A Samburu wedding ceremony – explained
Guests John & Alyson chose Saruni Samburu and its stunning landscape as the backdrop for their ‘spiritual Samburu blessing’, ahead of a traditional ceremony back in the States. The sequence of images below wonderfully illustrate the various stages that make up a traditional Samburu wedding celebration, and more importantly, their significance and meaning. Thank you John & Alyson for sharing these incredible photos – and congratulations!
At the beginning of the ceremony, the bride and groom to be are invited to take a seat together on small, hand carved, wooden stools.
The tribal elders address the bride and describe to her how sacred marriage is, and they remind the groom of his obligations to his bride-to-be.
The groom and his best man lead the bride away from ‘her father’s homestead’ while, the other elders of the clan bless their union.
Milk plays a large role in a Samburu wedding; it has a magic and religious presence and is used for anointing during the rituals.
The elders walk around the couple with a wand-like creation containing either cow, giraffe, or wildebeest tail hair, and wisp drops of milk over the couple whilst sharing their wisdom with the married couple.
Substantial quantities of milk are prepared for the ceremony as traditionally the bodies of the newly-weds are actually smeared in the milk.
Once the elders’ have finished sharing their wisdom with the newly-weds, and the vows have been exchanged, it’s time to celebrate the union.
The young ‘moran’ (unmarried warriors) of the village now dance in celebration.
Of course in Samburu tradition, the moran that can jump the highest, is the one that will attract the attention of the single ladies at the wedding!
Much dancing and celebrations continue – with everyone joining in.
Traditionally, the newly-weds then spend their honeymoon in a ‘white’ or ‘pure’ house (a house that has not yet been lived in) to begin their life together.