Hausa fashion is very much understated yet classy and elegant. It gets spicier with the Hausa Traditional Wedding attire which is nothing below rich. If you are a Hausa bride looking for inspiration for a traditional wedding outfit or you’re a fashion enthusiast with interests in the Hausa culture, the pictures below feature some of the best Hausa wedding styles that you can make your pick from.
The traditional wedding events and attire vary across the different ethnic groups and subgroups in Nigeria. They are also based on region and belief system. Hausa brides from the eastern, southern, and western regions have similarly patterned outfits which we have pictured in this post. Most importantly, the bride’s dresses and of her bridesmaids are tailored to fit the theme and design of the banquet hall. Which would of course be in an Hausa style.
How Is Marriage Done In Hausa Land?
Hausa Traditional Marriage Rites
The Hausa traditional marriage is primarily based on Islamic rites, and does not take up so much time as opposed to what obtains in many other cultures. After the religious wedding ceremony (Nikkhai), the traditional wedding rite follows suit.
The traditional nuptial events may take up to a week starting with a wedding Fatiha and concluding with the main wedding reception. The following are notable events that take place within the stipulated week:
1. Kayan Zance
For the wedding proposal, the groom’s family are expected to provide the following items for the bride and her family: Furniture, Kitchen wares, Fabrics, Beauty Products/Cosmetics, Underwear, Shoes, and Money in Cash (Kudin Gaisuwa), among others.
Gaisuwa is the formal approval of the groom given by the bride’s family. It is here that a bargain for the bride’s dowry begins. The usual bride price starts from ‘Rubu Dinar’ which means ‘quarter kilogram of a gold piece’. It is considered the minimum amount the groom can afford.
This low bride price is preferred since Islamic teachings noted that “the lesser the amount paid as the bride’s dowry, the more blessings that will come to the marriage”.
Sadaki follows at the next visit which is the payment of the dowry, during which a wedding date is fixed. The date-setting process for the Hausa traditional marriage is called Sarana.
If the couples are wealthy enough, the groom’s family may be asked to provide a house for the couple while the bride’s family furnishes it. If the bride’s family cannot fully furnish the house, they would be asked to at least provide equipment and facilities to be used in the bedroom and kitchen.
2. Wedding Fatiha (Daurin Aure)
The most significant event of the Hausa wedding ceremony is the Fatiha. Here, a representative from the groom and bride’s family exchange vows for the couples. This is unlike many other cultures in Nigeria where the bride and groom exchange vows themselves.
The exchange of vows is officiated by a priest in the presence of the wedding guests, after which prayers are offered for the new couple and their home.
3. Wuni (Sa lalle)
You can consider this as the bridal shower for the Hausa bride. During this event, the bride spend some time with the female members of the family and her friends in her father’s house.
As part of the event, every lady in the house gets painted with henna designs on their hands, and legs. However, the designs for the friends and family would not be as elaborate as that for the bride.
4. Kamun Amariya
This part is more fun than any of the previous events. Kamu Amariya means to catch the bride, so, the groom’s family has to “catch the bride”. This is one of the oldest Hausa wedding traditions that still stands to date. And for the groom’s family, to get the bride, they would have to negotiate with the bride’s friends to release her to them. The wedding reception follows after this.
5. Sayan Baki
The Sayan Baki does not occur throughout the Northern tribes. It is done to add more glam and fun to the wedding ceremony. It is a negotiation between the groom’s men and the bridesmaids, for the amount to be paid before the bride can speak to her groom.
6. Kai Amariya
Though a grand reception (Walimah) featuring lots of entertainment including dances and food may take place; this is the last event of the Hausa Traditional Wedding rites. Prayers and advice are offered to the newlyweds. After which, the bride is escorted by her friends and family to the groom’s family and her matrimonial home
Hausa Traditional Wedding Attire For The Groom
The Hausa groom wears Babanriga or Agbada with unique print embroidery in mostly white, gold, and blue colours. They pair this outfit with a tangaran cap.
Traditional Hausa Dresses For The Bride
An Hausa bride may wear a lace dress, Ankara material, or Aso oke outfit. The Bridal traditional attire of the Hausa tribe is usually so exotic at the marriage engagement that they never go unnoticed. Hausa brides may wear their hair in gel hairstyles, and then add beautiful colours with African ornaments.
Among the many accessories that the Hausa brides adorn themselves with, the traditional body art is quite distinctive. This body art also known as Lalli is drawn on the hands and feet of the bride and her bridal train.
This Lalli though known as a traditional tattoo is not like the conventional body tattoo which is permanent. Lalli stays for only a couple of days, weeks, or months. How long the tattoo would last would depend on the ingredients and materials used to prepare the dye. It also depends on how often the bride’s hands and feet come in contact with water.