What is a Traditional aboriginal wedding ceremony format?
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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