When it comes to marriage, aunties and uncles are known to be influential on whoever the spouse brings home. However, for the Banyankole people in Southwestern Uganda, the aunt has more influence than the above, especially during marriage.
With this tribe, it is the primary responsibility of the aunt to confirm that the groom is potent and ensure the bride has defended her virginity before the marriage is complete. As a test for potency for the groom, it is required of the aunt to sometimes have sex with the groom for confirmation of his potency and virginity.
More so, she is expected to “test” if the bride is still a virgin before they are allowed to complete their marriage. While in other traditions, its compulsory for the aunt to spectate the bride and groom have sex in order to prove the couple’s potency.
Notwithstanding how this practice might look or sound weird, it depicts how the people of Banyankole, particularly the Bahima tribe hold virginity in high regard.
According to the people of Banyankole, when a girl is eight, she goes through a lot of restrictions to prepare her for marriage. In other words, when her peers from other cultures are out having fun and playing, a girl in this part of Uganda is mostly indoors, where she is fed with beef and millet porridge and forced to drink milk in large quantities so that she becomes fat.
Unlike other tribes where being fat is a disease, in Banyankoles, beauty is synonymous to being fat. As soon as she begins to develop breasts, she is also asked by her parents to abstain from sexual activities.
Part of the father’s responsibility is to find a wife for his son as he pays the bride price which consists of some cows, goats and pots of beer, though, it depends on how rich the person is.
Once the bride price is paid, the marriage preparations commences. On the wedding day, there are several preparations which take place at the bride’s home which includes, where the father is expected to slaughter a bull.
More so, at the bridegroom’s home, there is another feast where the marriage is completed. Although ,this is after the bride’s aunt has “tested” her niece’s purity and slept with the groom to ascertain his potency.