Author Tutor Course Date Marriage among the Somali in Africa Somalia is located on East African coast on the outer most edge of Somali Peninsula, also commonly known as the Horn of Africa. On the north, it borders the Gulf of Aden, by the Indian Ocean on the east, by Kenya on the southwest, and by Djibouti and Ethiopia on the northwest and west…
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Somalia used to be considered the Land of Punt by the ancient Egyptians (Abdullahi 4). They tended to adore its trees, which were responsible for producing the myrrh and aromatic gum resins frankincense. Punt is mentioned in the Bible, and it came to be known as Cape Aromatica by ancient Romans. Somalia is named for Samale or Samaal the Somali people’s legendary father. Most Somali people are Muslims of Sunni sect, and they share a similar language, Somali. Like all other cultures, the Somali people observe Marriage as a passage rite, as well as a fundamental transformation from childhood to adulthood. Traditionally, Somali marriages have created a bond in men and women, as well as between families and clans. The Somali people’s clan groupings are significant social units. Clan membership plays a vital part in Somali politics and culture and clans are patrilineal. They are divided into sub-clans as well as sub-sub-clans, leading to extended families. Somali marriages used to be arranged until recently when things changed. The arrangement occurred commonly between a wealthy older man and a father of the young female he wished to wed. Even in the twenty-first century, in many rural areas these customs still remain valid. The man usually pays a bride price in money or livestock to the female’s family (Gardner and Judy 12). Somali society is ethnically endogamous traditionally. Therefore, in order to prolong ties of alliance, marrying occurs between one ethnic Somali to another ethnic Somali of a different clan. Thus, for instance, a recent study showed that among the 89 marriages contracted by Dhulbahante clan men, 62%, (55) were with Dhulbahante sub-clans’ women. 33.7% (31) were with surrounding clans’ women from other clan families. 4.3 % (3) were with the Darod clan family’s women. Traditionally, Samaal marry someone from outside their family lineage or within the family lineage if it is separated from the male by six generations or more (Abdullahi 8). The Arab custom of marrying within a father's family lineage is followed by Saab whereby first cousins often marry each other. After marriage, a Somali bride should live with her husband's family while her own parents provide the household goods and home. However, she retains her family name. The Somali “community” comprises of a varied and a vast array of social groups, familial bonds, and clans, each of which maintains its own beliefs regarding the concept of marriage. According to some Somalis, a girl is considered appropriate for marrying a provided suitor when she reaches age nine. They believe that, incase a girl has not yet been married, by the time she reaches 15 years the girl may be regarded flawed in some aspect hence viewed as bad luck or an outcast to her family. However, in Somali’s central region, there is a strong belief that a female’s suitability for marriage starts immediately the girl's breasts become noticeable, despite her age. Though this can lead to an inherently immature and extremely young girl child being married off, it cannot be not regarded as problematic for the “couple.” in this region Somalis believe that just because a female is young, she is not necessarily unsuitable as a wife. The girl should learn her duties as a wife in the period following her marriage if she got married off at a young age. This dynamic is known as “
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