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The Alambamento
Alambamento

The alambamento is a traditional ceremony in the Angolan culture and required when young people love each other and want to live together. Is the second step after the groom's presentation to the family of the bride, and is the moment of delivery of the dowry required by the family of the future wife, accompanied by food, drink, music and advice from both parties addressed to the bride and groom.


Alambamento or Request is much more important event than the civil or religious marriage and consists in asking the hand of the girl to her family, more properly to her uncle who has a key role to the marriage to happen.

When the young couple of lovers decide to marry it’s necessary to have the bride family authorization and that's only possible if, during the application, everyone agrees that the wedding should happen. The young couple calls the day of the request, but the date is arranjed by the aunt and uncle of the bride, because it is necessary to gather the whole family. Is handed to the groom a list containing several thing for him to get until the day of the request.

After the "alambamento" day is scheduled the groom leaves in search for all the goods in the list he received from the bride’s uncle, and it’s better to don't miss anything. What can be included in this list? First an envelope with money, around 300, 400, 500 USD, it depends on what the uncle of the bride stipulate. The list continues with the height of the bride in beer cases, the height of the bride on juice or cokes pallets, 1 goat, a gold chain, a suit, shoes and traditional cloths for the mother.

When the day comes the groom's family goes to the bride's house and her uncle, as if it were a judge, introduce all to each other and informs that it will initiate the marriage proposal. The bride's parents invite the groom's parents and uncle began to reading the request made by the groom. If the father of the bride agrees with the request, the groom will have to pick up the "alambamento", IE, that list of things that he brought together. The "alambamento" is displayed and if everything is ok is made a meeting to set a wedding date and other details of logistic nature. After that, there is a loto f singing and dancing (it is no coincidence that beer and cokes cases appear in the list). From this day forward, if all goes well, the unmarried couple become husband and wife.

Sometimes the groom is placed in front of three women fully covered with cloths and he must find out who’s his wife, if he misses he have to pay some monetary value until he finds.

The alambamento is nothing more than the payment of the hand of the bride. The role of the uncles is as or more important than the parents, because the uncles are also responsible for the education of the bride.