In order to get married in Basotho culture, men have to pay lebohla, which is 26 cows, to the bride's family. Here, my host brother, Tsepiso, is plowing one of the family plots.
So you wanna marry me, eh?
Well, my host mama says you have to pay lebohla (leh-bo-la).
Lebohla? The hell is that?
It’s a “fee” men pay to a woman’s family in order to marry them; kind of like a dowry in India.
Lebohla generally costs 26 cows, but 5 sheep are equal to one cow. Different families have different arrangements, though, depending on the type and quantity of animals they have.
The Basotho believe that after the marriage, the women belong to the house. It is her job to keep the house clean. This role is clearly defined here, and women can’t negotiate household chores with their husbands like American women can.
After marriage, a woman’s first and last name will change, too because that is also part of the culture.
Still want to put a ring on me?
Maybe you should just go listen to that famous Beyonce song insteadJ.