Acholi Cultural Institution Revises Requirements for Bride Price

Following complaints over exorbitant bribe price demanded by parents in Acholi before women are given away in traditional marriages, Ker Kwaro Acholi, the Acholi cultural institution has set a standardized traditional marriage requirement for its subjects.

The requirement states that a man can pay between 3-5 Million Shillings in bride price (lim akumu) in addition to six cattle, six goats, a lamp, paraffin, laundry bar soap, bathing soap, matchbox, susceptance (nwyal ber) and stool for the father of the bride.

Other requirements include a gomesi, cigarettes, suit for the bride’s father, a goat for the bride’s uncle, goat for the mother-in-law, goat for the bribe aunt, a spear (tong) or 10,000 Shillings, hen (gwen) and obal tic (200,000 Shillings).

And in case it has come to knowledge of the elders that the man was involved in premarital sex with the bribe, he will be fined 2 Million Shillings. If the premarital sex resulted into a child or children being born, a man must bring two head of cattle. In total, the family of the bridegroom will part with close to 10 Million Shillings to the marry the woman.

But the requirements can be paid within a period of two years, according to Ker Kwaro.

Before the rates from Ker Kwaro, parents of brides were at liberty to ask for any amount from the parents of the man interested in marrying their daughter.

Rwot Collins Muttu Atiko II of Patiko Chiefdom says the new requirements for traditional marriage address the exorbitant bribe price being charged by parents for their daughters.

The Chief described the current cost of traditional marriage in Acholi sub region as daylight robbery.

Rwot David Onen Acana II, the Acholi paramount Chief says as an institution, they were forced to come up with a uniform rate for bride price and requirements for traditional marriage following the overwhelming complaints from his subjects.

According to Rwot Acana, the majority of youth who visited his palace were bitter that they are unable to marry their future wives because of the high bride price.

The news of the bylaw on bride price has been welcomed with excitements.

Benson Otika, the Chairperson Ayom clan said the new rate from Ker Kwaro is a relief to young men who have been struggling to marry.