Maori Wedding, Mayotte



MAORI WEDDING

Mayotte, is the only one of the Comoros islands that in 1975 chose to remain French, but without renouncing its African spirit, its Muslim rituals, its traditions – especially that of the grand mariage: an astonishing ceremony, surprising, seemingly without a bride…
Even though only 10% of Maoris perform the grand mariage, it is still a status symbol that confirms the prestige of the man and the respectability of his wife. More than zebu blood sacrifices; more than arranged marriages between doddering old men and fresh young girls barely out of childhood. It is an orgy of food prepared by the hundreds of women drafted in for the occasion, a heap of gold for the dowry, orchestras and singers to lead the dances that combine ritual with sensuality!

PHOTOS © ERIK SAMPERS
TEXT © ANNE LE DU





CAPTIONS


Photo 001
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The groom and the best man before the ceremony.

Photo 002
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The « Passe en S » is a trench that snakes through the coral reef and is a must-see for divers.

Photo 003
Ilot de Sable Blanc : Panorama.

Photo 004 to 005
Ouangani : The banga are little mud huts which the boys build between the ages of 11 and 13, not far from the shanza, the family dwelling. The simple designs on the huts express the personality of the inhabitant, who must leave it when he marries.

Photo 006
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Mayotte resident.

Photo 007
Mayotte, Pamandzi : A woman with Jacque.

Photo 008
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Ylang-Ylang harvest.

Photo 009
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The customs house in the Mamoudzou market.

Photo 010
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The groom’s house.

Photo 011, 015
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The wedding. Preparations for the Debah, a kind of choir of women. Mixing verses from the Koran with rapping and dances, they bring femininity and sensuality to the celebrations.

Photo 012
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The wedding. Makeup for the Debah, a kind of choir of women. Mixing verses from the Koran with rapping and dances, they bring femininity and sensuality to the celebrations.

Photo 013 to 014, 016
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The wedding. Makeup before the Debah, a kind of choir of women. Mixing verses from the Koran with rapping and dances, they bring femininity and sensuality to the celebrations.

Photo 017
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Preparing the dowry on the eve of the wedding.

Photo 018
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Preparation of the groom’s dowry.

Photo 019 to 020
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The dance of the Debah. Presentation of the dowry to the women.

Photo 021 to 024
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Groom’s clothes.

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Mayotte, Pamandzi : The groom’s procession.

Photo 026 to 027
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The wedding procession during the presentation of the dowry.


Photo 028
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The groom and the best man during the wedding procession.

Photo 029 to 030
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Wedding scene without the bride.

Photo 031
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Wedding procession.

Photo 032 to 033
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Portrait of one of the women who dance in the Debah for the wedding.

Photo 034
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The Debah before the wedding.

Photo 035
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Jewels that the women wear for wedding celebrations during the Debah.

Photo 036
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The wedding debah.

Photo 037
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Portrait.

Photo 038
Mayotte, Pamandzi : Debah performance for the wedding. This woman is costumed to represent death in the dance.










Photo 039
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The husband joins his wife at her house.

Photo 040
Mayotte, Pamandzi : The bride can only go out after she has been met by her groom.