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Shetani Devil’s Bridegroom African Folklore

The Shetani or Devils bridegroom is a Southern African Folklore story to warn women against being too fussy in the choice of a husband. 

The Shetani Bridegroom African Folklore

There was once a girl, Asa, who refused to marry, her parents, too, discouraged all wooers who presented themselves, as they said they would not give their daughter to any common man.

A festival was taking place in Asa’s village, and men came from the whole countryside to take part. Among the dancers, there appeared a tall and handsome young man, wearing a broad ring like a halo round his head, who drew all eyes by his grace and noble bearing.
The Shetani or Devils bridegroom is a Southern African Folklore story to warn girls against being too fussy in the choice of a husband.

Asa fell in love with him at first sight, and her parents approved of him. The dancing went on for several days, during which time she scarcely took her eyes off him. 

But, one day, as he happened to turn his back, she caught sight of a second mouth behind his head, and said to her mother, “That man is a Shetani!" Her parents would not believe it. “Nonsense!” they said.

The suitor presented himself to Asa’s family and the marriage took place.

After spending some days with the bride's parents, the couple left for their home. However, her brothers, knowing the husband to be a Shetani, felt uneasy, and followed them, without their knowledge, keeping in the bushes alongside the path.

When they had gone some distance the husband stopped and said, "Look back and tell me if you can still see the smoke from your father's hut." Asa looked, and said that she could. They went on for another hour or two, and then he asked her if she could see the hills behind her home. She said yes and again they went on. At last, he asked her again if she could see the hills and found that she could not turned to her and said “I am a Shetani my dear wife now climb up into this tree and weep your last tears, for you must die!"

But, her brothers, watching their chance, shot him with poisoned arrows, and he died. Asa came down from the tree and the brothers took her home.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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