Men are known to steal each other’s wives in the Wodaabe tribe of Niger, West Africa.
The Wodaabe’s first marriage is arranged by their parents while they are still children, and it must be between cousins of the same lineage.
Wodaabe men, on the other hand, dress up in elaborate makeup and costumes and dance to impress the women – and hopefully steal a new wife – at the annual Gerewol festival.
“The polygynous Wodaabe believe that they—at least their men—have an innate and irresistible attractive power, called togu,” according to The Wodaabe and Tuareg Nomads: Stealing Beauty.
A Wodaabe man can make even a married woman fall for him by performing and projecting his togu at her; once she is smitten, she may arrange to run away with him at night.”
If the new couple is able to flee undetected (especially from the current husband, who may be unwilling to part with his wife), they will be socially recognized. Love marriages are the term used to describe these subsequent marriages.
The article was adapted from Oddee