Feature Articles

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Bride-price Tauruba style


By GENO NAU BUGA

THE FESTIVE season of Christmas and New Year was joyous  and fun-filled for many villages around the country.  Tauruba villagers in Rigo district of Central province was no exception.

The villagers celebrated in style when they partied from dusk till dawn and even throughout the day with dancing as well as a religious crusade Just before Christmas the village witnessed a rather remarkable bride price ceremony which saw the groom and his family pay the bride's people over K72,000 in cash and goods. The cash component was notably the highest in for the Balawaia language speaking people of Rigo as well as the inland Rigo people. It was paid by the Gutuma family to the Gerega family as form of a traditional obligation. (Pictured above: Rubutau Mega and family prepare their digu to present to the bride's family as food exchange.)

Bride price ceremonies are now becoming popular during that time of the year, especially around November and December for many Rigo villagers such as Tauruba.


Sunday Chronicle paid a visit to Tauruba village in the Rigo district of the Central province to witness a colorful ceremony which eventuated at middle of this rocky mountain villageAccording to Rubu Tau Mega, this custom has been practised for over centuries.

An interesting thing to note was that even first cousins were separated during this traditonal ceremony; some were on the side to present and others on the end to receive. This is merely because those who are from the fathers side had to stick by their fathers lineage and are bound to any obligation required of them.Rubutau Mega and his family had to prepare a  traditional digu or heap of food and other goods  to give to a first cousin of his, who happens to be from the mother's side of the bride. (Pictured is a Tauruba lad pins on the Kina notes as part of the cash payment during the bride price ceremony.)

Mega said the time for bride price payment is when the recipient side are happy and rejoicing because they are receiving cash as well as other items, which the groom's family members had to struggle to find.
He clarified that in Rigo it was usually the groom who must contribute the largest portion of the payment with other assistance coming from his brothers and other extended family members.Amounts given by the family members are later reciprocated but an additionally percentage is added on top when the particular person who has helped gets his turn to pay a bride price.

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