Kom Traditional Matrimony Rites

Table of Content


This paper will take a expression at kom traditional matrimony rites and the four stages the constitute the existent matrimony in Kom. It will get down by mentioning where Kom is situated, the assorted 8 orbiter small towns that made up the Kom folk, which are Achain, Akei, Baiso, Baicham, Bueni, Mbesinaku, Mbenkas and Mejang. How they perceived matrimony, how matrimony is practiced in this society. This ethnographic work will besides look at the four phases of matrimony in this community which comprises of wooing, Si Lun Ibi ( to inquire for Kola- which means ask the miss ‘s manus for matrimony ) , Ndo Wi ( the house of the married woman ) and eventually the existent traditional matrimony which is the Ncha Wi ( the ironss of the married woman ) . During the class of roll uping informations I will take in to consideration the symbolic reading of matrimony rites during the four phases of matrimony peculiarly the usage of imagination. The paper will besides concentrate on the importance of matrimony and the factors that prohibits matrimony in this society. Last, the paper will look at the socio cultural development of matrimony in kom, seeking to compare the past and present matrimony, the consequence on the Kom tradition and its persons. Besides the ways of over approaching transgressors involved in this matrimony

To efficaciously transport out and pass on this ethnographic work, different beginnings and techniques will be used to roll up and analyse the information severally. Different secondary beginning will be expeditiously utilised. As respects primary beginnings, field trips, interviews, direct observations, questionnaires and other methods used to transport out ethnographic research will be exploited, the usage of native narrative. Finally, informations will be analysed with the usage of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Tables, per centums, charts and graphs will be used after screening, sort analysing and construing the information.

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Marriage in Kom is believed to be the oldest societal organic structure that has of all time existed invented by adult male. Marriage ceremonial in Kom consuetude four phases and a series of rites, these rites are really symbolic in traditional matrimony process.Marriage in kom Begins with secret seeing between the male child and the miss until they have decided to do it official for their households. The brotherhood of adult male and adult female in Kom obligatorily begins with “ debut ” which is non a signifier of matrimony but the way to matrimony ; this is the really first measure which makes matrimony as establishment. A adult male or adult female can obtain a esteemed traditional rubric when he/she is married. This goes aboard with three of import facets that accompanied matrimony. Wain ( a kid ) , ifuonjini ( nutrient ) iyamngvin ( the jungle animate being ) . These three Kom three fingers are really of import any married twosomes lives in that a successful household must hold kids nutrient and the caput of the household must be strong to support and protect and fend for the household. While the adult female must supply nutrient take attention of the kids and be strong as the jungle animate being to carryout her marital responsibilities.

Marriage in Kom can either be polygamous or monogamous it depends on the person concerned. Apart from the traditional matrimony which comprises of three chief phrases of which households choose either to make all or merely one, there are besides some other signifiers of matrimonies the civil matrimony, and the spiritual matrimonies. These two other matrimonies are picks of households therefore ; they are non of traditional importance to the Kom society. What can be defined as a matrimony process is the matrimony rite which plays an of import function in matrimony ceremonial. With the absence of these rites the matrimony process is considered fruitless. As clip is go throughing by the Kom people have experienced development in matrimony process and rites, that is why this paper will seek to happen out while matrimony have evolved? What have caused the development? and the consequence of it on traditional matrimony rites and Kom tradition as a whole which the people see it as debatable to their civilization.


In matrilinear societies like kom bride-wealth is non transferred because the kids belong to the married woman ‘s kin or line of descent and will inherit from their female parent ‘s group the hubby ‘s inheritors are his sisters ‘ kids, and non his ain kids who alternatively inherit from his married woman ‘s brothers, their maternal uncles. In Kom tradition, the groom is asked to pay bride monetary value in hard currency and in material signifier like the assorted membranophones of oil, meat fire wood and host of other subordinates. This immense demands scared many immature work forces from get marrieding. Some migrate and work in the plantations for twelvemonth to acquire the necessary points for matrimony, this make most of them to get married tardily since they have to work for old ages to obtain what will be demanded from them by their comfortable in Torahs.

Another factor that hinders matrimony is the cultural impression of witchery, the period given to the groom ‘s household to wait, is normally the clip the bride ‘s household consults a diviner to cognize the societal background of the groom. The things they ever look for are witchcraft, liquidator, unwellness like lunacy, and cryptic decease. When any of these ailments are found they proposal will be turned down. The fact that matrimony at times is strategic it is a job to these people because background study must be done to harmonize matrimony which means it is non based on love.

Intercultural matrimonies are besides a hinderance to marriage in Kom, parents do non let their kid to get married out of the folk because some cultural political orientations. For illustration girls and boies are no suppose to acquire married to Bayangi tribe this because the folk is noted for black magic. A kom girl or boy that does this, invites evil into the folk therefore some people remain single because the lone comrade suitable for matrimony is from this folk.

Forceful matrimonies besides hinders to marriage, in this society people are forced to get married because of poorness. For illustration the household ‘s lone manner to retrieve its investing in a girl may be to hold her married in exchange for a dowery. Some male parents forced their girls into matrimonies with work forces affluent plenty to give cowss, caprine animals and money ; in some instances the male parent owns the duty to acquire a married woman for his first boy. Therefore he forces his miss kid to a adult male who will pay her bride wealth so that it can be transferred to his boy ‘s married woman. The penchant of the person is considered undistinguished, in this state of affairs even if the matrimony holds it does non last for long, the twosome terminal up in devoice.

Education brings about category segregation in the society, people who are educated go for educated spouses for matrimony.Those who suffer the weight of this cultural pattern are the females, and there is the job of disagreements in societal values: some parents, particularly in Kom, prefer directing merely their male kids to school and maintaining the females at place. They argue that female instruction is a bad investing, the educated female kid would subsequently turn up and get married into another household, and so all her instruction would merely profit her hubby and her new household. With modernness these misss suffer a set back in matrimony because they educated work forces travel looking for learned adult females even out of the folk.


To what extent has the socio cultural development of matrimony affected traditional matrimony rites and Kom civilization?

With regard to this chief research inquiry the following specific inquiries can be asked.

What is matrimony to a Kom adult male?

Why do people get married?

Who is entitled to marriage?

What age is one suppose to acquire married?

Is matrimony same today as the yesteryear?

What are the alterations?

What are the causes of these alterations?

What are the impacts of these alterations on matrimony?


To reply the above inquiries, the following aims shall be considered.

Specific aims

  • To indicate out the development of traditional matrimony rites from past to show
  • To measure the consequence of development on Kom civilization
  • To look into the schemes they are utilizing to keep these rites
  • Finally to measure the positive effects of development in this establishment of matrimony.


This probe will be carried out in different parts of the eight orbiters villages that do up the Kom land.

The methodological analysis usage will be divided into two parts ; informations aggregation and information analysis.

Data and Information Collection

Data for ethnographic work will be collected from primary and secondary beginnings

Acquisition of Secondary informations

Data will be collected from both published and unpublished secondary beginnings. They will include paperss and relevant web sites on the Internet. These paperss will include text editions, archives, thesiss thesis, diaries, periodicals, magazine and native narrations.

Acquisition of Primary Data

This will affect fieldwork. Fieldwork constitutes a major beginning of informations in anthropological research. That is field trips, interviews, direct observations and questionnaires. This will be in light to obtain information symbolic reading of matrimony rites different parts of the eight small towns. Approximately 130 people will be interviewed, random trying methods will be used to interview those concerned. This will be accomplished by informal interviews and interaction with the chief histrions. Participant observation will non be lift out since this will assist to acquire first manus information on how the matrimony rites is being carried out. This information will be collected with regard to the societal, cultural and historical position of the folk

Data Analysiss

After roll uping these informations, it is traveling to be sorted, classified, analyzed and interpreted. The information will be analysed with the usage of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Tables, per centums, charts and graphs will be used.


Thematic Delineation of Research Domain

Marriage is a societal, spiritual and traditional legal brotherhood of persons that creates affinity. It is the oldest establishment which can be found in every human civilization, although the signifiers and regulations differ either polygamy, monogamy etc.

All traditional matrimonies ceremonials have rites that give it a particular magnificence. These rites are holding symbolic intending attached to the people of a peculiar civilization. The word symbolic comes from the word symbol which can be anything such as objects, image, sound, mark, grade, or any gesture that represents a different significance, for illustration Cam wood symbolises blood or danger and white bases for pureness. Therefore, symbolism is the ironical representation of something that carries a peculiar significance. Marriage rites are all symbols and significance of different things in different cultural context.

Development is merely the act of alteration from one phase to another for illustration the alteration of traditional matrimony rite from past to show.

Geographic and Socio-Cultural Delineation of Study Area

Kom is one of 250 autochthonal cultural groups or folk of Cameroon which is situated about is 50 stat mis from the North West capital of Bamenda. There about 126,000 dwellers with an country of about 300 square stat mis. Kom is found in Boyo division with its administrative capital Fundong. It has three bomber divisions Belo, Njinikom and Bum. There are 8 orbiters small towns that make up this folk Achain, Akei, Baiso, Baicham, Bueni, Mbesinaku, Mbenkas and Mejang. The people speak Itaing Ikom as their linguistic communication ; it is the lone alone folk in the state that pattern matrilinear line of descend where sequence and matrimony coronation lies in the female parent line.


Traditional matrimony is a really interesting subject and has been of great concern to research workers and authors. They have tried to cognize what married is all about, those involved in married, the rites performed during traditional matrimony that identify as members of that community, and the jobs they face in married. They are besides seeking to place some proposed solutions to these jobs. The plants of these research workers or authors will be analyzed in respect to this ethnographic research work in the subsequent paragraph.

Harmonizing by the ( Journal of Religion and Science Published 15 2005 @ 2010 by the joint publication Board of Zygon, rituals serves to show those cosmic beliefs non for the scientific intent of explicating or commanding the universe but for the experiential intent of giving human existences a placein it. This diary points out that it expresses beliefs about society non merely by maintaining human existences in their societal topographic point but giving them a societal topographic point. The traditional rite perform during traditional matrimony in Kom gives the twosome concern a topographic point in the society of Kom. It gives them the base to perfom other rites within their matrimony and out of the matrimony unit besides therefore it gives them a wider topographic point in the societal unit in the society.

( Jayaram V @ 2000-2010 Hinduwebsite.com ) . He potrays the matrimony rite perfom by the Hindu society during traditional nuptials, the fire ceremonial ( homam ) . The sacred fire is illuminated and the priests chant sacred mantras offering duties to assorted Gods to do matrimony a succes and bless the twosome. This is in line with the Komtraditional matrimony rite where fire is the lone objectthat lits the house when the payoff is being bnrought frontward to the would be household. This rite symbilse integrity and love between the two households, to the Kom people is the beginning of nutrient and nutrient brings love and integrity to households andthe society at big.

( John Wall 2000 ) in his composing provinces that matrimony is a sacrament of matrimonial love which finds its farther look in parent ‘s love for fruit of their gender. This was the instance in Kom in the yesteryear, matrimony was considered to be fruitful if their brotherhood was blessed with kids. Today, this statement is far fetch people get married non because the privation to acquire kids but because they have some other peculiar strings attached to it for wealth and escapade. Thus kids are non truly of import in matrimony in kom as comparison to the yesteryear. You can happen a household without kids, hence matrimony as a sacrament of matrimonial love which finds its farther look in parents love for their gender is hardly exist.

( Kramers K Gthinji 2008 ) position point about traditional matrimony, is a matrimony between between a adult male and adult female which is the most acceptable signifier of matrimony in the society. To him traditional matrimony conforms to the traditional civilization and faith and this can be polygamy or monogamy. These matrimony classs is cultural accepted by it depends on single to take which type of matrimony to travel in to. In Kom polygamy was the extremely adept matrimony this was because a big household means wealth. Those who could non afford plenty to travel for many married womans practiced monogamousnesss. With the development of clip and modernness, matrimony in this society is monogamy people barely do travel for polygamous matrimonies once more.


Marriage is a brotherhood between people and it is the oldest establishment that has of all time existed since from creative activity when God created adult male adult female as hubby and married woman. Marriage should be based on love it should non be a trade where human existences are sold every bit trade goods as the instance of bride monetary value, where work forces are tasked to pay higher bride monetary value if the bride is educated. Some traditional rites should be modernised, traditional leaders should set a moderate monetary value for bride monetary value and a fixed sum of stuff goods for this intent if merely if the goods are of of import to the matrimony. Some rite should be kept out of the scene of matrimony. In a nut shell matrimony rites are good because they attaches a batch of import to marriage, some of them are supplications for a fruitful matrimony. The development of matrimony its rite has played a really enormous function in the Kom society both positively and negatively.


Carol Ann Muller 1999: Rituals of Fertility and the Sacrifice of Desire. Nazarite Women ‘s Performance in South Africa. Publishing House.the University of Chicago Press Chicago and London.

J.L Comaroff 1980: The Meaning Of Marriage Payment.

Linda.S Cordell, Stephen J. Beckerman 1980: The Versality of Kinship

Roy Willis 1975: The Interpretation of Symbolism.

S.E Smith 2006: Marriage Past and Present, Future?

Pro Devisch Rennat 2008/2009 Course Document.

Wayne Jackson July 28, 2004: As Designed by God.

Dainty, Jack, and S. J. Tambiah. 1973. Bride wealth and Dowry. Cambridge, U.K. : Cambridge University Press.

J. L. Cmaroff 1980: The Meaning of Marriage Payment.

Kuper, Adam. 1982. Wifes for Cattle: Bride wealth and Marriage in Southern Africa.

Meyer Fortes 1972: Marriage in the Tribal Societies

Sheila Ellison 2000: The bravery to Be a Single Mother: Becoming Whole Again after Divorce.

S E Smith 2006: Marriage yesteryear, and present, future.

Wayne Jackson, July 28 2004: Marriage As Designed by God

Maggie Gallagher, 2001: What is matrimony for? Public intents or Marriage Law.


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