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Marriage Custom Of The Abyssinians

( Originally Published Late 1800's )

The Abyssinians, who for the most part profess Christianity, have a custom which, as far as I can learn, is peculiar to themselves. When they marry, the father of the bride makes a present to the bridegroom of money, movables, or cattle, according to his circumstances, and the nuptials are celebrated by the relations of both parties with much festivity and mirth. On the next morning the bridegroom, if dissatisfied with the match, takes a cup with a small hole in the bottom, which he covers with his finger, and pours in some wine and other liquor, which he presents to the father of the bride ; when the father has taken hold of the cup, he removes his finger from the hole, and the liquor runs out. There is no conversation on the subject, but this is sufficient to inform all the company present that the young lady has been frail before marriage. The father takes his daughter and her dower home, and the marriage is declared null and void. On the contrary, if the bridegroom presents the father with a perfect cup, and they drink together, it denotes the entire approbation of the parties, and they are ever after looked upon as man and wife.

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