(Closed) Is jumping the broom…

posted 7 years ago in African-American
Post # 3
Member
5096 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

It’s an African-American tradition. As I understand it (feel free to correct me), slaves did not have legally recognized marriages. But a couple would jump the broom to signal that they WERE married, even if it wasn’t recognized by the state.

Post # 5
Member
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Jumping the broom is a phrase and custom relating to wedding ceremonies in different cultural traditions: “many diverse cultures, those of Africa − Europe including Scotland, Hungary and Gypsy culture – include brooms at wedding rituals.[1] It is particularly associated with the Romani gypsy people of the United Kingdom[2], especially those in Wales.[3] There is “Evidence showing the wedding custom was practised by gypsies(sic) in England, Scotland[4] as well as African-American and other groups.

 

There is an ongoing debate as to the exact origin or origins.

Historically, “broom-stick weddings” were first known in Wales.[7] There has been dispute among scholars over whether the tradition originated among the Welsh people themselves or among Romani living in Wales.

According to scholar Alan Dundes, who wrote extensively on the topic, the custom originated among Romani Gypsies in Wales (Welsh Kale Gypsies) and England (English Romanichal Gypsies).[8] Scholar C.W. Sullivan III, however, argued that the custom originated among the Welsh people themselves,[9] since the custom was known in Wales prior to the 1700s when he believed Gypsies arrived there. Historical records, however, show that Gypsies actually arrived in Wales earlier, in 1579.[10]

A commonly held belief is that the practice originates or at least has roots in West Africa.[11] However, there are no recorded instances of West African or Central African weddings that involved jumping over a broom.

It is documented that brooms existed as spiritual symbols in regions where African Americans originated.[12] The prime candidate for a geographic origin of the custom in Africa is Ghana where brooms were waved above the heads of newlyweds and their parents.[12] Danita Rountree Green, in her book Broom Jumping: A Celebration of Love, admits there is no recognized documentation suggesting that ethnic groups in Ghana, who were prominent in the Atlantic Slave Trade, ever jumped over the broom.[13] Still, Green’s research implies that the ceremony used today stems from traditional rites of maturation still practiced in Africa.

Dundes asserts that the practice was passed along, possibly by force, to slaves by their masters.[14] This is given some weight by the fact that slave masters and their wives assisted in the ceremony at times.

Another author states that it is likely both blacks and whites in the antebellum south accepted jumping the broom as a quasi-marriage ceremony since the practice or symbols used in it (specifically the broom) had similar meanings in their respective cultures.[15] She claims jumping over the broom was definitely a feature in both European and African wedding ceremonies, but believes that the slave practice likely originated in Africa and not Europe.[15]

Post # 6
Member
2539 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Sent from my Android

yessssssss! Tired of people saying “its a black thing”!!!

Post # 9
Member
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I just found out that it’s a Celtic tradition also. Mr. Tattoo’s grandmother asked if we were doing it. How awesome is it that we have an Irish and African tradition that is the same!

Post # 10
Member
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

No worries

Post # 11
Member
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Miss Tattoo: AH HAH! I was wondering if it was Celtic or not!  Thanks, lady! 😀  

Post # 12
Member
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Zinzerena: No problem! It will be listed in the program as an African and Celtic tradition so both of our families will be happy, I think. 

Post # 13
Member
2701 posts
Sugar bee

I am from the South and have a lot of AA friends. Most of which, did this at their weddings, and I loved it. I kind of wanted to steal the idea because I love it so much (the actual ceremony is just so dang cute). I had no idea it had different backgrounds and heritages. I am glad I read this post, I feel enlightened haha. We more than likely won’t do it, as we have other ceremonies but I am interested and about to do some more research on this.

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