Finding a partner with which you’ll spend the rest of your adult life is difficult in itself.
Getting the funds to facilitate the rites and customs that comes with marriage is also a very tasking and significant determinant on whether you’re ready to become a married man or not.
For the Fulani tribe, being strong, fearless and possessing the ability to withstand heavy flogging is also a very important box to tick if you want to eventually become a husband.
The Fulani tribe, living predominantly in the northern part of Nigeria are one of the major tribes in Nigeria and also to some parts of West African countries. They are known to be cattle grazers and farmers and they have a very interesting custom when it comes to marriage.
Fulani women on the other hand, are known for their beauty and so if one of the widely known beautiful Fulani damsels steals your heart and you want to take it up a notch by making her your wife, these are what you will be expected to pass through before you can legally call that woman you love, your wife
This is the universal payment of the dowry in most of the traditional African customs and the Fulani tradition is not an exception. This dowry ranges differently depending on the choice of your would-be in-laws or your social class.
Most times, a herd of cattle serves as the dowry or it’s equivalent which might be a herd of goats assuming you don’t have cattles. You also pay the bride price which will be given to your wife directly. You as a prospective husband have to fulfill these obligations if you’re really serious about your intention of marrying a beautiful Fulani maiden.
Then come the fun part, the “Sharo” as they Fulanis call it but to describe it vividly, it simply means the flogging. Yes, you as the groom will prove to the girl’s family, friends and well wishers that you will be able to withstand pain and torture in your quest of protecting your wife. If you have a rival who also wants to marry your soppossed wife, then the two of you will take turns in flogging each other until one of you gives up. In the absence of a rival, men will be called upon to give you the beaten of your life.
Assuming you don’t survive this, then you’ve failed to prove your toughness and readiness to the clan of your beaut.
But in the case where you come out unscathed, you’ll be deemed worthy and deserving of taking your Fulani love bug as your wife and you’ll be hailed for that feat. That moment will sure make you feel like what you just passed through is worth it. And honestly, it is worth it because you have the love of your life beside you as a reward for your troubles. What better reward is there to give?
This is the wedding ceremony proper, based on Islamic rites. This is the celebration that comes after the dowry must have been paid and after the flogging. Although both the bride and the groom are not mandated to be present at the Kabbal ceremony.
In all, the Fulani marriage tradition has survived centuries and is still waxing strong, although Islam is believed to frown upon the “Sharo” part of the Fulani marriage ceremony because of the obviously dangerous and injury inducing practice. That notwithstanding, many Fulani are still practicing it.
After all said and done, one wonders if the groom feels excited enough to carry out the wedding night bedroom activity or whether he spends most of the night thinking really hard on whether it is really worth the stress. Or maybe the newly wedded wife would spend most of the night using a towel and a bowl of hot water to massage her husband’s whip ridden back. That would be a great recipe for couple bonding if you ask me.
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