Traditional Dowry between Nuwoe Sibley and Gai Tehmeh


In Liberian culture, the Kpelle people have their own African wedding tradition; and it is as unique as each and every tribe’s in the country. There are sixteen tribes in this not-so-little West African country. Although each tribe shares some similarities with the others, they also have some marked differences when it comes to celebrating the union of two individuals and their families in matrimony.

The Kpelle people value their daughters a lot. They spend a lot to raise their daughters and as a result, bride price has gone higher than what was obtainable in the old days – US$ 48. However, this increase in the bride price for a Kpelle beauty varies from community to community.

In the Kpelle tradition, the bride price includes exchange of gifts such as dried meat, kola nuts and palm wine between the two families.

The cultural interpretation for using the kola nuts and other traditional materials is to wish the two prospective spouses and families good luck.

On Saturday September 24, 2016, Dr. Gai Lekailay Tehmeh traditionally took the hands in marriage of Dr. Nuwoe Leemu Sibley at the residence of the bride’s father in Phebe Suakoko District in Bong County.

Representing the groom’s family, Pastor Peter Tooman said the opportunity for the Tehmeh family to take the hands of beautiful Dr. Nuwoe Leemu Sibley is an honor, and promised to uphold the norms and traditions of the Kpelle culture.

The bride’s family was represented by Arnold M. Sibley, uncle of the bride, who urged the groom to maintain and defend the values of his family. The bride and groom are graduates of the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the University of Liberia.


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