The Importance Of Lobola

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Lobola is a payment of bride wealth or lobola1 is a significant element of marriage. The support of lobola practise was tempered by expressions of dissatisfaction or concerns with the institution of ilobola as to how it is currently practised, and differing conceptions concerning the status of women, argues Walker (1992: 57). Even though some people still support and believe in the custom of lobala, there are other factors to consider. Lobola is explained by rural women who indicate not feeling oppressed by the institution and regarded it positively, as part of their heritage, Walker (1992: 57). And besides lobolo being a custom, lobola makes some women feel valued and respected, Walker (1992: 58).
Some are of the argument that it had become
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As it was not merely bride price, but scholars came up with that concept. “One of the key functions of lobola that is highlighted in the literature is the relationship and bond it created between the families of the bride and the groom”, (Posel et al, 2011: 106). With the lobola payments creating a bond between the family members when the is a dispute between the couple family members do get involve also, as it is no longer a private thing but family bonds. The relationships between the two groups of relatives which continues past the death of the individual marriage partners, (Posel et al, 2011: 106), as the first payment would before the wedding and the remaining would be only due after the birth of a…show more content…
One can presume that this was before colonisation. This argument is based on the understanding of the close links between cattle in African society, and ancestral spirits and lineage. The economic payment of lobola was not seen to be the primary purpose of the practice, and in traditional Zulu culture, for example, a man who could not afford lobola could be permitted symbolically to count stones, and ask the father of the bride to agree to the marriage on the basis that the cattle paid for the groom’s first daughter would belong to the father-in-law, (Posel et al, 2011: 106). Meaning lobolo then was not necessarily about receiving cows between ones daughter is getting married but was about forming bonds. And in such a case, only one head of cattle needed to be slaughtered as a symbol for the ancestors to accept the newly married couple, which was the spiritual function found in lobolo.
From the aforementioned function of lobolo, this practise was used as a way of the fathers to select the wealthiest man for their daughters, argues Posel, (2011: 106). For instance “during the first half of the 1800s, the documented number of cattle paid for lobola in Natal rarely exceeded five. However, payments increased from the mid-1800s, rising to 10 head of cattle and then in the late 1860s to a possible 50 head of cattle for a commoner’s daughter and 100 for a woman of royal blood”, Posel et al (2011:

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