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Dec 11, 2006

Ramblings on Lobola and Apocalypso

The courts here in SA recently legalised same-sex marriages amidst a furore from religious communities in SA. In light of this, I found this M&E cartoon extremely funny and satirical.

The definition 'lobola' can be found here. Contrary to the Indian custom (dowry) where the bride's family contributes to the wealth of the newly weds, the southern African custom of lobola works vice-versa. The husband (and perhaps his family) shows his commitment to the wedding by paying the bride's family.

I've tried researching the history behind these customs, but haven't really had any luck. It would be quite interesting to see how (and more interestingly, why) these traditions came about. I'm surprised lobola didn't work out the same way as the dowry system (the flow of payment, I mean) given the male-dominated culture that was inherent in early native African life.

I'm really looking forward to Mel Gibson's film Apocalypso. Its based on the ancient Mayan civilisation that existed for almost 1000 years, but suddenly (given the time frame) ceased to exist with ancient Mayan religious sites and pyramids the only proof of their existence.

Theorists blame the geographical and political catalysts behind their sudden disappearance. Mel's apparantly attempting to highlight similarities between this and the USA of today.

Hmmm... Can't wait to formulate an opinion... :)

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