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   Marriage practice among the welene nation,southern Ethiopia  Student ASFIR MUHDIN  ABSTRACT  -The present paper is a descriptive study of marriage ceremonies in welene,southern Ethiopia.The information was obtained by interviewing with elders of the study community.Data were collected from January 20!through august 20! "ntroduction when we view the entire range of past and present human societies marriage can be described as a culturally approved relationship or union of one man and one womanmonogany! ,of one man and two or more womanpolyandry!,in which there is cultural endorsement of se"ual intercourse between the marital partner of the opposite and ,generally, the e"pectation that children will be born of the relationship #   $the welene people have their own language,which is called welengna#welengna is semetic language#welene have vast and very rich culture#marriage is one of the most important ritualin welene culture#there are three things welenes tal% about in life&birth,marriage,and death#these are the events that add to or ta%e away from the family#     Marriage ceremonies 'elenes have a traditional marriage ceremony,which decended from earlier times#The great social signi(cance is attached to the weddingceremony#The wedding day is very important day in the life of both the bride and the groom#)t is veryimportant for the bride whose wedding celebrated once in her life #As for the man,he can celebrates his wedding if he marries a second or third wives either because of the death of his (rst wife or whenever he wants to have more than one wife#*owever,even for the man,it is the (rst wedding ceremony which is more important than the second or the third one# $Bethortal is a form marriage mostly arranged by the parents of the bride and groom with a great deal of negotiation#  $Traditionally the groom+s parents search a bride fortheir son#Before they ma%e any contact with the bride+s parents#  The groom+s parent research bac% seven! generation to ma%e sure that the families are not related by blood#-nce this has been done,the boy+sparents then ma%e contact with the girl+s parent through a mediatoratmachi!#The mediatoratmachi!goes the home of the girl+s parent and as%s if their daughter will marry the sonof the other parent#The girl+s parent often impose conditions and the mediatoratmachi!will ta%e the message to the boy+s parent,then arranged the date for both parents to meet at a mutually convienent location#'hen the parents have reached an agreement,the man and woman get engagedbetrothed!#The parents then set a wedding date and the groom+s parent will give ./// birr to the girl+s parentyeni%ah!,they meet allthe wedding e"penses#   $After the betrothal is conducted,both parentprepare foodli%e %ocho,%itfo,aybe or stample foods of welene! and drin%shameta! for the wedding and invite guests#The families en0oy the ceremonies of their children #Both families begin to ma%e  wedding feast, including %itfo,%ocho,aybe and shameta#This preparations begin a couple of months before the date of wedding#1/ or .2 day+s before marriage,the young girl and boy friends of the bride 3to$be are invited to come to her house after dar% to practice singing and dancing#This is called kifafe. At this day the bride appoints two or three girls(yegostae)and one or two boys(mea)they don!t depart "rom her a"terthere until wedding date#ea$h o" the boys and girls ha%e their own tas&s# Fet$hing water "rom the ri%er'$olle$ting re wood are the roll o" boys'and ma&ing tea'$oe are the roll o" girls#*he bride also will start arranging her unnished wor&s#+i&e household "urnitures#,omen in the neighborhoods o" the bride would help the mother o" the bride in grinding'roasting grains whi$h are used "or ma&ing "ood and lo$al drin&s# one month be"ore the wedding date'the groom re/uests his $ompanion(amamot)'and age mates(balie)#*o tra%el with him to ta&e his bride#It is also his responsibility to $hoose mea0 or 1 day be"ore the wedding date the bride and the groom go to $lini$ with their  "riends to $he$& either they are HI2 negati%e or positi%e#At that day the groom in%ites to all guests'and he will gi%e $ertain sum o" money to the bride# -A day be"ore the wedding date the brides relati%es will $omes' and at that day the bride will drin&s &osso(seto)#3e"ore she drin&s &osso(seto)'her younger sister or her best "riend grind the &osso(seto)'and they sing by saying(mere en&uan mere yeseton merare si seto en&uan seto yeda&on butbuto si yayoddi gari le$olodi)a"ter she nishes her younger sister and brother will drin&s rst'then the bride drin&s last'and she must brea&s the glass#*his indi$ates the presen$e o" her %irginity#A"ter they nished'"emale elders bless "or her by saying (yeshiye yeshiyeshiye yemanshi bebalush ye&elen&u beye babibedebelubsh yeshiye te&nebeyem$hie)#then a"ter she will ne%er taste any "ood until ne4t three days# -In the early mornings o" the wedding date' the relati%es o" the groom gather# A"ter a while groom!s $ompanions gather while girls and boys near the house o" the groom sing and dan$e' at themid day' $ompanions will be pro%ided shameta' and also the groom with his meas will be pro%ided&it"o with &o$ho and shameta# *he groom then will be dressed with the $lothes espe$ially prepared "orthat date and will be seated at midst o" his
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