Hadandawa Wedding Traditions

Hadandawa Wedding Traditions

By: Al-Hidai Ahmed

Khartoum, Jan.3 (Sudanow)-Anthropologist, Amal Hasaan Fadalla a graduate of University of Khartoum has authored a book containing 233 pages entitled (honor, Fertility, foreignness and regeneration in Eastern Sudan). The researcher in her book highlights the reflection of honor, fertility, foreignness and reproduction issues on woman community of Hadnadawa tribe with special reference to those living in Sinkat town and surrounding areas.

The researcher takes the woman as case study on the assumption that the woman is biologically and socially linked to honor, fertility and reproduction issues highlighted in the study.

The tribe members are very keen of their traditions and legacy to the extent that they fear dealing with outsiders whatever are they, the anthropologist said.  

 They believe on the importance of protecting soil and honor against cultural invasion and the spoil of ethnic purity since their area is situated on red sea outlet and crossing points which are leading to a number of areas occupied by tribes such as Bani Amir and others, argued Aamal.

The intermarriage is socially rejected on ground that they believe a Hadndawa man must get married from the same tribe as part of social responsibility to preserve legacy and the land of ancestors.

Aamal spotted out that Hadndawa tribe wedding traditions include clear gender discrimination against women. 

According to the wedding traditions the selection of a bride requires that she must be  responsible of observing rights and obligations of the new family and bringing up of  children according to traditions of the tribe.

The wedding traditions is called Al-Sinkab.

 The Sinkab is two packages of         (Doum) palm leaves prepared by a group of eminence ladies from the groom family. 

These ladies are selected for this job because they are famous of maintenance of marital life and have reproduced many male children and few females besides observing well brought up of children.

As part of wedding preparations the group of the ladies are supposed to decorate the two packages with Beads and the red silks.

The caravan of Sinkab starts moving from the mother of the groom’s Khaima (tent) with songs and ululation performed by beautiful girls and the blessing of Sharifa Mariam tomb (a descendant of Al-Merghani). 

Following the arrival of the caravan to the Khaima of the bride the guests are served with food made of milk and dates.  Afterwards the caravan goes seven time around the new marital life house (Khaima) and the two packages are put at the entrance of the new Khaima.    

The celebration continues and reaches the peak point after the bride is taken to her groom. 

The anthropologist Amal  went on to say; if the pregnancy occurs in shorter period of time and the new born baby is male the wife gets a guarantee to continue her marital life and seeks to continue regenerates reproduction.

If her luck is that she reproduces females or she has been unfertilized woman she would be exposed to divorce or at least her husband gets married to another wife.

 It seems likely that the issue of gender discrimination starts in the very beginning of pregnancy and immediately after the birth date, noted, Amal.  

She explained that the born boy  placentais celebrated with and it receives high appreciation and it is being hang on the top of a thorny tree for the protection of the boy from the evil spirits.

 The girl placenta is not treated with the same appreciation of the boy. It is only being buried in an open area near the Khaima of her mother.  

She stressed that the Hadandawa tribe members don’t connect the infertility to the man. They attribute it to a blemish with the woman for reasons connected to evil spirits. They try to treat the blemishes through traditional means and not by going to doctors.

In case of repeated miscarried and the death of infants the Hadandawa named their children after names form outside of the Hadandawa familiar names. This they think could drive away the devil spirits which they believe are causing infants’ death and miscarried problems. 

The tribe is engaged in breeding camels and goats for their livelihoods.

The Hadandawa tribe according to the anthropologist uses the Biga colloquial language as means of communication and embrace Islam as a religion. They are also considered sincere followers to Khatmeya sect, noted Aamal.

The modernity and winds of change.

The ecological change that takes place in red sea area has impacts on social construction and livelihood at the Hadandawa area   . Likewise according to Aamal the modernity represented in the providing of services such as highways, railways network and Port Sudan harbor which inked a number of cities have become beacons of civilization.

This modernity contradicts with Bedouin life values which are known of being closed to themselves and suspect dealing with outsiders.

Nevertheless the factor of modernity and winds of change as it seen by Anthropologist Amal would lead in the end to communication between Handndawa local community and outsiders. 

The communications should gradually contribute to reshaping issues of honor and dealing with others in a civilized way, concludes Amal.

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