In Latuka, South Sudan, a suitor must kidnap a lady he intends to marry and informs her father later about it.
The suitor does this by hiring other men together with whom he will lay an ambush for, chase and arrest the lady.
Upon capture, lady is then taken to her suitor’s home where she’s kept against her will before the man informs her father later.
Critics wonder why a woman is spotted by a man and is kidnapped, which takes away her choice and right to make an input into marital future.
After kidnapping the girl, her suitor returns to her family with elderly male relatives to officially ask for her hand in marriage.
With the girl still in his possession, her father is left with a choice on whether or not to agree to the proposal by this suitor. The response of a “yes” or “no” from the father comes with its separate ceremonial activities.
If the girl’s father agrees to the proposal from this suitor, he is expected to beat his prospective son-in-law to show his approval to their proposal.
Reports say the beatings signifies that the man is willing to be beaten for his wife since it’s about the sacrifices he’s willing to make for the woman he loves.
Equally interesting is the fact that if the father’s response is “no”, the suitor has the discretion to decide whether to return the kidnapped daughter or go ahead to marry her regardless.
The Latuka or the Otuho are a small ethnic group who have practised subsistence farming for long. They keep large herds of cattle, sheep and goats in the mountains of South Sudan
Common among the crops they grow are groundnuts, sorghum, maize, and tubers like yam and potato.
Latukas are said to embody a communal lifestyle where nothing is kept from anybody: they practise a system of sharing and as such, no single person rules over them. Instead, they have a group of elders who are vested with the authority to guide them.
They are a known conservative tribe that forbids many forms of religious penetrations and other cultures, including marriage which remains unchanged over the years despite criticism.