Traditional Wedding Gifts In Tanzania

african gifts

When African girls in Tanzania, and especially those from the Ngoni tribe, are about to leave their parents ready to be married, they are given traditional wedding gifts that are generally items they will require to set up a future home. An African man will generally not cook, with all of their needs being provided for by their family. After marrying, he will move into a new home and his wife will take over the role of caring for him. She will therefore need to equip her house with all of the essentials like a bed, a mattress, cooking equipment etc. On the day that she leaves home, a daughter will hold a party to say goodbye to her family and neighbours. They will all give her a gift and explain how it is used, even if she is already familiar with many of these items and may well have used them frequently before. Here are some of the key items that are often given as traditional wedding gifts in Tanzania.
Tanzanian wedding and anniversary traditions vary very much from the European ones but it’s always useful to see a full and detailed list of all marriage anniversaries on other continents like America and Europe and get some inspiration from them!

Kijomela – this is a container which is used to drink the local brew

Mpasa – a mat made out of reeds used to dry foodstuffs like flour and cereals

Lisala – before buckets were introduced, a lisala was used to carry water and for preserving cereals so that they are not destroyed by pests

Chiviga – a type of cooking pot made out of lay, thought to preserve the natural flavour of food

Kibao cha Chapati – a small table that is used to make chapati or buns

Litefu – a mat that is used for sleeping and sitting as well as for the serving of food

Lituli – a wooden mortar made from a log, used to crush vegetables and grain

Mtwangilu – a wooden pestle used to crush items in the lituli

Kibao cha Mbuzi – used for grating coconuts to get coconut milk

Chipalu – a flat basket used to winnow husks from grain

Chiheneku – a flat, small basket

Chihulu – a large earthern pitcher or pot used to fetch water or keep the local brew

Likung’undu – a sieve

Mpundi – a paddle made out of wood for stirring porridge or rice

Kawa – a cone shaped cover for dishes to keep out dust and flies

Chigoda – a round chair with 3 legs

Ligela – a hoe for tilling the lan

Livhaghu – an axe to cut trees and to prepare firewood

Upao – a ladle made from wood used to lift liquid from a container

Mpyagilu – a broom

Lijiku – a charcoal stove

Lidengu – a basket

Lijamanda – a lidded basket, often used as a suitcase

Kipepeo – a hand fan for keeping away flies

Chihangaisho – a round, small mat

Mzamu – a support for the cooking pot

Mkambu – a container for bathing

Ndevhe – a calabash

Chipalu cha Watu – a tray used specially by couples

Mkele – an earthenware bowl

Kitunga – a bowl for serving fruit and bread

Get some inspiration from the videos here:

Felix & Theresia // Tanzania Wedding Film

Traditional Maasai Marriage Ceremony in Tanzania