Basically, the Comoran society and culture are the reflection of Islam and traditions of the East Africa region.
Also, there is a prevalence of French influence on the modernity and cultural affairs of the island country.
As the people of Comoros doesn’t joke with their culture and tradition, hence, traditional wedding in the country is a big deal. This is because, there are slew of importance and recognitions attached to assuming a new status of ‘married’ in the country. In Comoros, weddings don’t just take place like an event that it is in most parts of Africa, but it is a process of preparations that grows from little to become grand. That is why traditional marriage in Comoros is considered as “grand marriage”.
The Comoran grand marriages usually take place between the months of July and September, after the “small wedding” in about a decade or two has fully grown with the couple being able to financially afford the supposed grand marriage. This is always a social feat to achieve by all Comorans in order to be eligible for some status in the society. Fascinatingly, as per tradition of the country demands, the grand marriage of every individual (couple) must be expensive than the grand wedding of a relative or a friend that took place before yours. This is why Comoran grand marriage is always worth close to £20,000. However, Comorans are habitual of taking much pride in this grand marriage that they tend to save up fortune to make great statement by spending lavishly on the wedding process.
However, each island, region and town in the Comoros celebrates the grand marriage in a slightly different way, but all feature a rich and ornate tapestry of symbolic rituals, which evokes different elements of the island’s complicated history as a maritime trading nation.
Although the grand weddings are not only for show of influence and affluence, but they also pivotal in both the local economy and the social order.
Most importantly, the tradition of grand marriage tends to also affect the balance between men and women. This is so because the bride typically receives much jewelry from the family of the groom that she can enjoy a certain level of financial independence. This is hinged on the cultural fact of Comoros having a matrilocal system of residence, rare in Islamic cultures, whereby the groom will move into the home of his bride, not the other way around.
Across the archipelagic country, the traditional outfit worn for this grand marriage is Chiromani. Chiromani is a traditional fabric of the Mahorais and the Comoriennes. It is a two-tone cotton fabric made up of 6 tiles repeating the same pattern. Traditionally, its usual colors are bright red, black, and burgundy. This is however a popular fabric worn in the country with different trendy styles.
This garment can be worn either as a veil or wrap the entire body of the woman. It is believed that wearing this dress by Comoran women always gives an appealing sight for the men to behold. This is due to the clear fact of beautiful embroidery that tones the outfit with elegance and glitz.
Originally, this fabric was bicoloured and the bride just wear the red and white colors. But now, it is found in all colors for the delight of these ladies.Chiromani is a fabric composed of 6 tiles with various symbols like clove, jasmine, ylang for flowers or those of the card game (clover, tile, spade and heart).
Today, many stylists and designers have diverted Chiromani fabric and transform it into infinity kinds of clothing, like dresses, skirts, and even shirts for men.
Being a great symbol of beauty, tradition, and also Comoran elegance, the chiromani is an essential fabric and very popular on the archipelago.
Throughout the archipelago, the brides always dress with the palmirum.