Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Cultural Wedding

Yesterday was Landry’s sister’s cultural wedding.  They decided to celebrate both traditionally with their families, as well as with a civil ceremony and a reception much like what we have in the States.  I’ve decided to post a ton of pictures here and let them tell the story.  However, the brief background of the cultural wedding is that the bride and groom’s families come together and the oldest male from each side takes the lead in negotiating the marriage.  The bride and groom each choose a fabric from the market and everyone in attendance buys that fabric and has an outfit made, which is why you’ll see almost everyone is in one of three fabrics (the market ran out of Georgia’s first fabric, so she had to choose a second one).  Once the families come to an agreement, the bride changes out of the dress in her fabric to a dress in the groom’s fabric to symbolize the joining of the families.  There are no invitations for the cultural wedding, so hundreds of people can show up.  After the wedding there’s a huge dinner, music, and socializing.  The civil wedding will be next week.

The groom's family

The bride's family

The groom's family counting money to be given to the bride's family.

A comedian performs while the bride's family privately discusses what has been offered by the groom's family.

The loot.

Landry and Maelys' friend, Emanuelle "Manu"

The families have come to a preliminary agreement and the bride comes out in her processional.
The bride hides her face with a fan and a palm leaf.

The bride's aunts tear the palm leaf in half, revealing the bride.

The bride's uncle, and eldest male

Me and Manu

A supposed agreement had been reached and then the bride's uncle came out with a shotgun demanding more from the groom's family.  He put on a convincing show!

Finally an agreement between the elders

The newly married couple!

The mother of the bride.

At dinner

Maelys and Landry

Just when we thought the negotiations were complete, more gifts were brought out, including sugar cane, plantains, rice, chickens, ducks, and a goat

And a very fiesty pig

For those of you who followed our last trip to Gabon, this is our niece Sybelle.  She's so grown up now!!

Landry and I in full effect

The aftermath of dishes (the bride's mother is responsible for food at the cultural wedding, so this was our backyard Sunday morning.

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