Engagement and Marriage

Following our traditional customs, there are several steps for a young man and woman to become engaged and to marry.

Lanci - a spokesman from the man's family visits the girl's family to quietly announce his intention and confirm that the girl is not already spoken for.

Ko'uni - the young man sends a ring, money, and sometimes a sarong to the girl's family. By receiving them, the girl's family confirms that they agree for the two to marry.

Powawaa Kansiwi - seven women from the man's side come bearing bananas and large fish. The girl's mother divides them among her family, and everyone who receives it signifies thereby that they agree with the proposal. After powawaa kansiwi, no one else may propose to the girl.

Powawaa Katangka - the young man sends gifts such as clothing, jewelry and makeup to his intended.

Powawaa Petena - similar to the above, but now he sends items for bedding such as mattress, bedframe, sheets and pillows.

Alono Ponahua - the groom visits his bride's house the night before the wedding. With his bride watching from a nearby room, the groom spends the night sitting cross-legged without standing, eating, or smoking.

Kawi'a - the following afternoon the groom arrives in procession at his bride's house for the actual wedding.

In the future we hope to provide more information concerning each of these ceremonies.