Tradition Or Trash? Women From This Tribe, Are Forced To Marry Dead Men, Here Is Why

A tribe where women are forced to marry dead men

So, this is going to sound quite absurd to you because outrightly, it is something that hasn’t been heard of prolly since you were born.

Well, it has actually happened and is still happening in some places, though Oblivion to you.

Today, we are going to be unveiling to you the secret of these people and how they came up with their weird and unbelievable tradition.


Researches carried out in the past, has shown that among the kamba people of the Eastern part of Kenya, exist several widows, but unlike in other parts of the world, these widows never got the opportunity to see their husbands, and this is why;

They engage in ghost marriages.

The Kamba people of the Bantu ethnic tribe live in the semi-arid land called Ukambani, encompassing modern-day communities of Makueni County, Kitui County, and Machakos County in Kenya.

According to Dr. Paul M. Kyalo, a sociologist at Kenyatta University, it was a traditional custom for women to marry men who had long passed.

According to research he cites in his paper, the purpose of ghost marriages was to preserve the chain of life. “If a son dies before he has married, the parents arrange for him to be married in absentia; so that the dead man is not cut off from the chain of life which is supreme and most important,” he explains.

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Historians say this type of traditional union in Kikamba was called Kuungamia Isyitwa (literal translation: preserve the name of the dead man).

Marriage was a must and every adult and normal ‘mukamba’ (male) had to marry as a sign of personal importance.

It is believed that every mukamba wife had a spirit husband whose job was to make sure that she conceived.

In the case of ghost marriages, the dead man was the spirit husband to the woman. So what was the process for securing a wife for a dead man?

“The parents of the dead man looked for a girl, proposed to the girl’s family, and if they accepted, paid the bride’s gifts and took the bride home to her ghost husband. The family of the dead son took care of the girl and looked for a genitor for her. The children born of this union assume the dead man’s name,” Kyalo explains.

Historians say this type of traditional union in Kikamba was called Kuungamia Isyitwa (literal translation: preserve the name of the dead man). Marriage was a must and every adult and normal ‘mukamba’ (male) had to marry as a sign of personal importance.

It is believed that every mukamba wife had a spirit husband whose job was to make sure that she conceived. In the case of ghost marriages, the dead man was the spirit husband to the woman.

So what was the process for securing a wife for a dead man? “The parents of the dead man looked for a girl, proposed to the girl’s family, and if they accepted, paid the bride’s gifts and took the bride home to her ghost husband.

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The family of the dead son took care of the girl and looked for a genitor for her. The children born of this union assume the dead man’s name,” Kyalo explains.

Some cases were more cunning: “An aunt was sent to seduce a girl on behalf of the dead boy who they want to remember. She had to land a cute woman who would marry a dead man who she has never set an eye on but is made to believe exists.

The normal procedure of paying the dowry is respected and a sperm donor is secretly hired to have children with the woman. The children belong to the dead boy.”

Some say the tradition is no longer practiced but there exist widowed wives who were married to dead men. See a snippet of one woman’s story from AllAfrica in 2014 below: Nairobi — Mulewa Muthiani goes about her business just like any other widowed woman in her village in Ukambani. But there is one difference between her and “normal” widows – Mulewa never met her husband. In fact, she was married to him after he died, about 30 years ago.

Well, are you still troubled?

Well, you shouldn’t be.

This simple but, well explained write-up, shows that a lot things clearly do exist in the world today, though we are not fully aware of them.

Don’t forget to share this, also like and comment on it.

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