About Us      ICT Centers      Contacts      Staff      Blog      Webmail      Events & Functions      Survey      Facts or Myths Exchange Rate  


Perspective of the World from Western Kenya
The West Is Rising...
  Home      Programmes      Classified Ads      Downloads      Top Stories      Music Downloads      Photo Gallery     
  |    |    |  
    Search:  
Sponsored Tweets
Are you a Kenyan living in the USA or UK, listen to West Fm free via your phone. Dial US: 213 493 0195 UK: 020 3519 3770  |  we appreciate sharing of information, we do not condone plagiarism of our work.  |  
Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd. 42.00 |-0.59%  |  Safaricom Ltd. 6.50|-0.76%  |  Uchumi Supermarket 22.00|1.15%  |  Mumias Sugar Company Ltd. 4.95|-1.00%  |   EA Portland Cement 56.00|-1.75%  |   EA Cables 16.75|-2.05%  |   EA Breweries 304.00| 0.66%  |  Diamond Trust Bank 154.00|0.65%  |  Crown Berger 55.00|0.00%  |   Cooperative Bank 16.95|-0.29%  |  CMC Holdings 13.50|0.00%  |   City Trust 448.00|0.00%  |   CFC Stanbic 64.00|0.00%  |   Centum Investment 21.25|-1.16%  |   Carbacid Investments 130.00 | -4.41%  |   AccessKenya Group 8.80|1.73%  |  
ON FACEBOOK
MKANYAGANO - 10TH TO 11TH MAR 2012 ONE.

More Podcasts

WEST FM EDITORIAL
Mumias Sugar Company is the heart beat of western Kenya economy and it must not be permitted to sink into collapse
Beware, Bungoma Education taskforce is not scapegoat
Case for emergency intervention in primary schools that are unacceptably ill equipped for learning in the 21st century
PICK OF THE WEEK
Government plans to steal 2017 votes – Wetang’ula
Christians celebrate Easter
OPINION & EDITORIAL
Abortion a philosophical dilemma.
Clean up the immigration department to fight terrorism
Sexual harassment
PICK OF THE DAY
Trans Nzoia Public Service Board to be probed
SPORTS NEWS
Man United sack coach David Moyes
Vihiga United FC beat Kitale community 1-0
Vihiga United beat Kolongolo FC 1-0
LIFESTYLE
Gender based violence rampant in West Pokot
Using her mouth to write never stopped Sandra from excelling
Kill the busyness cult for our sake
WESTERN AND NORTH RIFT FACTS
The late Paramount Chief Sudi Namachanja’s memorial held at his Tulumba home in Bumula
How Ugandans are reaping millions from Kenyan forest under the shamba system
Judi Wakhungu appointed to the UNESCO Scientific Advisory Board
Program Line Up
Wednesday 23 April 2014
05:00 - 09:00 Amka na West FM
05:55 - 06:00 WEATHER FORECAST
06:00 - 06:30 AMKA NA B.B.C
06:30 - 06:45 TAHARIRI
06:45 - 07:00 UCHAMBUZI WA MAGAZETI
07:00 - 07:10 NEWS BULLETIN
07:10 - 09:00 HUDUMA NA MAADILI
09:00 - 09:15 B.B.C NEWS BRIEFS
09:15 - 11:00 SWALA NYETI
10:00 - 10:15 NEWS BRIEFS
10:15 - 10:20 BUSINESS NEWS
11:00 - 01:00 KATA JASHO
11:00 - 11:05 B.B.C NEWS BRIEFS
11:30 - 11:35 SPORTS NEWS
Full Program Line Up



The origin of dowry payment among Bukusu people of Kenya

Written by Timothy Makokha
2012-04-23 12:19:00
Read 3861 Times
Bookmark and Share

A newly married couple exchanging their marriage vows.

In the beginning people were just pairing up basing on a mutual understanding of the man and woman. Whether the person was marrying the first, second or whichever wife, he could not give anything to the parents of the girl despite the fact that she is leaving her parents to start a new marriage life in a new home, new environment and taking up of foreign cultural beliefs as it is believed that it was a woman to get accustomed to the cultural requirements of the clan of the husband.

A time came when elders saw the need for them to bring in the idea of dowry negotiations (eng’anana). There were various reasons for this, first was sirara (granary full of grain). This means that a girl might have been a hard working farmer, who had been doing a lot of farming activities on their farm when she was still under the care of her parents. When she gets married, her parents would feel the loss in terms of labor on the farm and therefore a man was to give them something to make them not mind the departure of their hard working daughter.

The second reason was kumwoulo (the goodness of a wife).  Originally it was believed that a wife is a source of wealth to her husband. For example a wife would do most of the household chores including cooking, fetching water/firewood and other farming activities on the farm. Dowry was to be paid as appreciation and as a sign of respect to the in-laws. For example a man would earn respect from his in-laws after paying dowry.

Another reason was lukosi (love for the girl). Dowry was to be paid as a sign of love for a wife. This would even make the love between a couple to be stronger as the wife will feel valued and respected by her husband.

Kumuliano (feasting together) was another reason for dowry payment. Dowry negotiations were an opportunity for members of the two clans (clan members for the wife and clan members for the husband) to meet and talk freely while enjoying meals and local liquor (busaa). In such sessions the two parties get an opportunity to learn more about the taboos and beliefs of each other.

There was a slight difference between dowry negotiations for the girl who was pure and the one with a child or children. Eng’anana (dowry negotiation) for a girl who had not given birth at her parents’ home was done under a tree outside the house while for the one with children or a child at her parent’s home, the ceremony is done inside a house.

Generally, dowry payment was meant to strengthen the bond in a marriage (khuandalasia bulebe).

It was important to pay dowry just in case a wife dies of child delivery, it would be easier to handle the in-laws in such a crisis. That’s why one of the cows given as dowry was called ekhafu ye lifumo (cattle as a fine in case a wife dies during child delivery. In some cases if the clan members of the wife has prove that the wife was intentionally killed then the husband would pay for the head of the deceased wife (arunga kumurwe).

Elders were also advising people to pay dowry because of the routinely intimacy between a wife and a husband (orunga khuchia mumarango komukhasi).

Just in case a wife dies before dowry payment, only specific number of cattle is given not all the 13 animals. In this case one would be required to pay ye khusera (cow for proposing to the girl), ye lubeko (cow for shaving the pubic hair of the wife in her husband’s home), ye khukwisia situru (in payment of making breasts of a woman flat), yembako/sirara (for the work she had done in her husband’s home), ya khocha (for the brother to her mother). Traditionally, Bukusu people believed that a married woman can only shave her pubic hair only when she is in her husband’s compound but not from any other place not even at her parent's home.

In case a wife was married as a virgin, the blood stained beddings used on the first night are to be taken to the grandmother to the girl together with embusi sisonga (mature she-goat). This was done in respect for the girl who was pure. A goat is as well given to the aunt (sister to the father of the girl). For a girl who had children at home (nasikoko), a husband would not pay ekhafu ye situru as her breasts were already flat at the time of her marriage.

Traditionally one was not allowed to accept or take dowry from his daughters if he has not paid dowry for his wife. In such case, a person pays dowry for his wife first, then after one year demand for dowry from married daughters.

Those were the days when age was highly appreciated. For example, a person was not expected to organize for dowry negotiations (eng’anana) for a young daughter before organizing one for the eldest daughter. The same is applied with sons as the first son in a homestead should be the first pone to pay dowry and hold dowry negotiations as younger ones do the same up to the youngest.

 In case the young son is ready to pay dowry ahead of his elder brother, then he only give the animals but the dowry negotiation is not held until the elder brothers make dowry negotiations. The same is applied to daughters, when the husband of the youngest daughter wants to pay dowry ahead of her elder sister, then the animals are received but the dowry negotiations are not done until the one for the eldest daughter pay.

Later in life after the introduction of circumcision, dowry payment was as well associated with circumcision where a male child was to be taken to his uncles (brother to the mother) a day to the circumcision day.

The reason for a boy/initiate going for likhoni (reward from an uncle, which is normally a young bull) at his uncle’s home means that there were some cultural spirits from the mother’s side that the father’s side are not aware of. The initiates were to call their uncles to oversee the circumcision ceremony and give lubito to the initiates, in the process of handing over to them the cultural spirits from the mother’s side.

Continue paying dowry, as long as mankind exists in respect to the original reasons for dowry payment. The future of dowry payment is bright despite the misinterpretation of the dowry concept by the misguided people. 

Switch to Our Mobile Site



Other Related Stories
Diversity of culture.
Members of Abanyala community celebrate their cultural activities
Omukuuka Omukambisi Joseph Natembeya crowned as a traditional preacher among Bamasaaba community
King of Iteso Papa Emormor urges members of the Iteso community to embrace unity
Members of the Tachoni community converge at Chetambe for their cultural exhibitions
Samia residents celebrate the annual cultural festival at Bumbe beach
Kaimosi TTC holds its annual cultural festivals
Government urged to upgrade Kapenguria National Museum
Pokot community urged to abandon outdated practices
Exploring the beauty of Kakapel monument in Teso
Iteso council of elders call for unity in Busia County
The forgotten treasure: Kapenguria museum
Omar Njofu inaugurated as Babambo clan elder
Exploring Kiplolok springs in Nandi Hills
Exploring the Koitalel Arap Samoei mausoleum in Nandi Hills
Pokot parents warned over early and forced marriages
Iteso Cultural leader Papa Emorimor lauds Kenyans for conducting peaceful elections
Bamasaaba elders commemorate Maina wa Nalukale
Bungoma contest goes cultural as aspirants pay homage to cultural sites
The Kenya-Uganda Samia community mark 102 years of the Bananda Cultural Festival




LATEST NEWS
The Weekly Western Chronicle issue no: 023 exposing claims of how the government plans to steal 2017 votes
The weekly western chronicle issue no: 022 focusing on the Raila, Mudavadi face off in Shinyalu
The weekly western chronicle issue no: 021 focusing on devolution and governance accountability
BUSINESS NEWS
Serem market, a center for local farm produce supply
Trans Nzoia County to release funds for women, youth and students
Kakamega county government to consider residents views before enacting 2014 tax bill
COUNTY REGIONAL NEWS
Security firm workers demonstrate in Webuye
Western counties reap big in 2014/2015 budgetary allocation
More elderly persons to benefit from funds for the elderly program
FUNNY BUT TRUE
Shock as priest dies mysteriously after conducting burial ceremony
Facts that will blow your mind
Man dies in an attempt to retrieve chicken from a borehole in Nandi
ENVIRONMENT
Bungoma county government launches Tree planting program
NEMA threatens to close Kitale slaughterhouse
Sh. 38 million set aside for natural resource conservation in Lugari
MUSIC SPOTLIGHT
A Rift Valley based vernacular musician emerges as the highly paid
A class 8 pupil urges parents to nurture talents of their children
West Fm top ten countdown songs rated

WEST DATA - WEATHER
Kapsabet H30° L17°

Nairobi H 26° L13°

Mombasa H34° L25°

Busia H30° L15°

Kitale H25° L11°

Vihiga H30° L17°

Webuye H30° L17°

Kapenguria H27° L13°

Kakamega H30° L17°

Kisumu H30° L17°

Lodwar H33° L26°

Eldoret H25° L11°

Bungoma H30° L17°


West FM Survey


Username:
Password:


More Videos


© Copyright 2014. WestFM. All Rights Reserved.