Divorce In Akan Society

1444 Words 6 Pages
Marriage and Divorce in Akan Society Student’s Name Name of University

Course Name Professor’s Name 20th April, 2015

Introduction
Akan is one of the most civilized cultures of Africa. There are many literary works on the life and culture of Akan. As Danguah quotes that Akanni “means a nice, refined, well mannered man; a civilized or cultured person” (Nkansah-Kyeremateng, 1996, p. 26), Akan has civilized standards and customs making its study all more interesting. My focus is on their marriage rituals, tradition and all the complexities involved including the divorce procedure. Divorce is neither considered anti-social nor anti-religious in their society, and males usually
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His parents investigate about the status and background of the girl’s family. Boy’s father meets with girl’s father and puts forward a proposal, also called ‘abowmu bodze’ or ‘opon-akyi bo’ or knocking ceremony. On an approval from girl’s parents, a girl and a boy begins courting and is marked by girl’s mother serving a drink (ODA, NSA), cash, to the girl. A girl’s mother also receives cash and gifts from the boy’s family. Later family of a girl pours libation to seek blessing and protection for the new couple. A pot of palm wine or bottle of schnapps with some money mixed inside the drink is served to make a proposal. This is done to impress in-laws that a guy can really take care of their daughter. The father takes care of the responsibility of the formal introduction between the two families and the family asks the opinion of the girl. From then onwards, the boy and his family are invited to perform the necessary marriage rituals. A wedding ceremony is marked by feasting and prayers to bless the couple with children (Nkansah-Kyeremateng, 1996, p. …show more content…
It is considered neither as sacrilege nor anti-social. Usually a male initiates a divorce, and once it is granted, he takes the responsibility of the child. Women can also demand divorce if she feels cheated, battered or husband insulting her mother or when husband retracts back from his responsibility towards her. Sackey (2006) highlights courageous attitude of Akan woman as she consoles herself by thinking ‘se wosuro aware gyae a, wonnya aware yie’ (p. 53) which means if you are not brave to get free from a bad marriage, you can never have a better marital relationship in future. Since the motive of a marriage is to have children, the main reason of divorce is inability to conceive, fights, adultery etc. After divorce, females often take girls or baby boys to rear them and men take younger boys. There is no formal rule or law on maintenance

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