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Category Archives: Wedding

all things wedding, maid of honour, bride, groom, bridal party

dowry.cowry

I don’t usually like forwarded messages, but a friend sent me this and I just had to share it with you all. It is a list of the required dowry from the major ethnic groups in Ghana. I am uncertain as to who the author of this magnificent piece is, but I doff off my hat to this person. I have made slight modifications to suit the style of the RebelRyter’s Realm.

Just for the record, I am Akuapem, so this list will be added on to the list I so freely furnished in my previous post.

The Gas

  1. 10 pieces of white cloth (to be worn by the lady during pregnancy & for the outdooring)
  2. 20 crates of Star beer (10 for the mother-in-law, 10 for father-in-law)
  3. Albion or Nissan Bluebird car
  4. 4 live pigs (for domedo – a term for grilled/fried pork)
  5. One akasanoma radio (for listening to Obunu 93.3FM)
  6. 2 years advance rent (as you will be staying with your in-laws)
  7. 1 CD compilation of DJ Gblagazaa’s Mixx feat Screwface
  8. 1 Pair Trawler
  9. 1 drum of apeteshie – (a locally brewed alcoholic beverage – 100% alcohol). This will be for the purposes of offering libation.
  10. Valid residence preferably in James Town, Mpoase, Mamprobi, Chokor, Teshie, Tsui Bleeoo, Teshie Tiafi-ahe

The Ashanti

  1. Valid visa to Germany/Spain/USA
  2. Shares in Obuasi Goldfields
  3. 1 Store at a Commercial Business District
  4. A degree in “yobbing” (incessant and unnecessary bragging)
  5. DNA Test results to prove lineage to the Asante Kingdom
  6. Middle School Leaving Certificate (standard 7 accepted)
  7. 5 sets of mortar and pestle (for years of fufu pounding)
  8. Cassava & plantain farm (no fufu powder)
  9. Must speak fluent “capo” language
  10. 1 copy of Everyday English
  11. Valid residence in communities such as Abossey Okai, North Kaneshie, Sukura and Russia

The Ewes

  1. 10kg of “atama” snuff (for the father-in-law)
  2. Oversized Tema-station suit (for future growth and expansion)
  3. A Cassava farm
  4. Multi-colored XXXL towel for father-in-law (if he’s from the Southern Volta)
  5. 10 pieces of white “Obroni waawu” singlets (for the father in-law)
  6. 8 pieces of multicolored vest (for Mother-in-law). To be used on market days
  7. One stall at Asigame (for mother-in-law)
  8. Connections to work in government agencies preferably post offices and hospitals
  9. 20 sets of neatly wrapped chewing sticks
  10. My First Copy Book (for retired fisherman now turned student
  11. Valid residence preferably in these locations: Madina, Agbogba, Adenta, Haatso, Libya Quarters, Ashaley Botwe

The Kwahus

  1. 3 year valid SUSU Savings/account
  2. Hardware store- dealing in cement, iron rods, paints, roofing sheets etc.
  3. Middle School Leaving Certificate
  4. Ability to sponsor Easter trips back home every year
  5. Valid visa and work permit in Spain preferably apple plantations
  6. One drinking spot
  7. Valid residence in areas such as Dome, Taifa, Kwabenya, Saint Johns etc

The Krobos

  1. 30 packs of GSMF approved condoms (protection sake)
  2. 20 funeral cloths
  3. Ability to perform paternity tests often
  4. One blue kiosk
  5. 45 pieces of mercy soap/cream and ointment
  6. Residence in a compound house

The Akuapems

  1. a Presby Hymn book (Akwiapim Version)
  2. A Bible (Akuapem translation, hard cover)
  3. 2 tubers of yam for (otoh – mashed yam and palm oil meal)

The Fantes

  1. 20 crates of Ovaltine/Tetley tea bags
  2. 50kg of sausage
  3. 77 containers of jam/margarine
  4. 67 crates of ideal milk
  5. 10 boxes of turkey wings
  6. 6 crates of eggs
  7. 1 seagoing canoe
  8. Required High School-Adisadel College & Mfantsipim
  9. Participation in keysoap TV programmes especially Cantata & Concert Party
  10. Connection to work in government agencies such as Post office, Ministries and Newspaper agencies
  11. The man has to prove eligibility to rise up to be a Principal Secretary
  12. Qualifies to live in government bungalow
  13. A side plan (done by the most renowned architect in the country Architect……….) which will always be in his back pockets, to exhibit/show the building plan he will never be able to put up.
  14. Tons of carton of beefi nam for light soup.
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bride.price.fried.rice

Before I go any further to discuss the topic for this blogpost, please be aware that what you are about to read in no way tries to condemn or justify the culture of Bride Prices or Dowries in our traditional marriage ceremony. This post only seeks to discuss into some detail, the constituents of the Bride Price in view of current modern cultures, practices and trends.

Now onto it.

I’m sure most of you have at one point or the other in your lifetime been to a traditional engagement ceremony in Ghana. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, it is usually along the same lines. A man and a woman date for some time; the man asks the woman to marry her (or the woman coerces the man to ask him to marry her :P); they agree to be with each other forever and then comes the Knocking Ceremony. As the name implies, it involves the man knocking at the door of the lady’s home, then being invited in by the bride’s family. The man’s entrance is usually with singing, drumming or dancing (sometimes all of the above). Him, his abusuafoɔ (family: nuclear and extended) and friends come in bearing gifts of all forms, sizes and shapes – the Bride Price – in a colourful display. It’s very fascinating really. The elements of this gift package include, her dowry, a Bible, the engagement ring, yards of fabric, underwear for the lady, a suitcase (portmanteau) jewellery, a goat, a cow, a car (in some extreme cases), among other things. Some families prefer to give out a list and from what I’ve heard, this is the subject of many a debate, both internally and externally. It is very likely that if the potential mother/father-in-law approves of it, the potential son-in-law will disapprove of it. And so on, and so forth. Sometimes, the engagement ceremony is put on ice until some amicable agreement is achieved.

Let’s milk the cow dry, shall we?

 

 

But I’m no expert in tradition, so I won’t go any further down this road. My case is very simple. If in 1945 owning a full piece of Printex wax meant the world to you, in the year 2010, a full piece of Printex wax print pales in comparison to a 60 inch Plasma television! All in favour say “Aye aye Captain Rebel”.

What in goodness name am I going to do with bails of Printex or GTP fabric? Perhaps if I had a shop in Makola, that would be ideal. But I’m not, so go figure! I like tradition, don’t get me wrong. I admire the thought that went behind the action back in the 1700s. Note: Pass tense. You do realize that these traditions were based on the customs of the era in which they were created, and back then, there was nothing like High Definition Television!!! I dey lie?

So I am making a decree, right here, right now on this World Wide Web. This decree goes out to enlighten any man out there who may dare to marry me, that he’s not going to get away easily with a few pieces of cloth and a portmanteau. No no no. I’m a modern girl (anybody know the equivalent of 90’s girl in the 2000s?) as such, I have modernized my traditions, with modern items in my modern engagement list. As such modern items such as the full range of all of Apple’s products; I’m talking iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macbooks, iMacs, and whichever Apple product may have emerged; a 60-inch HDTV; designer watches (emphasis on “watches”); 12 sets of pants suits, some artwork from a famous painter (preferably a dead one), a complete gym set to maintain my figure after having our children and several others. I could go on until eternity. I want practical items, things that apply to my life in the year 2010. I don’t want to do things for the sake of tradition. The tradition must be applicable. We must evolve our traditions and in effect our bride price! Is that too much to ask? I don’t drink schnapps; nor does any other member of my family. So it would be prudent of you to bring in a bottle of Alize or Chardonnay or something like that. Forget about the old stuff. It’s absolutely useless! What am I going to do with unending yards of cloth? I might make a series of bed sheets out of them. That’s all their good for (from the Rebel’s perspective, that is).

 

If traditions are based on the lifestyles of people, and we both agree that society evolves, why don’t our traditions evolve with the evolving society? Why do we stick to irrelevant customs made for people who have been dead for years now? Someone tell me why. If you think of a good reason, please let me know. I’m counting on you.

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Ghanaian Lifestyle, Life, Wedding

 

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rebel.of.honour

About two months ago, a very good friend asked that I become the maid of honour at her wedding. After she said those words to me over the phone, there was a pause and subsequently, 5-10 seconds of laughter. It was a shared joke. She and I have been friends for about 7 years now and having met on the soccer field, she knew what she was asking when she asked it. During that momentary pause in time (all of 2 seconds) I became dizzy with an assortment of thoughts; thoughts of make-up, eyebrow tweezing, high-heeled shoes, dress, nails painting, flowers and all the other out-of-character things I would have to endure. After running back and forth the tracks of this mental “ordeal”, the “honour” bit in the title entered my consciousness and the dizzying thoughts settled. So I asked, “Do I have to wear a dress?” and with that she knew that I’d already accepted the position and the rest became a part of history that will never be forgotten.

As a child, due to my very nature, I was never used as a flower girl in any wedding, and as I grew older, I preferred a more background role (taking pictures and making sure everyone followed the day’s protocol) avoiding the spotlight as much as possible. So this was the perfect opportunity to prove to the world what I was made up of as I took reigns of a prominent part in a wedding ceremony. To be honest with you I was more “afraid” than anything else. Nevertheless, I took hold of the role gladly and yet, gingerly, uncertain of what to expect, yet hopeful.

(from left to right) Naa, Marcy, Karen and the Rebel of Honour

As the days rolled closer to the D-day, it still didn’t hit me, not even when I tried on the dress. The very first reaction I got was from my younger brother was summed-up into a simple shriek (better seen than said). Turning aside from that, I showed it to the bride who thought I looked dashing so I ignored my brother.

Then on the day of the event, during my make-up session, it hit me. Real hard this time; with every stroke of the make-up brush. I knew then, that there was no use holding back, and so I let go, ridding my self of almost every Rebel Ryter attachment and allowing the Rebel of Honour spirit to take over. Evidently, after my make-up session, I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror, and as a direct result, the rest of the day was extremely surreal. Thankfully, before I could drift too far off into wonderland, I reminded myself of the very essence of the day’s event and that made every tweezed hair totally worth it. The wedding ceremony was perfect and I was proud to have been a part of it, and not just any part, a very essential and crucial part, so crucial the wedding couldn’t have gone on without me :-P.

The Rebellious Make-Up

Now to Marcelle and Tai, thanks for the wonderful experience, thanks for bringing out the woman in me (despite the fact that it was only for a few hours). All together, it was a great experience, one that I may not want to repeat too often, but would undoubtedly cherish for now and for always.

To all of you who are thinking “This is it. This is what will change Freddy. Now she’ll start making her face up to places and throw in some skirts and dresses into her wardrobe.” Well … I hate to disappoint you, but it WON’T! It will take a lot more than one pretty dress and make-up session to convert me. But I’ll be happy to do it once or twice a year, only next time I’ll charge for my service, simply because I put some umph into the ceremony.

 

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