and her father will lead her to the kraal, and from the kraal they will go straight to the groom's residence and the bride will be advised not to look back.

The brides family comes early in the morning so that the bride will steal the gate. The bride enters her husband's home while nobody is noticing her. She enters in the kitchen and seat in the women’s side of the house. Then the groom’s family will pay for not being aware of the bride, they should have stopped her before she enters the house . The groom’s family will welcome the bride’s family and show them the room in which they can stay. In the midday the ceremony will start both bride and groom wear their traditional clothes.

Groom’s outfit


Ibheshu- skin buttock covering worn by man.
Isinene- it covers the male front part
Isembatho- it covers male shoulders
Amadavathi- it covers male ankles
Izingusha- they cover male wrists
Iklolode- it covers male hair

Brides outfit

Isidwaba- leather skirt worn by married woman
Isicwaya-wear skin to cover breast
Inkehli- it covers females head

Then the couple will go to an open place where they will perform their wedding and dance in a traditional way. After that they will go back home to eat. The bride will give her in-laws the gifts she brought and also the groom’s family will give the bride outfit that she will wear when she enters the kitchen.


Conclusion

Wedding bring two families together it actually build a relationship in the families that no one will separate because it also involves their ancestors. So the groom’s family takes a cow’s bile and split it to the bride which ensures that she now belongs to the groom’s family.



Zulu summary

Umgcagco

Umgcagco uyisiko elenziwa uma sekuqediwe ngamalobolo lapho umakoti sekufanele akhishwe aye emzini. Abashadayo bayazibophezela phambi kwezihlwele ezisuke zikhona emshadweni.


Ukunquma usuku lomshado

Umkhwenyana umema abakubo kamakoti ukuba bafike kuzoxoxwa mayelana nezinkomo bese kunqunywa nosuku lomshado. Uma selubekiwe usuku lomshado abakamakoti baphinda emumva nezinkomo sebeyolungiselela usuku lomshado.


Amalungiselelo kamakoti


Umakoti uthenga izingubo zokwembesa, amacansi, izinkamba, imishanelo kanye nefenisha ahambisana nebhokisi.
Ubaba kamakoti uthenga imbuzi yokukhipha umakoti ashise impepho abike emsamo ukuthi isiyahamba indodakazi isiya koshada. Leyombuzi iyahlatshwa idliwe ngalo lelolanga.


Ukucimela


Izihlobo nabangani bayafike bephethe izipho bezovalelisa kumakoti bamyale ukuthi kufanele aziphathe kahle futhi ahloniphe emzini.


Amalungiselelo kamkhwenyana

Umkhwenyana uthenga izinkomo ezimbili ezizohlatshwa ngosuku lwecece kanye nembuzi yokumukela umakoti. Ubesethenga nokudla okuzodliwa abantu ngosuku lwecece.


Ngosuku lomshado

Umakoti uholwa uyise ngengalo adlule naye esibayeni ekuseni kusemnyama bese kuphunywa kuhanjwe kuyiwe kamkhwenyana, umakoti uyayalwa ukuthi angabheki emuva aze ayongena kamkhwenyana. Uma sebefikile kamkhwenyana umakoti uyafohla esangweni engabonwa muntu angene endlini ahlale esililini sabesifazane. Uma engabonwanga bayahlawula abakamkhwenyana kodwa uma evinjiwe abahlawuli.


Ngezithuba zasemini

Umakoti nomkhwenyana bayavunula balungiselele ukuya esigcawini. Uma sebeqedile kuyaphunywa kuyiwe kosinwa esigcawini. Uma sekubuywa umakoti uyambathisa abasemzini ngezinto asuke efike nazo. Nabasemzini bamuphe izipho bese bemkhombisa ukuthi usezongena ekhishini enze konke afuna ukukwenza.

Umshado wakha ubudlelwane phakathi kwemindeni emibili obungeke buqedwe muntu ngoba ekugcineni umakoti uthelwa ngenyongo okuyisiqiniseko sokuthi usengowalapho eshadele khona.

Picture Source: Campbell.ukzn.ac.za

By: Zanele Shange