Traditional Wedding (Zulu Culture)

Contents

1 What is a traditional wedding?
2 Who sets the wedding date?
3 Wedding preparations (Bride’s side)
4 Bride’s Farewell (Ukucimela)
5 Wedding preparations (Groom’s side)
6 Wedding day
7 Groom’s outfit
8 Bride’s outfit
9 Conclusion
10 Zulu summary
10.1 Umgcagco
10.2 Ukunquma usuku lomshado
10.3 Amalungiselelo kamakoti
10.4 Ukucimela
10.5 Amalungiselelo kamkhwenyana
10.6 Ngosuku lomshado
10.7 Ngezithuba zasemini

What is a traditional wedding?
A traditional wedding is a last step after lobola negotiations have been finalised. This kind of wedding involves different cultures. Sometimes traditional weddings can be between two different cultures, so those cultures will be represented on that day although the bride will end up following her husband’s culture.

Who sets the wedding date?
The groom invites his in-laws to come to his home so that they can 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 have agreed on a date the bride’s family will go back home with the cows and start the wedding preparations.

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 (a kist) where she can put her clothes in and her husband’s gifts.

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

Bride’s Farewell (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 the special day.

Wedding day
The bride’s mother gives her daughter a 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 bride’s family comes early in the morning so that the bride can sneak in through the gate. The bride enters her husband’s home while nobody notices her. She enters in the kitchen and sits 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 middle of the day the ceremony will start both bride and groom wear their traditional clothes.

Groom’s outfit
Ibheshu – skin buttock covering worn by man
Isinene – covers the male front part
Isembatho – covers shoulders
Amadavathi – cover ankles
Izingusha – cover wrists
Iklolode – covers hair

Brides outfit
Isidwaba – leather skirt worn by married woman
Isicwaya – skin worn to cover breasts
Inkehli – covers the 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 an outfit that she will wear when she enters the kitchen.

Conclusion
Weddings 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 spilt it onto the bride, which confirms 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.

By: Zanele Shange

1 thought on “Traditional Wedding (Zulu Culture)”

  1. Wayibeka kwacaca asibonge Madumakude. Ngsacela ukubuza la ekukhioheni makoti ngembuzi kushiswe nenyongo. Kwenziwa njani mangabe kamakoti basindisiwe bengeke bamkhiphe ngenyongo? Kunabuphi ubungozi ngasohlangothini luka mkhwenyana?

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