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Wedding Preparations
Binary Oppostition
The Wagogo Tribe
Binary Oppostition



As one can begin to get a sense of who the Wagogo people are, one can also begin to establish the binary opposition seen in this tribe. Throughout the lifer of a Wagogo tribe member they experience many stages that lead them to being accepted in the community or within the tribe or neighborhood. The many stages thought the different tribe members lives are all a part of the preparations for a marriage. Although these stages are all the same for the Wagogo tribe members they become different when their gender is taken into consideration. This is here the binary opposition can be truly seen. In preparation for a marriage there are many elements of marriage that must be taken into consideration. For example where the couple will be living, how and when they will start a family, when the ceremony will take place, and where the ceremony will take place, and so many other minor and major aspects of a marriage and/ or wedding ceremony. Throughout all of these preparations the work and time is equally divided amongst both parties of the marriage. This is seen mostly in the metropolitan lifestyle or just in other groups or cultures throughout the world. In the Wagogo tribe although some of the preparations are equal a lot are not. For example when the genders in the Wagogo tribe reach puberty although being a preparation for marriage they are both treated differently. When a man gets circumcised he is very well taken care of. Thy build him a shelter to recover in and even is allowed visitors of the opposite sex. But on the other hand, however, when a girl reaches puberty and has her first menstruation she is not taken as well care of as that of how a man is when he is circumcised. She is not built a shelter but told to go tout to a sandy area so that the sand socks the blood up. When she returns to her neighborhood she is taken into her home where she is taken care of but unlike when the man has been taken care of she is not allowed visitors of the opposite sex, only women are allowed to visit her at this time in her like to share and give her advice for her soon life as a married women. The binary opposition in this case is that there is no equal treatment of both make and female. The male is seen as more useful therefore is more taken care of than the female. This is an obvious good example of what binary opposition is. It contradicts the usual equal preparations for a marriage for both male and female.

Another excellent example of binary opposition is the fact of the roles that both male and females play in the preparations for the marriage. In the preparations for marriage a males role is mostly to find his female. After he has found the women whom he wishes to be his wife he must therefore negotiate for her. In this process of the preparations for marriage the male does most of the choices where as the female does not do much. She basically just stands back as she is tossed and trades around as though she is a baseball card or in Wagogo understandings, livestock. The female is lower in class or participation of his process of marriage. In this case binary opposition is directly seen because of the totally inequality seen between the male and the female. As the male is seen as the negotiator and confident, the female plays a tremendous different role in this process of marriage. She basically does not play a role at all. She is only there as a piece of property and not as a piece or part of the marriage of preparations. This is an outstanding difference to society today. For starters the female is not a piece of property she is but another main part of the marriage and the preparations for it. The only, if any, negotiation in a marriage it is called a nuptial agreement. This is a marriage preparation negotiation that establishes some ground rules if anything where to go wrong in the marriage who would get what. Unlike in the Wagogo tribe there is not really any negotiation if the marriage goes wrong, because if their was any the female would probably not get anything at all since she herself is property.

Yet another binary opposition within the marriage of a Wagogo tribe couple is that of how many lovers each member of the marriage may have. Males may have at least two female companions while females do not. The females, since they are property in the marriage, cannot have any other spouses or lovers. It is wrong because the female cannot have other lovers as well.

So far many of the Wagogo tribe customs and traditions have been very different of what our society sees a marriage as being but it does not stop there at the marriage. There are even more differences seen in the Wagogo tribes traditions and customs to that of our own. One preparation not yet discussed is that of the location of where the couple will live. With many different locations to choose from one may thing that it does not matter where the Wagogo couple may choose to live but in fact it has to be around the kin or family of the female. In the Wagogo tradition it is to live at a distance from your father-in-law is good, because there can be painful situations. If you live near your father and then come into conflict with your wife, when the male may abuse or even hit or hurt her in some way, and your brother-in-law is there you might come to blows with him over the pain it caused him when the male hit or abused his sister or daughter. So it is often understood why the male party in the marriage prefers to live far from the parent-in-laws. This tries to eliminate the conflicts between the male and his parents-in-law especially the siblings of the female. Often the siblings strive to protect their kin or family. The binary opposition seen in this case is that of the matter of where a couple lives during their marriage. In society today it does not have anything to do with the marriage. Honestly it is just a matter of finding a place where a couple can call home and start a family.

One last custom seen in the Wagogo tribe marriage is the issue of who supports the household. The Wagogo males are the ones who control and support the household. They establish shelter for the family and work hard to support his family. The females do not play such and important role in the household as the role of the male in the family. The females are meant to take care of the children and do the household duties of cleaning and cooking. This way of living for the Wagogo tribe is normal but it creates a binary opposition when todays society sees it. In todays society both parties, male and female, often share the household duties. More and more males are seen in society taking care of the children and household unlike how it is seen in the Wagogo culture.