How privileged to be invited!
They last some days and are celebrated in summer, after Ramadan.
On the ‘biggest day’, hundreds of friends/family join . Neighbours and other family members all open their doors and overseas visitors are all accommodated between different houses.
In the morning, the new bride is veiled and adorned with a head-piece. She already has the henna tattoos on her hands & feet. She is seated with key family members, her mother behind her, and elder women of the village. The women chant while the bride’s head-piece is decorated and tied. Traditionally, this takes place in the bride’s family home, as she would marry a man of the same village.
Then a camel or donkey will carry her to her husband’s home. During the procession to the new home there is singing and drumming. On reaching her new home, the bride is seated on a small podium, with female relatives. The rest of the women, all sit in small circles.
The groom is kept apart, and is not permitted to leave his home and to watch the bridal procession. Family and friends may visit him, but he is kept inside. Much drinking of tea takes place! The groom also wears traditional garments and make-up.
In traditional weddings, this would usually be over two days.The bride & groom were reunited at the end of the first day, in privacy.
Men and women sing and play together, but in separate line-ups facing each other. The lines move in time, to and fro, side-to-side, then rotate, all seamlessly. The songs are very old Berber, speaking of marriage and love of course.
Bride and groom are brought back to the wedding party through the village, The newly-weds are kept apart once more until the bride can be unveiled by the groom. The groom joins in singing and drumming with his family. The bride in the caidal tent.
• Guests can bring a silver chain as a wedding gift, since silver are considered to bring good luck.
• When a bride gives consent, she would say the magic phrase,” You have captured my liver.”
Since a healthy liver aids digestion and promotes well-being, in Berber culture it’s the liver, not the heart that’s considered the location of true love. One might say, “Darling, my liver pines for you?”
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