In the Dinka tribe of South Sudan, newly married women are highly valued. Besides the man paying a ransom dowry of nearly 100 to 500 cows the woman is not allowed to engage in wifely duties of either sweeping or cooking for a period of 4 years. This period is known as the Anyuuc (generous welcoming) period and it’s set aside for the newly married woman to relax and learn her new husband’s homestead values.
As the newly wed takes time off to relax and learn, her sisters-in -law, (the husband’s sisters) take over all the domestic work. They will clean, cook, fetch water and wash for four good years. At the end of the four years the husband organizes a ceremony to initiate his now ‘ready’ wife into cooking for the family.
The Thaat ceremony
To mark the end of the Anyuuc period and officially welcome the wife into cooking for the family, the husband holds a big party better known as the Thaat ceremony or cooking festival. During this party, 3 cows and 5 goats are slaughtered. After this event the wife is now ready to take up domestic duties.