Taking a wife in hausa land usually begins with what is known as ”Na gani ina” meaning , i like what i see . At this stage the grooms family and friends accompany the groom to visit the family of the bride ,this is usually an all men affair, the family and friends( men only) take with them some gifts to the bride’s parents house ,fruits and kolanut must be included. The gifts can either be accepted or rejected by the brides’s father. If the gifts are accepted by the brides father the groom is then permitted to see the bride.
The traditional marriage ceremony among the Hausa tribe is not time consuming and expensive to that of the Igbo and Yoruba tradition.
When a man sees a girl he wants to marry, he will first seek permission from the girl’s parents. The family of the girl will then conduct on the man to ascertain his religious beliefs, moral, ethics and other related things with his background. He can see the girl only if he meet the girl’s parents expectation.
The man is not allowed to stay for a long period of time with the girl or have physical contact with her according to the Hausa custom.
Once the girl accepts the marriage offer, the man sends his parents or relatives to seek permission of the girl’s parents in marriage. “Gwaisu” is a formal form of approval from the family of the bride to the groom. The groom will pay the bride price to the bride’s family starting from the minimum amount called “Rubu Dinar” in Hausa, an Arabic phrase translated as “quarter kilogram of gold” to the highest amount the man can pay, then the two families will set the wedding date.
The setting of the date is called “Sarana”. The groom’s family will provide a house for the couple while the bride’s family will furnish the house. The wedding date is called Fatihah. It is the date of solemnization of the two families and the payment of the dowry is referred to as Sadaki. Women are not expected at the wedding, they stay indoor preparing the bride.
The wedding reception is called Walimah, it is usually held after Fatihi and is a whole day ceremony with foods and drinks. After the ceremony, the bride is taken to the groom’s house to begin her new married life.