Wedding Planning
Indigenous Australians

What is a Traditional aboriginal wedding ceremony format?

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2011-09-13 14:41:54

Algonquin speaking people include the Cree, the Ojibwa or

Chippewa, the Ottawa, the Montagnais, the Naskapi and others. When

a young man chooses a mate in the old way, he went with her family

(matriarch society). The custom was usually determined by the

growing season. In warmer climates, where women would raise crops

to support the families, they were considered the providers. In

cooler climates where families subsisted on hunting performed by

the men, the communities were considered patriarchal.

Marriage Requirements

The couple may be required to perform certain responsibilities

in preparation for their wedding. These responsibilities are

determined by the officiant. In addition, the bride and groom must

choose sponsors.

The bridal couple has four sponsors. Sponsors are older, well

respected persons chosen by the bride and groom. The sponsors are

to give spiritual and marital guidance to the couple throughout

their lifetime. At the ceremony, the sponsors make a commitment to

help the couple.

The Marriage Ceremony

"Who wrote this? The question is about aboriginals, not north

American natives. They refer to themselves as first native here.

Aboriginals are from Australia."

Ceremonies are preferably outside, or in a ceremonial lodge or

under an arbor.

Their commitment is to the Creator, to God. There is no breaking

that commitment, and no divorce.

The Pipe Carrier, the officiant, makes sure they are well aware

of this commitment. If the couple separates and goes their separate

ways, in the eyes of the Creator, they are still husband and wife.

The Pipe Carrier will not perform the ceremony unless the couple is

very serious.

Each person makes a declaration that they choose to be known as

husband and wife. Then they smoke from the pipe. Tobacco is offered

and accepted by the officiant.

At the ceremony, the sponsors make a commitment to help the


Wedding Attire

Brides, grooms and sponsors dress in regalia - traditional

clothing, usually made by hand. The bride will wash herself in a

body of water (lake, river, ocean, pond) the morning of her union

in order to be blessed by the spirit of the Earth.

Wedding Festivities

A wedding is a time of celebration. Everyone is invited by word

of mouth unless they live outside the community. There is no formal

invitation. There is feasting, visiting and a giveaway.

The Feast

Food items for the feast include fry bread, venison (deer meat),

squash, beans, corn, corn soup, potato soup and many desserts.

Fresh fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, and the 'heart'

berry, strawberries, are served if available. There may also be a

wedding cake. In a traditional wedding, the food is placed on a

blanket, served buffet style.

The food is blessed. The Elders and the officiant will eat

first, then the bride, groom, sponsors and other guests. None of

the food is wasted. All of the food is either eaten or given away

to the Elders.

The Giveaway

In preparation for the Giveaway, the future bride and groom make

(or buy) hundreds of gifts. A gift will be given to each person

attending the celebration. The type of gifts is dependant upon the

talent and financial ability of the couple.

I agree with the 2nd person's response -- the question was about


I disagree.. the first person is correct. aboriginals are by

definitions; the people from the land or first peoples. the

question was about aboriginal NOT aborigines, which are specific to

the Australian's first peoples. there are a lot of PC correctness

to our names or what we should be called; Indian, first nation,

aboriginal, Native... we are ok with any of the terms as long as

its done and said in respect.

I am sorry to say, as well, that as a member of the Cree Nation

that this person has mixed a lot of Soux traditions... something

that is happening in all aboriginal customs and beliefs, (kind of a

universal first nations custom that is brought on by our global

village). nevertheless, there was some good points... but

1) the woman can leave at anytime, if the man is not a provider

or cruel.

2) a respected elder can bless and do the ceremony without the

pipe, once again, a belief brought to us by our prairie cousins

that we truly celebrate and Cherice.

3) customs change from area and tribe... tribes can be as small

as a handful of people or a family unit. that is why it is almost

imposable to make a generic DOGMA answer to a custom that is held

personally and spiritually

remember that there is one constant though... that is the love

and willingness to be of one soul and spirit

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