On their first night before 3am, a son to one of the groom’s sisters, omwiha, climbed up the wall and crowed like a cock. “Then, the bride’s aunt who was still with them holds the bride’s hands behind her back to make their first sexual encounter easy for the man,” This is called okukuza.

A virgin brought honor for the girl, her aunt and family. The mat with blood on it was sent back to her mother with a gift of a goat. A non-virgin on the other hand brought disgrace but she remained in the marriage and her husband burnt the mat of their first sexual encounter and sent her mother a sheep for a gift. The mother would normally cry in shame for not having kept her daughter “pure”.

Before the girl’s relatives left, they sounded a warning to the groom and his parents to treat their daughter well, okuteera omusango. It was done by an old man who said;

“this child of mine has come with two names; when she receives a third name, let me know. My child does not visit unnecessarily. She does Not visit and spread rumours bringing enmity between homes. She does not stare at passers’s by, she does not abuse people, she does not steal. If she abuses her father in law beat her. If you cant cope with her, send her back to me.”

After warning the bride to also behave herself, the other relatives left leaving behind her aunt who stayed with the new couple for a few more days.

In the last ceremony, the bride uncovered her head and started doing housework. Then she had officially become a member of her new husband’s family. These elaborate marriage cultures have obviously been weakened by Christianity and modernity, to the extent that the Banyoro of today can hardly tell a uniform marriage culture.


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