Wedding Ceremonies


In Botswana, marriages are very different. Here, people don't receive rings like in America. Each person in Botswana is from a village. When someone gets married, the person that proposed has to pay the village for the marriage. I have seen a total of five marriages at the main kgotla. 

What tradition did I learn about?:

I learned about traditional marriages and how they affect different villages. I also attended some weddings and saw how they operate. I learned the importance of marriage in Botswana and why men have to pay the woman's family. For example, if a man wants to marry a woman he must ask the woman's village how much he needs to pay them. The payment is typically in forms of giving cows. Some villages charge 12 cows. This means that a man has to give a woman's family 12 cows if he wants to marry her. He must also buy the bride an entire wardrobe, and buy his mother in law a wardrobe too.

Why does the community have this tradition?:

In Botswana, people pay for marriage because when you marry someone you're essentially taking them away from their family and the duties that they're responsible for. Thus, you're paying upfront for all the work the woman would have put into the family in the long run. Cows are a form of payment because a family can live off of cows for a very long time.