Mali’s Wedding Customs


Bintou Kone

Weddings in Mali carry so many traditions. They have their own dress codes, dances, traditions of women and men. A wedding in Mali starts with a man  with a Cola (bride price) asking your hand from your parents. 

This form of marriage is very common in the Islam religion, and takes place in a mosque.  In the days of the marriage, both the groom and bride have to give their consent to get wedded to each other willingly. During the ceremony, the groom and 90 percent Muslims will be in a mosque, and the bride and other families will be at home celebrating the religious marriage. 


If it is the nonreligious wedding, the legal wedding ceremony takes place at the courthouse with the presence of the legal official (judge, magistrate) the groom & bride, and their witness. Before the actual wedding takes place there is a pre-wedding henna ceremony only for women.

The wedding attire in Mali is called Bazin (Boubou) for men. 

The bride is expected to wear a white dress designed just for her for the traditional, religious wedding, and the civil wedding, or a different color if she wants to. She dresses in a white modern gown. While the groom dresses in white Boubou for the traditional and religious wedding and wears a suit for the civil wedding.

Malian women wear a lot of jewelry especially when they are going to a wedding. 

They wear experienced Bazin outfits; they wear gold necklaces and bracelets. 

Malian women see weddings as the perfect occasion to dress up and wear their expensive gold to go and celebrate the union of two people. 

In the evening the Djeli’s sing to them, in such a way so that they will have a respectful name, and be rich. The women give out the money to the Djeli’s.

In the end, the pride, at this moment, is when you definitively leave your life as a young girl forever.