Introducing The Dwaa Mbwara (Traditional Pot)


Hello, I would like to introduce to you the Dwaa Mbwara] (Traditional pot) the Bachama or Bwatiye women use for decoration in their homes. It is expected that every full grown woman getting married, goes to her new home with this pot for decoration and this symbolize womanhood. This same pot has been playing a lot in the Bachama tradition. Isn’t it beautiful? No Bachama woman ever goes to her husband’s house without taking this along with her. It is used to beautify the house with it. It also plays a traditional role in the home; follow me gently as I explain more.

One amazing thing about the Dwaa Mbwara is that, in the event a woman has a problem with her husband and eventually packed out of her husband’s house, she has to leave the pot in the house. Carrying the pot means the end of the marriage. The calabashes on top of the pot are also used for decoration. From time to time they are cleaned and oiled in order to make it shiny. Most at times depending on the choice of even the husband, the pot could be more than one and are placed in strategic places around the house where they can be safe.

This is one of the beauty of our culture. We so much believe in the arts of decoration and other things that is why you could see that the calabashes are also decorated with several designs.

According to tradition, a suitor who sees a girl and is interested in her, does not just go to see her and let her know that he is interested in her and want to marry her, NO! He first of all informs his parents, on hearing the news, his parents will go and make their findings i.e. to run a background check on the lady in question and her family line. What would they be looking for? A lot, but I will mention a few. After the background check is complete, they in turn will advance and see the parents of the lady in question and that is when the parents of the lady will now inform her of the development. Now, I told you that the parents of the suitor runs a background check, so also the would be spouse’s parents. The investigation was necessary due to the following reasons:

1. Whether she is from a well behaved family

It is important for prospective parents in law to know the kind of daughter their son wishes to marry and ensure that she is from a good home, well behaved and respectful in order to avoid crisis. Any lady that fails this test, is therefore disqualified.

2. Are there witches and wizards in their family line?

In Africa, superstition is very prominent and on a daily basis we see cases of witchcraft: This is a very serious issue that parents don’t joke with especially as it relates witchcraft. No sensible parents will encourage their children (sons and daughters) to engage in such terrible journey. Once it is discovered that there are witches and wizards in that family, that will be the end of the relationship or proposed marriage, and same thing goes with the man.

3. Do they have prostitutes, thieves or robbers in their family

When issue of theft is raised, in a society that I used to know, no man will like to associate with him or her; because it is believed that the cancer may be in the blood as such may affect the children unborn so this is usually discouraged, and not only discouraged but prohibited, Yes! That is the word.

4. Is there promiscuity in the family?

Another dangerous trait is in the case of promiscuity. This is never tolerated at all! where it was discovered that the lady in question may have come from a family where promiscuity is so prevalent, the parents of the boy will definitely object to the marriage proposal. It is important for me to state here that, even though the girl may be of good behavior but because of the fact that they discovered promiscuity the family line, they will object and vehemently oppose the marriage. Where all these exist except No. 1 above, the parents of the suitor will automatically disqualify and nullify the marriage and it stands.

One question however we have to ask is, why should it be so?

It is so because what they are doing is to preserve the family line in order not to corrupt the family. Africa is a place full of a lot of superstition and so even in this age of civilization and technological advancement it still hold sway. All these having been done, the parents of the would be groom will arrange and pay the bride price and from there they can start preparation for the wedding.

Before the civilization in Africa, there have been marriages but are done traditionally with so many rituals involved. One of such is the traditional pot which has been made mandatory, it is customary and not something to be compromised. Before the woman will go to her husband’s house a lot of preparations would be made and sometimes the man and his friends will go to the would be bride father’s farm and assist with the farm; sometimes he will have to build a hut for the father of the girl.

On the day of the wedding, guests would be invited and they will come from different places some with gifts to identify with them and rejoice with them. Food and drinks would be served. Meanwhile, the couple would be dressed in beautiful traditional attire and will receive their parents’ blessings before they are said to be properly married: All these would be done amidst dancing and rejoicing with music being played.

One important fact I would like to buttress here is that, as much as there are bound to be disagreements in the home, in this culture, where a woman is said to be having problems in her home and decides to move away from the home, it is expected that, she leaves the pot behind, this is an indication that the there is still hope for the marriage. She may pack her belongings from the home, but must leave that pot behind. Just like I stated above, in the event she carries the pot along with her, it means the end of the marriage. (Details of this will be discussed in the “Bachama Traditional Marriage” which will be coming soon).

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