My friend could not bear the thought of flogging him before he could take a Fulani as a wife. The truth is that Hausa has a remarkable traditional marriage culture. And one important aspect of it is the flogging which appears to be disappearing especially among the elite.
Fulani Hausas are known as the nomads who carry their cattle round the country on yearly basis and their wives and daughters go about selling cow milk. The Fulani Sharo, which is the flogging competition is an important process through which a brave youth to takes a wife.
Flogging competition is a contest of bravery and wit where the victorious is seen as a symbol of valour, pillar of strength to protect and secure his immediate families and the community. This important ceremony often takes place during Sallah festivities or on weekly market days.
The contest often attract other tribes who gather to witness the show of bravery and the beautiful Fulani girls would gather dressed in their best outfits to watch their would-be men combat in bare skin and contend over who would use his prepared stick to beat the other with all his strength as test of his endurance.
Those who emerge victorious in the game are given a serious beating and rewarded with the most beautiful Fulani girl as a prospective wife. While the contest lasts, the females would be so eager to have the emerged hero as their husbands because he is seen as a better protector.
In the truest sense, the flogging contest is often fierce if a participant pinpoints a particular girl as a prospective wife. Sadly, it has become an avenue for aggrieved parties to settle their disagreements. Whoever shows better endurance goes home with the lucky girl and in the end marries her.
In some instances where a participant who had done a beating failed to present himself on the day he ought have been beaten, the tradition provides that such a person presents a number of cows which must be agreed by the contending parties as penalty.
Thus, this calls for great skills in trying to outsmart the other. Unfortunately, many people have adopted several fetish means in order to outshine others in this game. Some even go to the extent of treating and smearing the sticks with spiritual concoctions and bury in graveyards to ensure that it’s very painful during the contest. And such cases have led to death of participants owing to serious pain.
In occasion where the contest led to a serious feud, the authority usually wade in to declare the contest no-victory for any party.