How to court a girl in the ancient Ron culture

benjamin_matawal.jpgThe following text in the Bokkos dialect of Ron was written down by Mr. Benjamin Dapel Matawal (seen here on a picture together with his family) in 1999. It is a description of the traditional customs surrounding courtship and marriage among the Ron.

Wom ti Yamwan i Kunggo

Ai hwer a dee kaa’ har, u ni, “nna a mumbori a munza asun, nna amarei ma wa mute i mwen”. Aɗeng ima kyan ute hati, a ɓur ti myatat.

Maai aɗengi tyai a ti ɓur ti myatati ti wa maleng hwak niin wom ti yamwani, tyai andi nna maɗufali ɓwet mbori fwet, unai u ka’ hari ɓa si wis malu’ ima si wis mute i gung ti kul.

Ayis nai wom ti yamwan kof mute ti hwer i som mukan i Murwi’ (Alis i Ron).

Ka’ ti har a huhur i kunggo i som mukan i mute ti hwer, ima kawa ɗingi te akat sin hu kunggo i mwashi.

Unai nna maɗufali tuu ka’ hari, unai u yes ti mbar ta kum u shu ti hai, ta hai u ɗor na lo’.

Unai arof i wur si wa si ka’us ti, yis shwai sut ti hai; ɓur tima sin hwak si wis mbari ta si cu ta ɓur ti yamwani.

Deehi maasi andi ɓur ti al ames.

Nna niin zalangi yes, ɓa u fwaahut unai si lakus ɗeng tuu tongus.

Naasut ti yit ali, ti wa ɗi ti kaporok ti wa ti ɗing ti wur i dees i ali.

Unai dees i ali u lefut sufat, u ɓak ti, si ɗiit ɓwayi si riɓinuti, ɗak si fat ɓwayi makwiyi ti hum ti kel ta wur.

Niin wa ɗing ti wuri a naasut ti ali ahwet, niin myani si wa hu camam amet.

Unai niin mweni dees i ali ma wa lai ti myayus si wa si han naasut ti ali (kaasus ndai) a han ta.

Niin mweni u wa ahwesi, u masut bum i ɗama niin ta hwak, musut i roha mi si lai i washat.

Takfai ti andi, maawa ti loi cwa.

Maɗufali ma wa ka’ ti sufat i wii wur, tutwi njal shiken, u lef, u ɗi, u riɓin, u shu i mbar fwet, u wa ti ɓwai kaa sus, unai u wa ta taba i lul ti sufati ndai.

Maasi andi kof kin ti ɓwi manderei ta ngga’ ima yis zalangi mawa yus munggwya ti yamwani kwa.

Nna zalangi yes nggwetut, tasi mute ti hwer siwa kinsus kpak u kunggwot.

Wash amet (dees i zalangi) maawa han ti fo’ u shu ta kukwal apilal mbayai u wai ya, ima wai ya ta fisha ani i kaya nai, ɓur ti yamwani ti cu ti nyeti.

Nna yamwani ti nye ti nggwetus, ti wit re ti, ta kel niin ta kel ɗeng, shak ɗamam ima si masi hwer ani, si wa mbe’ ti ɗamami, si tol ɗamam ani si shang mute hiyang ames.

Myan ima som re met i yamwani si yes tal ti sufat ameti, unai hu deet nna si mat sufat ameti si hum ti kel ti sufat ta ɗamami, shak ima ai sin maatani ta kel i zalang i ɗawom.

A zalang mu njengani si wa mat ti ɗamami ta sufati, unai nna zalangi si mat fo’i, si ɗingi ta saa ti sufat i tal ti sufat ameti, unai si tang ta wi ima si ɗingi si ɗatus, mma si toos unai deet i ali u hyai ti sufat ames i haisus.

Nna ti wa ti mba mute i kunggoi wet, ta kel ima ti njini ti haisut, ahon aɗeng amet niin kinut ɗak?

Nna ti ni tiyut wa muhum ta kel i zalang amet i wom i hwer, unai yit kong ti ɓor maɗufal ima ai kinut ti njin ɗeng matang ani yis ima ti ɓorus ya ani, si layus ii ma cwai ti kwinik, shushwat i rafat ti mute i kunggo i wom ani ma wa yus muhum kel hai. Nna wa’ fwal shwai ya kwa, tirim i munggwya ti ɗiyai ma wa mulang ta saa, ɓur tima ai cu kwinik amet i ali.

Niin nna yit aalan ti fe sin yus mwatan, ma wa kinsut muhum kel ta kel i zalang amet i wom ani, niin nna ti al fe sin yus mwaatan ngang, unai si ni re met i wom i bya’ ani no’ut fo hai, ma wa kinsut muhum kel ta kel i zalang i wom.

Niin nna ti josut ta ɓa ti humut kel ta kel i zalang amet i wom kek, unai yis u wa u tal sufat amet, wa’ mbe’ ti ɗamam ima ai i hwer ani tak ɗawom wi.

Mai tyai a ti nna zalang i wom yis ɗiri ɓwet sut ndai, nna munggwya wa lang ta saa yus ti kwa, ɓur ti ai si zanut ti njeng si titalus ti, ayis nai kunggoi ma wa muhum ta wa’ wis ti tirim.

Courtship of a girl

In the olden days, a father would take a vow upon a pregnancy and say: “If it is a girl, she will be my daughter in law, if it is a boy, he will be my friend.” The reason why this was done was because of friendship.

The reason why it used to happen like this is so that their friendship will be prolonged. Another vow for courtship used to be like this: if the man loves the woman very much, then he will “catch the pregnancy” so they will have a blood-relation through that child.

This is how courtship shows the ancient way of life of our Murwi’ (Ron) people.

Courtship about pregnancy is the foundation of marriage of our ancestors, which we will find different from the present way of marrying.

Now if a man has made the treaty, he will bring palm oil in a pumpkin and pour it upon her from her head down.

Then the women of the house will go and take away the oil while he is pouring it on her, so that they will also share in the blessing by taking the palm oil.

The father does it on behalf of his son.

If another boy comes to befriend her, they will tell him that someone has already been there.

The mother in law will cook beans, and take it to see the house of the father of the child.

Then the father of the child will slaughter a sheep for her. They will divide it: part will be cooked for her in a traditional way, mixing it with beniseed and oil, the raw part will be given to her to take home.

Sometimes it will be only the mother in law visiting the son in law’s house, sometimes she will go with her friends.

Sometimes the father of the son will call his friends to go with him and farm for the mother in law.

Sometimes he will go alone to help her in any work again, this type of work is called “washat”.

After this, he brings meat in large quantity.

The man will take one of his domestic animals – sheep or goat – slaughter it, cook it, mix it with a lot of palm oil, and take it to the mother in law’s house, then as he reaches there, he will inquire the dowry.

Doing like this shows consolidating the hope that the future son in law will not reject the girl.

If the boy refuses to take the girl, according to the traditional way of life they will force him to marry her.

The father in law (the boy’s father) will farm acca and will fill two big bags to the brim and overflowing to the ground. The acca which overflows to the ground is for the old men, the two bags are for the girl to feed on and grow.

If the girl grows up and refuses him and finds another man, all the things which they did from the beginning will be calculated to know the total of all these things.

At the time when the people of her husband come to pay the dowry, when her father receives the dowry, they will refund all the things they have been receiving from the one who was making the courtship.

Only strong youths will go and receive the dowry items. Then if the youths receive the acca, they will look at the flock for the paying of her dowry, they will select the ones that look good to them. If the number is not complete, the father of the daughter will fill up the number with his own sheep.

(This will happen) If she can not stay married in the place which she chose for herself, or one of her people forced her.

If she says she will return to her former boyfriend of courtship, then she can reveal the person who forced her destiny of marriage to change. That person will be exposed, they will call him bewitcher, the shame of disappointment of the marriage will return on him, if he does not ask forgiveness, the trouble of continuous hatred in the family will start because of that bewitcher.

Sometimes if she has given birth to unhealthy children it will cause her to return to her former boyfriend of courtship, or if she gives birth to dying children, then they will say to her, your former boyfriend is annoyed of you, and it can cause her to return.

Sometimes if she decides to return to her former boyfriend, then he can go and pay her dowry, without bringing back those things he had collected away before.

This happens if the boy still has love for her, if hatred has not come between them, because she was forced to run away with someone, then the marriage will be restored without having trouble.

2 responses to “How to court a girl in the ancient Ron culture

  1. Pingback: Uwe Seibert’s Ron-Kulere Meeting Place | Réseau Méga-Tchad • Mega-Chad Research Network

  2. Seriously, this is so complicated processes

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