Wanci Marriage Mart

Wanci Marriage Mart
 
 
 
IMG_1805  IMG_1806  IMG_1807
 
After a long wait by the quayside we were bundled into various cars and minibuses. The long column of vehicles then sat outside the Regent’s house, apparently he is flying in. Some time later we are told he cannot make it and on we go. Out of the vehicles we walk down a dusty, lumpy track – all of a sudden we are on a field with an explosion of colour. We are led to our seats finding a lunch box containing a water and a cake.
 
 
IMG_1809
 
IMG_1810
 
Young ladies, mostly in yellow sit on two sides of the field.
 
 
IMG_1811  IMG_1813
 
To our right the important people, Mrs Regent representing her husband, to our left the elders and men. We listened to a long speech and then a group of young men stood and took the Pledge of Allegiance. Many more speeches with the odd sentence from our interpreter. Many uniforms appear and shake hands with the elders – including an albino.
 
 
IMG_1818
 
The first set of dancers.
 
 
IMG_1827
 
The second, younger group are really good, led by a strict ‘caller’ (second left) who gave the word and they flicked their heads in a lovely move.
 
 
IMG_1829  IMG_1831
 
A table with a blue cover was formally placed in front of the Sailors (as it said on the back of chairs). Uncovered, our lunch but to our unpractised hands, much toppled and caught. Then crowds descended and soon the platters disappeared.
 
 
IMG_1833  IMG_1835  IMG_1836
 
Then the event of the day. It began with the mothers who want to show off their single daughters forming a parade, some fearsome looking women who would make cracking mother-in-laws........
 
 
IMG_1837
 
IMG_1839  IMG_1840  IMG_1844
 
IMG_1845
 
Next came the daughters, for some this was clearly not their first turn on the parade ground. Some were clutching bottles of Sprite and Coke, some coconut juice, only one cup and no tissues.......Later, the brave took the offered cup and handed over a donation. Three times the ladies walked around, lots of singing and giggling.
 
 
IMG_1854  IMG_1860
 
The mothers then shouted out the fact that their beautiful daughters were ready to be viewed and the young bucks made their initial ‘fly by’. Shouting and harsh sounding words we took to be the mothers laying out the rules before the young bucks retreated to consider if it was worth pursuing the ‘light of their life’.
 
 
IMG_1863  IMG_1929  IMG_1866
 
At this point there was a lot of milling about, young lads posed, we had our pictures taken with an endless queue until our cheeks ached and young ladies plied their single cup wares – Bear found himself holding a massive coconut and he found me a can of virgin coke.
 
 
IMG_1901  IMG_1870  IMG_1903
 
IMG_1909  IMG_1911
 
We all took loads of pictures too.
 
 
IMG_1884  IMG_1886
 
The young bucks eventually paraded with gifts on trays carried aloft. Clearly, they thought the young ladies were worth trying out for under the watching gazes of the elders. The structure in the middle was a huge swing, the finale to the day would be when a ‘real match’ had taken place and the newly engaged would sit on the swing together.
 
 
IMG_1885
 
Most gifts were scarves, cakes, sarongs but one sensible young man proudly held a cooked chicken, resplendent in cling film and blue tinsel.....
 
 
IMG_1917  IMG_1848
 
A busy journalist interviewed Sarah (Soul) and then an animated piece to camera.
 
 
IMG_1921
 
There must have been a match as the crowd surged toward the swing and we heard much cheering and clapping. Meanwhile, Bear was in a group posing with a couple of elders.
 
 
IMG_1931
 
Soon the event was in full swing and we were led back to waiting cars. Sunset was more a lights out, disappointing after the last couple with blazing reds and oranges. A few games and time for bed.
 
 
 
 
ALL IN ALL A COLOURFUL BUSINESS
                     VERY DIFFERENT AND GOOD FUN