Why do Couples Jump The Broom? – Jumping The Broom Wedding Tradition

Though rare, the Jumping The Broom Wedding Tradition has survived decades of black traditions. It is an important piece of black history.

HISTORY

As stated earlier, jumping the broom is one of the most widespread wedding traditions among black people. the practice was depicted in the African-American 2016 miniseries Roots. There are stories of the practice originating from Welsh-Romani communities in the 18th century. However, the most accurate and widely believed fact is that jumping the broom emerged from Ghana.

The scene takes place in Ghana during the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. During that period, the better part of the West African nation was governed by the Ashanti Confederacy. As per the testimonies of the British and Dutch traders who regularly visited the areas governed by the Ashanti, the areas were kept clean and tidy. This was made possible due to the use of locally made brooms that were utilized by the natives. These brooms were believed to hold spiritual value and symbolized erasing past wrongs or driving away evil spirits. Such a belief was held firmly by the Ashanti and Akan people.

 

JUMPING THE BROOM AS A WEDDING TRADITION FOR BLACK PEOPLE

What was known as a casual custom of cleansing, quickly became involved with wedding traditions for black people. Brooms were waved over the heads of wedding couples to scare off spirits. As time passed by, slaves who came in from Ashanti areas to the United States, brought these practices with them. Other African ethnic groups in the Americas also picked up the wedding tradition, which was used as a symbol to strengthen marriages during slavery.

It is safe to conclude that jumping the broom during the days of enslavement. It is so because brooms were few of the equipment that was common in the hands of enslaved people. Since it was deemed illegal for enslaved black people to get married seemingly to the public, captives would jump over the broom to signify their marriage. Some schools of thought believed slaveowners forced black people to marry in that manner.

SYMBOLISM

Jumping over the broom marked the wife’s commitment or willingness to clean the courtyard of the new home she is joining. Mind you, the history dates back to the days Asante women used to clean the courtyard using brooms.

JUMPING THE BROOM IN TODAY”S WEDDINGS

Despite the practice having its tie to slavery, many black couples still carry out the practice in today’s world. During the fall of the Ashanti Confederacy in Ghana, the jumping the broom practice was threatened after the coming of British values. However, the tradition is still alive.

The broom is not the typical household item that you have at home. It is usually three feet long and has a wooden handle with natural bristles. According to Brides, the broom typically has silk ribbons, flowers, intricate beading or lace.

Jumping the broom happens after the exchange of vows. Traditionally, the practice was undergone when an officiant was absent. Now, it takes a slight twist.

Conclusion

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Jumping the broom is an exercise regarded and common with black people. It speaks a significant deal of what our forefathers went through while identifying with some of their traditions. In case you are geared up to add this piece of tradition to your wedding, make sure your outfit is loosened enough to perform the jump.

MORE ABOUT: Marriage

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