There are a lot of things that can be taken by the groom to the girl’s family as a sign of appreciation but it is better to know that there are some essentials that need to be taken as must and that is what we are going to look at today. In the different cultures that are found in Uganda, the groom always presents a few gifts to the family of the bride and these can be decided by the girl’s family or the groom can decide whatever they want.
That aside there are those sentimental gifts that are a must and if you do not take them you can be fined or the family can delay the function until the requirements are met and below is a list of some of those things that are needed for the function to take place.
The calabashes of local brew
Traditionally the family of the groom has to carry at least three calabashes of local brew and these are used at different stages. The first calabash is known as the Ekiggula luggi and it is used as a payment by the groom and his people to gain entrance for them into the venue. The person carrying it always goes with it and presents it to the bride’s family before the rest are granted permission to enter into the compound.
The second calabash with local brew is known as the Ekita Eky’enjogeza and it is believed to be the one that is used to start the negotiations between the in laws and the groom’s entourage.
The last calabash is known as the ekita ekiwasa omukazi loosely translated as the calabash that allows the bride to go with the groom and get married. And just in case the bride leaves her home after marriage, the groom can come and pick her up with the representation of the calabash.
But of late for the Christians and Muslims who do not believe in taking alcohol, they take sodas or water instead of the calabashes.
The Omutwalo payment
Omutwalo is the main key when it comes to bride price. This is given to the father of the bride by the groom and it is the father of the bride who decides what should be given to him. For as long as the family of the bride receives the Omutwalo, the groom is extremely free to take his bride and they cannot stop him in any way and note that the Omutwalo is mostly done by the Basoga and Baganda.
The bouquet taken for the bride
After the groom and his entourage has been greeted by the different groups from the bride’s family, the ssenga comes out to identify the groom from the crowd by placing a unique flower for easy identification. The bride then comes out to greet her guests and this is when the sisters to the groom come forth bearing a flower for the bride and they say a few words as they present the flower as a token of appreciation from the groom and his family.
The Buganda kingdom items
You cannot have a kwanjula without the items that are meant to come from Bulange Mengo. You will need two certificates from Mengo and one of them will have to be presented to the bride’s father and the groom stays with the second certificate. These certificates are known as ettoffaali because they help in the development of the kingdom. You have to also present a portrait of the Kabaka of Buganda and his queen the Nnaabagereka Sylvia Naginda. And sometimes people take a portrait of the totem of the bride’s family as a sign of respect.
The envelopes that are supposed to be given
There are different envelopes of money that the groom has to give out and these are given to the different girls and boys who come to greet the guests before the bride comes out to greenest. But there are those that are known to be official envelopes and these are given to the ssenga, the father to the bride and the mother.
The ssenga gets two envelopes the first one being known as eya galubindi. This is given to her before she goes in search of the groom so that he is shown to other people who might not know who he is before taking him inside the house to be served with the meal specifically prepared for him. The second envelope is given to the ssenga as a sign of appreciation for grooming the bride from childhood to adulthood and a thank you for the good food prepared for him and his guests.
The father and mother of the bride also receive envelopes with an unspecified amount of money as a sign of appreciation for taking care of the bride since when she was young.
Of recent the groom is supposed to take two seedlings of trees to the bride’s family as directed by the Katikiro of Buganda. This is to help in bringing back the greenery of the country as it was before and that is why it is a must for all the grooms to take the seedlings to the bride’s family.
The clothes of the parents
There are different clothes that are given to the family of the bride and these are locally known as embugo. Not all the family members in the family get clothes but the few essentials people receive them and these include the parents, grandparents, ssenga who is the sister to the father of the bride and the brother in law who is the Muko.
Besides the above mentioned things there are specific animals that are supposed to be taken to the bride’s family and these include the following.
The bridal suitcase for the bride
The bridal suitcase in Buganda is a must if the man wants to officially take his bride. The suitcase has different womanly items like shoes, makeup, earrings and other small items that the bride can use and these are chosen by the groom plus a gomesi the traditional wear for Baganda women and this is to show that the man will be able to take care of the bride once they start leaving together.
This is the same suitcase that will be used to pack her items from her parent’s home as she prepares to go and officially start staying with her husband. The bridal suitcase also comes with a suitcase for both the ssenga and the mother of the bride and these are also packed with the traditional wear for women which is the gomesi. The suitcase for the mother is always delivered by the ssenga since the mother of the bride traditionally and culturally is not supposed to be seen by the people who have come for the function.
A cock for the brother in law
The brother in law also known as the Muko is the one who receives the cock locally known as Enkoko y’omuko as a token of appreciation for having handed over the bride. Although of late all the boys in the family are given cocks, before it was the main Muko alone who got it.
A goat is normally given to the family of the bride if the groom has been staying with the bride and they have children together. The number of children mostly determine the number of goats that are to be brought by the groom and it is supposed to be a she goat locally known as Embuzi Ey’amawemukirano which is used to wash away all the curses upon the family and it is usually brought in the backyard of the home.
Another she goat is given to the family of the bride of the girl is found to be a virgin.
When taking all the above requirements the groom can add other items that he desires to show his appreciation and some of these include vegetables, bread, soap, salt, sugar and other non-perishable goods that can be used by the family of the bride for a long time without getting spoilt.
The idea of bringing vegetables and other durable items was brought up by the bogezi who act as masters of ceremonies on introductions and it was introduced due to the rampant droughts that would take place in the country. This would always help them out during the tough times.
It is advisable however to skip the perishables or bring just a few of them so that they all don’t get spoilt for nothing.
All we need to know is that when you take the mandatory things that they have asked for, the bride will be yours and the rest of the gifts that are you take are not necessary but are from you as a token of appreciation. It’s still advisable that you get gifts that fit into your means so that you do not end up spending extra money and going into debts because of your function.