Culture

A bit about Karimojong marriage practices

So, anyway, as part of our domestic tourism experience, we had the pleasure of interacting with a Karimojong ‘tourist community’, you know, the kind which is maintained static for the benefit of sharing a particular perspective of Karimojong.

A member of the community in Lorukul in Karenge was our guide into his community; as well as the information gatekeeper to and from his community. Everything had to be through him.

At Lorukul in Karenga with our community guide

This alpha male or silverback as some in our safari group referred to him thinks a world of himself. He declared that he can make me his wife number four. When I challenged him of how he may be able to afford to marry me, he educated us on Karimojong culture on marriage.

Obviously, polygamy is an accepted norm. Among the Karimojog of Lorukul, apparently, it is your father that marries for you (gives the bride gifts) for your first wife. Then for your second wife, it is you with the help of your friends who does so. For your third and others subsequent you do so on your own with your own wealth.

It was delight to participate in the courting dance. I showed my guide-suitor that he has competition ha ha ha

Our guide, turned my suitor, assured me that he has a lot of land within the proximity of Kidepo National Park, which he can gift to my people in exchange for my hand in marriage. Land, apparently, on which my people can build a lodge and make a lot of money.

Of course, I wonder why he himself and his community have not already built that lodge in the first place. Says a lot about the insufficient manner in which the Uganda tourism sector integrates Ugandan communities to be part and parcel of the tourism industry.

Anyway, as our safari group conversed with our guide, we somehow ended up talking about circumstances in which a suitor may be rejected.  In my suitor’s community, apparently, once it is believed the girl comes from a family or clan of witches, the boy’s clan will object to the marriage. I assume vice versa.

Just in case the Chief is seduced by the potential dollars he can make by owning land and building a lodge near Kidepo, let me start a rumour that our family has been known to have witches among our ancestors.

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