UMD NFLC Hausa Lessons/23 Women and Remarriage
- Lesson Title: Women and Remarriage - This is a description of the procedures for the remarriage of divorcees and widows.
- Language: Hausa
- Topic: Culture/Society
- ILR Level: 1+/2
- ACTFL Proficiency: Advanced-Mid, Advanced-Low, Intermediate-High; This ACTFL rating is an approximation based on the ILR level
- Modality: Reading
- Learning Objective: Maintenance & Improvement
- Subject Area: Language
- Material Type: LLO
- Publication Year: 2009
- ObjectID: T8RHA08
Idan auren mace ya mutu za ta fara shiga zawarci ne bayan ta gama idda, idan kuma mijin ta ya mutu, to sai bayan ta gama takaba. Idan tana zawarci mane ma za su dinga zuwa gidan su suna ganin ta domin ita yanzu ba budurwa ba ce balle ta dinga fita waje, inda za ta sadu da maneman ta a dandali. A bisa al'adar Hausawa bayan Musulunci, da zarar an yi wa yarinya aure ta zama matar kulle, kuma ko auren ta ya mutu ba zata kara fitowa waje ta yi yawo kamar da ba.
Idan bazawara ta fitar da Wanda take so daga cikin mane-manta sai ya aiko da dukiyar aure. Amma a wani lokaci mane ma da yawa sukan aiko da dukiyar su gidan iyayen bazawara, sai a karshe wanda ta nuna tana so a daura auren da shi a mayar wa da sauran kayansu. Idan iyayen bazawara sun yarda da wanda ta fitar, sai a aiki masa ya zo a daura musu aure. A wajen daurin auren akan bi ka'idoji dai dai da na budurwa. Misalin wajen waliyya da sadaki da sauran su.
Amma a wadansu wuraren idan an daura auren bazawara kafin a watse sai wakilan ango su zo gaban waliyyin amarya suce suna biko. Shi kuma bisa al'ada sai ya ce ya ba su. Watau ma'anar wannan shi ne tun daga ran nan za ta zo gidan ango ta yi 'yan kwanaki. Sa'an nan daga baya ta koma a gidan su kafin a sa ranar buki ta tare. Wasu suna kiran irin wannan zama "Kwanakin kwanta aure", wasu kuma su ce, "Zaman Ganin Hali".
Bayan 'yan kwanaki da daura auren kuma sai mijin ya shirya kayan lefe ya aiko da shi. Daga nan sai maganar sa ranar buki. Akan sa ranar ne dangane da kwanakin wata amma ba kayyadaddiyar rana ba. Amma a wasu wuraren matar da ta yi takaba idan za ta sake yin aure ranar Juma'a take tarewa. Idan ranar tarewa ta zo tun da hantsi sai a kawo kayan amarya, a wuni ana yi mata jere a daki. Idan magariba ta yi kuma sai mata dangin ango su tafi daukar amarya gidan iyayen amarya. Kafin su je, dama amarya da danginta sun shirya suna jiransu. Da zuwansu, sai dangin ta su hadu da dangin ango a kawo amarya 'dakinta. Da shigar amarya dakin ta, sai 'yan buki su fara watsewa, a hankali a hankali kafin a jima duk 'yan buki sun surare sun bar amarya ita kadai a dakinta. Bayan jimawa kadan sai ango ya shigo dakin amaryarsa. Wani lokaci zai taho da abokansa tare da kayan sayen bakin da ya yi tanadi zai ba ta. A wannan daran ango zai kwana a dakin amaryarsa ne.
Idan gari ya waye da sassafe sai ya bar dakin don matan 'yan wunin buki za su zo. A nan mata za su wuni suna shagali. Ana dafa musu abinci suna ci, wani lokaci har sukan gayyaci makada don su taya su shagalin buki. Idan an wuni da magariba sai 'yan wuni duk su watse, sai a bar amarya da ango, shagalin buki kuma ya kare.
Yawanci, bazawara, ranar da za ta tare tana tafiya da kayan gararta, da kuma kayan aikin tsakar gida. Watau irin su 'kore da murhu da tukunya, domin da zarar an gama wuni kashegari sai ta fara girki. Amma a wasu wuraren amarya takan kwana bakwai ko fiye da haka kafin a kawo mata gara da kayan aiki.
Wannan a takaice ita ce hanyar da akan bi wajen auren bazawara, ko bazawari ta aura ko kuma saurayi. Amma shi bazawari idan ya auri budurwa, to lallai ne sai an kama ta an sa ta a lalle, kuma duk irin kudin da 'yan mata kan karba wurin saurayi za su zo wurinsa, su karba. A takaice dai ita budurwar za a yi mata 'yan matanci daidai da yadda za a yi mata in ta auri saurayi.
The Remarriage of Divorced/Widowed Women
When a woman’s marriage ends, she enters into divorced/widowed status once she has completed the 130-day waiting period, or if her husband died, after she finishes the mourning period. When she is divorced or widowed, suitors usually come to her family’s house to see her because she is no longer a young, unmarried woman who would typically go outside where she might yield to her suitors in the open. According to Islamic Hausa custom, when a girl is taken into marriage, she becomes a kept wife, and even if her marriage ends, she can no longer go out and wander as she did before.
When the divorcée/widow decides which of her suitors she likes best, [she asks that] he send a wedding gift. But sometimes several suitors send a gift to the home of the parents of the divorcée/widow, and after she is married to the one for whom she has shown a preference, the rest of the gifts are returned. If the parents of the divorcée/widow approve of the man she chooses, then he is sent for, and he comes so that they can be married. The same rules apply to a young woman in the marriage ceremony: for example, regarding the woman’s representative in contracting the marriage, the payment that the groom presents to legally bind the marriage, and so forth.
However, in some places, when the marriage of a divorcée/widow takes place, before the guests leave, the groom’s representatives come before the bride’s representative and say they are intermediaries. And, according to custom, [the bride’s representative] then says he will give her to them. This means that starting on that day, she goes to the groom’s home to live for a while. Afterward, she returns to her family home before the date is set for the ceremony when she moves into her husband’s home. Some call this type of residence the “period of settling the marriage,” while others call it “staying to determine character.”
Several days after the marriage ceremony, the husband prepares the bridal gifts and sends them. Then it is just a matter of setting the date for the ceremony. As for setting the date, this corresponds to the days of the month, though not a fixed day of the week. But in some places, when a woman who has finished the mourning period marries again, she moves into her husband’s home on a Friday. When the day arrives for her to move into her husband’s home, the bride’s things are brought early in the morning, and by the afternoon her room is made up. In the late afternoon, the groom’s female relatives go to fetch the bride at the bride’s parent’s home. The bride and her relatives are already prepared and are waiting for them when they arrive. Upon their arrival, her relatives gather together with the groom’s relatives, and they bring the bride to her room. When the bride enters her room, the celebrants begin to disperse, and little by little, all of the celebrants quietly slip away and leave the bride alone in her room. After a little while, the groom enters his bride’s room. Sometimes he will come with his friends along with the gifts that he has prepared to give her. On this night, the groom will sleep in his bride’s room.
Early in the morning, he leaves the room to make way for the arrival of the women in the wedding party. Then the women will spend a day of merrymaking. Food will be cooked for them to eat, and sometimes they even invite musicians to help them with the ceremony festivities. After they have stayed through early evening, all of the visitors leave, and the bride and groom are left alone, and so the festivities come to an end.
Most of the time, on the day that she moves into her husband’s home, the divorcée/widow arrives with her wedding presents and her domestic belongings, like calabashes, cooking stones, and cooking pots, because she will begin cooking as early as the following day. But in some places, the bride stays for seven days or more before her wedding presents and household belongings arrive.
This, in brief, is the procedure that is followed for the marriage of a divorcée/widow, whether she marries a man who is remarrying or a young man who has never married. But when a divorced man or widower marries a young woman, then she is always caught and made up with henna, and whatever money the bride’s friends are to receive from a young man, they come to his place to receive it. In short, the young bride is made young again, exactly as she would be if she were marrying a young man.
|idda||the period a woman must wait before she is able to remarry
The point of the waiting period is to ascertain whether or not the woman is pregnant from her prior marriage.
|takaba||the period a widow must wait to remarry after the death of her husband
The waiting period for widows is usually a religious injuction; she is expected to mourn her husband by performing rituals such as staying indoors for a few months and wearing the same clothes.
|zawarci||process of being divorced|
|matan kulle||(lit: women that never go out) an expression to describe a full-time housewife|
|bazawara||a female divorcee or widow|
|mane-manta||the boyfriends or suitors of a woman|
|kwanakin kwanta aure / zaman ganin hali||the period in which couples live together to observe compatibility|
|magariba||(lit: sunset prayer) evening time|
|kayan sayen baki||the gifts the bridegroom and his friends give to the bride and her friends|
|gara||the foodstuffs the bride normally brings to the groom's house as a gift|
|kashe gari||used in some regions to refer to the next day|
|bazawari||a divorced man|
1. The Hausa Term for Divorced/Widowed
The Hausa language has a single term, bazawara (pl. zawarawa), to refer to a woman who is either divorced or widowed, reflecting distinct gender-specific roles and expectations in Hausa culture with regard to marriage. The male equivalent, bazawari, is not commonly used, and a divorced man or widower faces few if any status restrictions.
2. Hausa Marriage
According to the World Culture Encyclopedia, in Hausa society, one is expected to be married:
Once men begin to marry, they are rarely single despite divorce because most are polygamous; nearly 50 percent of the women are divorced at some point, but there is such pressure to be married and have children that they tend not to stay unmarried long. Important social distinctions identify women in terms of their marital status. By custom, girls marry at the age of 12 to 14. There is some disagreement in the literature regarding the respectful nature of singlehood. Divorce is a regular occurrence, not surprisingly, given the brittle and formal relationship between spouses. Both men and women have a right to divorce, but for men it is easier. After divorce, most weaned children are claimed by their father.
“Hausa, Marriage and Family.” (2008). World Culture Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 24, 2009, from http://www.everyculture.com/Africa-Middle-East/Hausa-Marriage-and-Family.html
3. More Information
For a historical perspective on changes in Hausa society regarding women and marriage, consult Kari Bergstrom’s “Legacies of Colonialism and Islam for Hausa Women: An Historical Analysis: 1804 to 1960” at the following link: