After all of the food had been prepared and the entertainment arranged for Yvonne’s engagement party, it was time for the guests to arrive and the celebration to begin.
Links to sauteed ndagala (whitebait) recipe that was prepared for the engagement feast is given at the end of the blog.
- Yvonne’s younger sister, Elianne, is dressed in her new smock and with a cousin is coming with a traditional basket of beans for the newly-engaged couple
The guests have been seated in a large, open-front tent made of wooden poles and plastic sheeting. Then, Yvonne is brought in by a group of women relatives who clap and sing that she is going to be a happy bride &c. In spite of joyful songs and urging, Evonne hangs her head and moves very slowly, as part of the ceremony she is showing her sadness at leaving her own family and friends.
- Yvonne says goodbye to the women and is then led into the tent b by her uncle (left) to join her finance
- Yvonne & Gabriel are now seated before the guests
- As part of the ceremony Yvonne’s parents present a gift to the couple
- Then, gifts are presented to Yvonne’s parents
- The two fathers, drink home-made sorghum brew. Joint drinking of sorghum beer is a traditional part of the ceremony, and after they finish different members of the family will come to take some sips
- Omer receives the dowry from Deo, in a traditional basket
- Omer consults with his brother – perhaps about the dowry. The amount must be agreed upon before proceeding with the ceremony.
Now everyone eats and eats. No photos, because we were all busy eating!!! (goat – plantains – salads – potatoes – bean dishes – vegetables – and lots more). Then, in the evening, it is clean-up time:
- Dish washing village-style; by the girls and with the boys watching. What’s new?
That evening the couple are entertained with singing and dancing, and some of the boys prepare drums for the occasion. That is my Irish Wolfhound, Dr. Spock, looking on. Part way into these celebrations, a soldier from the nearby position came frantically running in and asked could we please stop the drumming (after dark) – too noisy.
The couple left the next day for Gabriel’s home in the mountains, and about a year later Yvonne came to visit with her first child.
This past Easter Yvonne & Gabriel paid another visit – this time, with their two youngest children:
Here is a link to our livestock project where I have various recipes – to a dish that was prepared for the engagement party: