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Polygamy as practiced in the olden days west Africa

Updated on September 28, 2012

Polygamy as Practiced in the Olden days west Africa

Polygamy is the type of marriage practiced in olden days west Africa ,mainly because of the need to have many offspring who would assist in the farm.It was a status symbol and the higher the number of wives the greater the respect.



Polygamy as Practiced in the olden days West Africa

Polygamy the way it was done in West Africa

In those days when lizards where in sixes and sevens .When women could guess accurately the time of the day by looking at the shadows cast by the rays of the sun .In those distant past when the size of a man's barn :where he ties his yams and the numerical strength of his house- hold qualifies him as one of the wealthiest in the community . Polygamy was the most convenient practice.

All the wives of a great man are not married at the same time .It starts with the first wife who opens the flood-gate of children for the man. Until all the children in her womb became exhausted or until the gods say so .At this stage the man would approach the first wife and announce to her his intentions of getting a fresher damsel . The wife will gladly help out in the search for a second wife without any form of jealousy . This is because she would realize the need to get more children and helping hands in the ever increasing farm .As soon as the second wife arrives ,the baton of bearing children would be automatically transferred to her . This doesn't mean the man would abandon the first wife.Now, the job of house- hold chores will be divided among the two wives and whoever cooks for the family during the week also had the honor of sharing the husband's bed. In-order to avoid stirring the embers of jealousy ,the husband doesn't show any form of preference to the second wife ,at-least not in the presence of the first wife.The first wife takes her in her wings as her own daughter and teaches her a trick or two on how to make the man of the house happy

After many years and many children later,the second wife would also lose her "kick" or sex appeal because of frequent child bearing and hard farm work . This is where the real problem starts because the second wife would not like a situation where she would loose her long held favorite wife status.However ,since she has no say ,she has to like it or pretend to do so .House- hold chores would now be shared between the second and the third wife while the first wife takes up a form of advisory role .By this time the man is already getting old and the third wife would be there to mainly massage his aging bones. This means that most-times she makes the fewer number of children than the other wives

One remarkable thing about those days is that one can hardly identify which children are owned by which mother because they all share things in common and devours food irrespective of from which woman's pot it was coming from. Rancor and acrimony and petty jealousy was either suppressed or non-existent .

Bed time is the most interesting aspect in the life of a polygamist .After his dinner ,he would transport the food down with freshly tapped palm wine .A natural wine from the trees, so sweet and fresh ..After few minutes for the food to digest . He would spoon his freshly grounded tobacco leaves into his nose to spur him in the mood ,if you know what i mean . As this is happening the woman who cooked for day has gone to prepare his bed and get ready for her night to remember .

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