Monday, May 10, 2010

Tafa and Koumba’s Wedding!

Last week my counterpart in the village, Moustafa (Tafa for short) got married to his second wife, Koumba. Well, technically they’ve been married for several months now but in this culture they have their religious ceremony in the mosque to become officially married (neither the bride nor groom actually needs to be present for that – either or both could just send a representative in their place instead), and then they have a second ceremony for when the wife officially moves to her husband’s compound. This ceremony can immediately after the religious ceremony or delayed for months or even years depending on the situation. This second ceremony can be incredibly elaborate, or very simple (like an American wedding can be), depending on the bride and groom’s desires, and on the groom’s financial situation since he is the one who pays for everything, as is the standard in Senegal – the husband is supposed to supply all the money for all the family’s needs and any money the wife makes or gets (from relatives working in Dakar or abroad, for example) is used how she desires (often to buy things for her kids and herself, but almost always not shared with her husband). I’m sure Tafa has been saving up for this ceremony for many many months.

The night before the wedding, a bunch of women and girls gathered in Tafa’s compound and the women made music (like in the first video – by banging on big metal bowls and singing) and danced almost all night. I only stayed for a while, because I knew I had to do some work the next morning and didn’t want to be super tired in the afternoon during the afternoon festivities. We had a nice lunch of rice and meat late in the afternoon - it takes the women that long to cook the lunch when they're cooking for well over 100 people. The bride, Koumba, got to the compound really early that morning – I think right before the first call to prayer in the morning, around 5am. Koumba spent most of the morning at the “salon” in Kayemor (nothing at all like an American salon, but I guess that’s a given) and the other women cooked lunch and sang/danced, while the men just hung out and drank tea. Then Koumba came back to the compound mid-afternoon (which is the second video below) and went around greeting all the women in the compound, which took a while. Then the dancing commenced…and continued until the evening prayer around 7:30pm.

Here are a bunch of pics from the afternoon/evening.





















I LOVE these boys!!! The boy in the yellow t-shirt and blue sandals is my youngest brother and sooooooo cute. The boy in white is the same boy as in the pic just above (he went home and changed into his nice clothes after lunch).
















Some of the guys just chillin' off to the side while the women are dancing.


Me with my cousin, Awa (she is the step-daughter of my uncle).



The first bit of dancing before Koumba arrives.

video

The first bit of this is when Sanu, Tafa’s first wife, is welcoming Koumba, then she begins to go around meeting all the women in the compound and family (even if they don’t actually live in the compound).

video

The women dancing in this clip are really pulling up their skirts to show the skirt below, which is similar to a garter (only all the women wear it) or Senegalese lingerie. The next part of the clip is my mom trying to get me to move to a spot closer to all the dancing so I could film better, and them me actually moving there.

video

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