See This Tribe In Zambia Where The Bride’s Family Must Feed The Groom With Assorted Meals! See WHY!! • illuminaija
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See This Tribe In Zambia Where The Bride’s Family Must Feed The Groom With Assorted Meals! See WHY!!

See This Tribe In Zambia Where The Bride’s Family Must Feed The Groom With Assorted Meals! See WHY!!

In Zambia, specifically among the Bemba people, they have various customs that happen before marriage. First, there’s secret counseling for the bride called Bana Chimbusa. 


This is followed by Icilanga Mulilo which has the bride’s family making different dishes for the groom’s family. This is done as a preview into what the groom will eat when he’s married to their daughter. Then there’s the Ama Shikulo, which is the official merging of the two families. The nation of Zambia has 73 tribes with the Bemba being the largest, making up approximately 36 percent of the population. 

See This Tribe In Zambia Where The Bride’s Family Must Feed The Groom With Assorted Meals! See WHY!!

They have a unique history and a fascinating culture. This is an introduction to Zambia’s Bemba tribe. The Bemba tribe migrated into Zambia from the Luba Kingdom (present-day Democratic Republic of Congo) during the Bantu Migration, which took place between the 15th and 17th centuries. 

Legend has it that the chief of the Luba tribe, Mukulumpe, married a woman named Mumbi Lyulu Mukasa who was of the crocodile clan (known as the Ng’andu clan). She had sons called Chiti, Nkole, and Katongo who fled the Luba kingdom after a dispute. They took with them followers and their sister Chilufya. 

See This Tribe In Zambia Where The Bride’s Family Must Feed The Groom With Assorted Meals! See WHY!!

The bride-to-be’s family prepares foods and beverages and delivers it to the groom. This is to introduce him to the foods he is likely to eat in his new home and serves as an open invitation to dine with the bride’s family during the courtship. 

Traditionally a groom is forbidden from eating in the bride’s parents or guardian’s home before this symbolic gesture. The foods, both exotic and familiar, are presented one by one. And it is explained that these are foods the bride will later prepare in their home. 

This occasion, other than being a “showcase” of the bride’s menu, also symbolizes that the groom is responsible for the welfare of his bride from then on. He can now assume the responsibilities of taking care of his bride’s financial needs. They also allow the bride at this stage to cook and doing laundry for the groom. 

The Bemba have many myths, mostly associated with water bodies. For instance, the residents near the Chishimba Falls believe that there is a spirit called Mutumuna consisting of a brother and sister who are believed to have fallen from the sky. 

Like all other tribes in Zambia, the Bemba eat the staple national dish of ‘nshima’, which is maize meal accompanied by vegetables and a protein. 

The dish is accompanied by a beverage made from fermented roots and maize meal called ‘munkoyo. They serve this in place of juice or water to guests. The Bemba also brew a beer called ‘katubi’, or ‘Chipumu’.

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