A “Ngurario” is the last ceremony of the Kikuyu dowry process. It is normally done by those couples who are already married though in rare cases, a groom-to-be might decide to visit the bride’s home and perform it before the wedding takes place. The husband after staying with the wife for sometime and may be after the wife has given birth to some children will decide to perform this ceremony . The husband accompanied by some friends and relatives makes a visit to his father-in-law’s homestead so as to be told what items to bring before the day of the Ngurario. You can further read about this amazing tradition at this article written by Grace Mwangi.
Welcome to my 49th blog post. It has been an amazing year for me and God has so much more in store for me. I have had the privilege of shooting 14 weddings so far this year, and today I will share with you the 12th one.
This was my second ever Ngurario to shoot and I have to admit that I have fallen in-love with them. So much so that I am seriously contemplating having one too after I do get married sometime this decade :D. The venue of this ceremony was the picturesque Evergreen Park on Kiambu Road. I had the most amazing meal courtesy of Sarova Hotels and my jolly good old friends Josh and Jess of Jazanda Wedding Films were covering the event too. Check out the Ngurario’s Trailer at blissful.co.ke.
Gracing the blog today is Jenny and Ken who are an amazing couple. In all my life, I have never met a human who walks and talks other cultures with ease; that is until I met Jenny. She might be from the USA but she can speak fluent Swahili – and I am not talking about Kenyan Swahili but rather the Tanzanian kind. Have I mentioned she can speak Kikuyu too? In a nutshell, Jenny was not a passive participant of the Ngurario; she had done her homework thoroughly. We were all very impressed and this made each single click I fired away every bit worthwhile.
They were kind enough to let me document their traditional wedding ahead of their white wedding, which is this coming weekend, despite Jenny’s mom being a professional photographer. No pressure, right :D? You can check out her works via this link.
Let’s get into it. Hoti Karibu!!!
The traditional dancers stepped with vigor; making music with jingles and an accordion.
So in the old days, if the groom chose another girl other than the one he was engaged to, he would have to go ahead and marry the girl he had mistakenly chosen. Thank God those times are gone :D. Ken was spot on. I was shooting; but the camera’s focus and my mind’s focus were worlds apart ;). Jenny’s dad had a taste of the traditional brew – Muratina – and he seemed to have enjoyed it. This is another tricky part, and perhaps the most important part of the ceremony – Gutinia Kiande. The groom is supposed to cut the shoulder part of a goat’s limb into two. Supposing he is unable to and he asks one of his friends to assist him and the friend goes ahead and manages to make the cut, tradition has it that the man who managed to cut the shoulder is now the legal husband of the bride. Again, thank God that is in the past. I love this part because it is all about being pampered and being sang and whispered to all manner of sweet things just so that you can take a sip of the porridge that is served in a calabash. And that is how Ken got himself a bride in the customary tradition of the Agikuyu. I will try to get some photos from their white wedding in Vermont, USA and share them with you. I pray for abundant blessings for them and for God to be the center of the marriage.
Thanks for taking your time to read through the blog; I really appreciate it. Hasta Leugo !!!