The Story of Lobola
The practice of paying "Lobola" (or Lobolo) as part of the marriage process is a tradition in many South African cultures including Xhosa, Zula, Swazi and Ndebele. Lobola is essentially the "bride price" that the prospective groom must pay to the bride's family in order to enter into marriage. For centuries cattle has formed the primary currency of Lobola but more recently, cash plays a significant role. However, often, even the cash amount is tendered by way of establishing the price of a cow and how many cows would have been given.
Other gifts are also formally requested and agreed to during the negotiations and clothing and blankets very often are in high demand!
Interestingly, historically the lobola negotiations are attended not by the bride and groom, but by their families, and most often, by the men in the family. Besides simply coming to a financial agreement, this ritual is said to form a bond between the two families. During the negotiations families who otherwise may not have met, come together to meet and spend time with each other.
Blankets and Weaves has created the Nguni Blanket to celebrate the natural beauty of these cows - often the cattle negotiated during Lobola. The Nguni Cow is also symbolic of marriage - being hardy, adaptable, strong and fertile creatures. Our Luxury Black and White Nguni Blanket and our Royal Purple and Amasi Cream Nguni Blanket help tell the story of this tradition and make very special wedding gifts!