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The Journey to Paradise Photos of great cultural and natural beauties of Papua New Guinea

 
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Old 30-03-2002, 01:52 PM
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Tubusereia Village

Bride Price 2002:

Traditionally, Bride Price ceremonies have been going on for centuries.

Years ago, bride price used to consist of mainly:
  • Arm Shells
  • Food such as bananas, yams, pigs, fish etc.

Whereas today, money seems to be the key item families are expecting.

A typical bride's family in this village will receive on average approximately Kina K50,000 for the marriage of their daughter.

All family members of the groom, are requested in advance to save for his wedding.

Traditionally the groom's family, approach the bride's family and offer food together with a sum of approximately K1000.00 which in the Western Society would be known as an "Engagement"

If, the bride's family accept, they are then seen to be officially engaged in the eyes of the community.

The bride's family then plan for the eventual wedding usually in three to four months after the engagement.

The wedding then takes place, followed usually by a child in quick succession, followed by the bride price.

If no child is born into the family, the groom's family will still be required to pay bride price however the couple will then usually adopt from other family members such as cousins etc.

When the day arrives, the groom's family prepare a bamboo stick full of items such as saucepans, plastic ware, cups, grass knives, etc. which are then given to the parents of the bride. The parents of the bride will then decide if they wish to distribute amongst their relatives or keep for themselves.
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Old 30-03-2002, 01:56 PM
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Tubusereia Village

Bride Price Ceremony, March, 2002:

Female relatives of the bride, are requested to cook meals for the people who contribute to the bride price money.

From morning to night, these ladies prepare and cook and at the end of the day, they are given money from the groom's side of the family. Approximately K20.00 each plus a bag of rice and some bananas.
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Old 30-03-2002, 02:02 PM
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Tubusereia Village

Bride Price Ceremoney, March, 2002:

Before the big day, the groom's father sews onto a bamboo rod, various notes in preparation for the bride price:
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Old 30-03-2002, 02:06 PM
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Tubusereia Village

Bride Price Ceremony, March, 2002:

The groom's father is then given money from all his relatives, friends, work colleagues etc which is then counted, these days it seems with a computer, refer image attached:
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Old 30-03-2002, 02:09 PM
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Tubusereia Village

Bride Price Ceremony, March, 2002:

You will note that the grooms family all have the colour green as the days event. The material is purchased in advance, and items of clothing are sewn for family members and ones preparing the food etc.

Even the table the laptop is sitting on, has the same green material as the tablecloth:
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Old 30-03-2002, 02:17 PM
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Tubusereia Village

Bride Price Ceremony, March, 2002:

This particular 'Bride Price Ceremony' was in celebration of:

Bessie Iubu and Nick Loi

The amount of K50,000 was raised and handed over to the bride's parents.

The amount was then distributed again amongst the bride's mother and father's family relatives.

The bride's family members are also compensated for the cost of preparing the food for the bride price. They usually end up with double the amount they originally spend to purchase the food.


Family members relaxing after the bride price ceremony was completed.
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Old 20-04-2002, 01:34 PM
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Marry for love, not bride price

Letter to the editor, The National Newspaper, April, 19, 2002:

BRIDE price, from my point of view, is the exchange of goods and shell money for a bride. Even though I am from PNG, I'd like to let you know that I think it isn't necessary.

Of course, I know that there are other points to consider in this topic, especially that it is a part of our traditional background, and the elders prefer if it were carried on by us, the new generation. And don't think that I have now been influenced by the modern world.

Often we hear parliamentarians, leaders, and elders say that this country, PNG, is a Christian country, but if we really look at ourselves, we still continue on with our own beliefs, and traditional lifestyles.

The Bible talks about marriage in the church, and the bride and groom exchange vows as a sign of love in their village. I think this is better than having an arrangement marriage, and getting paid for, in other words this means getting married because of money. I think, getting biblically married is better than being sold by my parents, to a groom that I don't even know.

Sometimes the marriage is arranged before hand, when the bride and groom have been marked for each other in their early teens, and they have no choice but to get married.

I think that this shouldn't be done because the parents of the bride and groom are forcing them to love each other. How are they supposed to love each other and how are they supposed to make up a good relationship in their future life?

This is what happened to my mum's friend. She had an arranged marriage, and she really hated it. It took her months and years, to love him deeply, and it wasn't only hard for her but hard for him also.

After being traditionally married for four years, they had a child. Now they have three children. And they're starting to have a good family life, finally. Of course, the bride price was paid for, and the amount of it was K37,000, with two pigs and other raw materials.

I'd like to get the point across, that it isn't really necessary for bride price to be paid because it's better if they get married in the church, and also it's better in the long run.

The bride and the groom have the right to choose their partner, and need to love each other in order to raise a good family.
It isn't really necessary, it's the love between them that's important. Not because the groom's family is rich and wealthy. But if it's still continued, it's best if the couple love each other, and then it must be carried on as it was in the early days when money wasn't even considered.

Concerned Citizen
Port Moresby
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