Dinka; Marriage Outside The Clan Promotes More Cohesion

Marriage in the Dinka culture traditionally, is everyone's goal and having a family is regarded as the ultimate fulfilment in life.

Dinka; Marriage Outside The Clan Promotes More Cohesion
Wedding Ceremony between Deng Panchol Ngueny and Awel Buol Amiot, in Bor [Photo by Jacob Achiek]

By Jacob Achiek

BOR, 21 March 2016 [Gurtong] - Normally, like other cultures in South Sudan, once a man chooses his bride, his family makes a visit to her home to announce their intention and to discuss the number of cattle to paid in bride-wealth.

A “bride wealth” is paid by the groom´s family to finalize the marriage alliance between the two clan families.

For the Dinka one must marry outside their clan which promotes more cohesion across the broader Dinka group.

Deng Panchol Ngueny and Awel Buol Amiot, went through the same procedures. More than 300,000 South Sudanese pounds and an additional 35 heads of cattle were paid as bride price to the relatives of Awel.

Deng Pachol Ngueny the groom is from the Adol section in Konyang Payam and Awel Buol the bridegroom is from Biong community in Baidit Payam, all from Bor County.

Gordon Ngong Denghie, from Adol section holds women from Badit Payam with high regards.

“We have learned to respect their daughters who are married to us. Now we have many girls who come from that community and they are doing well with their families here,” Ngong said.

He is encouraging the elderly people to continue educating their children so that they become people of better future.

“In this marriage I contributed only cows and my son contributed the money and this is through his his education,” he said.

Adol Chief Mabior Ater said many will now support the new family with words of encouragement so that they build up a good family.

Dinka marriages are perceived to be stable. Divorce only occurs when the woman is unable to conceive.

The bride's family usually makes sure the chances of saving the marriage are exhausted before agreeing to divorce, as termination of the union mostly would mean return of the bride-wealth.

If the union has produced children, part of the bride-wealth is kept by the bride's family as payment for the children who remain with the man.

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