Kenya Traditional Customary Marriage

Published: 09th July 2010
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In Kenya, marriage is a very important part of the well being of the whole nation. You will find that most families and people in Kenya regard with higher esteem someone who is married than the one who is not. When one gets to an age where the relatives think that he/she is old enough, they start making some hints. You will even be innocently introduced to be suitors. Aunts especially are notorious at this. Your mother will start asking you when you are planning to give birth to her namesake. She will start putting pressure on you telling you that she does not want to die before she has had a chance to herself again in your offspring.

In ancient times, suitors were arranged for by the parents. They would decide on the best person to marry their girl and introduce them. This sometimes did not favor the girl because she could sometimes get married to someone she did not love just to please her parents. Once the meeting was successful, the guy would go and let his parents know that he has spotted his future wife in so as so home. They would arrange a meeting where the guy's parents, some relatives and clan elders would go to the girl's home and request to be given her as their daughter.

The girl's parents and relatives refuse to give her away unless some demands are met. These are some payments otherwise known as the dowry which they must pay so as to get the girl. They negotiate for some time over the price, usually in the form of cows and goats. Once they agree on the price, everyone is happy and a traditional beer is served to celebrate. A day is set when the dowry is to be paid. The day is colorful and full of celebrations. After the payment, the guy's family can take the girl home. She now ceases to belong to her family unless the bride price is returned.

Dickson is the Chief Tour Guide and one of the Directors of Adventure Africa Expedition, he has traveled in many countries in Africa where he built the spirit of adventure and discovered nature hidden wonders in especially tailored walking trails like in Kisoro in Rwanda and Bwindi in Uganda both for Gorilla tracking. For more information on his work please visit

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