Blood Ritual - tradition's gift to brides

Posted May 2, 2013 from Nigeria

In my birthplace, girls marry young and most of them are school drop outs and most of them have never seen the inside walls of a school because of poverty. Lack of education and mentorship and this very serious tradition has really set my community back a lot. Most of them have never heard about Fundamental Human Rights.

I am here to talk about the leash and unbreakable hold tradition has on girls and women. During marriages, a goat is killed and the blood poured on the ground, the bride is made to jump or cross the blood of the goat and that way the bondage to tradition is sealed and the girl will sleep with her girlfriends - for that special night that she is supposed to be relaxing and enjoying with her husband.

This ritual is to stop married women from promiscuity and waywardness according to them and as usual the men are free of this bondage. The women bears the brunt and are the downtrodden all the way, to be seen not to be heard. If a husband refuses to eat his wife's food for what ever reason, the woman will kill a live chicken and prepare a special delicacy after her kith & kins has been invited to intervene and intercede on her behalf.

It is believed that any married woman who goes contrary will not be able to have an easy child delivery, and will go mad if she does not confess and some more rituals performed to cleanse the land and pacify the gods of the land. For the men, if a husband eats the food of a guilty wife, he will fall sick and if the cause it not found out early, the man dies.

I have taking time out to ask questions from the old and to the young why this tradition has to tarry and i have not been able to get a reasonable answer apart from the fact that it is tradition that was laid down from the world go to tame women of sleeping around and bound them to their husbands while the men go on frolicking spree and marry any many women as they want and still keep licensed mistresses.

I have also sampled opinions on the best way out of this, but it seems that no one knows. While on this chase, i was meant to understand that long time ago, women came together and said that they have had enough of this tradition and they went on consultations. They were eventually told that the only remedy is for all women from a day old to the oldest to match round the clan on their birthday suit (naked front and back) and of course no one wanted that, so they backed off.

Most young men in this age does not find it trendy anymore. I have spoken with some of them and their views are open but some also said they don't want to get involved - Tradition is tradition. This is really deep rooted and the older men are afraid of serious repercussion on the whole clan.

Some women are for it while others are like why fight tradition, why question it at all. Women has fallen victim and i bet you the stigma is not easy and the men knowing that the women are not free do not make it easier because they go after married women with the same ferociousness they go after single ladies. This tradition has a lot of other fall out like choice of career for women - Majority of the working women are teachers In time of old, as little as a touch on the married woman's butts, counts as consent to free sex even if it was by mistake.

So we are stuck and we will remains with the bloody tradition even when most of us profess to be Christians. The consultation will continue - we will never give up on this. No matter how we look at it, everyone of us is involved in this. This tradition really has a real hold on young girls as they are made to understand that educated girls make bad wives especially as far as this tradition is concerned.

whats your take on the above World Pulse family?

Comments 5

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  • Sarjo Camara Singateh
    May 03, 2013
    May 03, 2013

    Otahelp i read the piece with care and comfort but i think still we the women folk have to fight against some of this so called traditions that hampers our marriages. in this instances if any man who is not ready to adhere to this happenings what would be the faith of that marriage.

  • otahelp
    May 03, 2013
    May 03, 2013

    Some young men dont want their wives pass through these process but they are few and the pressure from both families will eventually make them succumb. That is the faith and believe of our people. I have not heard of anyone whose wife has not pass through the ritual. Maybe as i continue to discuss the issue, i may eventually get to find out and know what the persons fate where.

    thank you Sarjo for your comments. I appreciate it.

  • loretta
    May 04, 2013
    May 04, 2013

    Some of these traditions, if they cannot be explained logically or satisfactory are nothing but nonsense. They were devised bu means of keeping women in line, to stop them from doing exactly what we are doing, raising their voices or leaving an abusive husband and finding better.

    Today there are so many ills in every Culture, most caused by nothing else but these stupid rituals that can never, ever be logically explained. I once asked, in my culture, what is the logic behind the bride bringing a kist when she gets married, the answer was, it signifies that she is tied down to her husbands family all her life. The only way she would leave there, is by means of a coffin. I said, "well then none of my girls would have one. Take it or leave it." Not in this world of all forms of abuse, would I symbolically tie my daughters down."

    Keep up the fight, don't give up. The few that you get to talk to, will eventually see the light and influence others. A drop of water dripping into the bucket eventually fills it.

  • Yessi Writes
    May 05, 2013
    May 05, 2013

    Tradition can be beautiful, connecting us to those around us, but it can also dramatically hurt us. Sometimes traditions exist for seemingly no reason, or exist to keep people oppressed.

    I commend you for taking a critical look at your culture and speaking out against what you believe is wrong. Not enough people do that, it can be hard, but we are here to support you.

    Best of luck, I look forward to continue hearing from you. Best, Yessi

  • otahelp
    May 06, 2013
    May 06, 2013

    thank you all who has taking time to read my post and comment. i really appreciate you all for commenting also.