As dynamic as every culture presents itself, marriage and its setting or practice differs from one culture to the next. Traditional marriages might not be the custom of some cultures, but to others poses as a significant institution without which a marriage ceremony cannot be said to be fully performed or fulfilled. In performing this tradition which is mostly vibrant in the African culture or setting, various procedures are made available which needs to be adhered to by the couples seeking to get married. In the typical Ghanaian setting, couples tend to have separate obligations assigned to them in performing before the ceremony can take place. Among these procedures usually comes the traditional list presentation. In this, depending on the particular tribe from which the lady comes from, a list of items to procure is usually given to the ‘groom to be’ in performing.
This list is variant from tribe to tribe and even at the tribal level, is very dependent on the family as well and their personal preference and discretion towards the items which should appear on the list of items to be procured. Among items usually found common to all tribes which appear on the list includes; A bottle of schnapp, cloth, stipulated dowry amount, money for the bride to-be’s family (father, mother, brother),etc. This can be represented in a list form as shown below:
- A bottle of Schnapp/ whiskey or Gin
- Six pieces of traditional wax print or cloth
- Money for brothers of the bride (akontasekan) or male cousins
- A pair of sandals & money for brides mother
- A bottle of whiskey for the bride’s father, money & Piece of cloth (optional)
- Dowry/ bride price
- Engagement bible
- Engagement ring
The above list is just a presentation of how some traditional Ghanaian marriage lists looks like. But as I said earlier, this is really not a fixed list but is very dependent on the family of the bride and the items they deem fit to include in the list of it items to be purchased by the man seeking their daughter’s hand in marriage.