The relationship styles in Africa during the 20th century varied across different regions and cultures, as Africa is a diverse continent with numerous ethnic groups and traditions. However, here are some general aspects of relationship styles that were prevalent during the 20th century in Africa:
- Traditional Marriages: Traditional marriage practices were common across many African societies. These marriages were often arranged by families and involved various cultural rituals and ceremonies. Polygamy, where a man has multiple wives, was practised in some cultures.
- Extended Family: The extended family played a significant role in relationships during the 20th century. Family ties were strong, and the extended family provided support, guidance, and a sense of belonging.
- Gender Roles: Traditional gender roles were prevalent, with men typically being the breadwinners and women responsible for household duties and childcare. However, gender roles varied across cultures, and there were instances of women taking on influential roles within their communities.
- Community Involvement: Relationships were not solely between individuals but extended to the wider community. Decisions regarding marriages and important matters often involved the consultation and approval of family elders and community leaders.
- Respect for Elders: Respect for elders and authority figures was an important aspect of relationship dynamics. Elders provided guidance and wisdom, and their opinions were highly regarded in matters of relationships and family.
- Courtship and Dowry: Courtship rituals and the payment of dowry were common in many African cultures. Young men would go through a process of courting and proving their worth to the family of the woman they intended to marry. Dowry, a symbolic gift or payment, was often given by the groom’s family to the bride’s family as part of the marriage process.
- Oral Tradition: Communication and storytelling played a crucial role in relationships. Oral tradition was a primary means of passing down cultural values, history, and wisdom from one generation to another.
It’s important to note that these aspects are generalizations, and relationship styles could vary significantly between different ethnic groups and regions within Africa. Additionally, societal changes, globalization, and urbanization have influenced relationship dynamics in Africa over the years, leading to the emergence of new relationship styles in more recent times.