Zulu, XhosaShow more Zulu and Xhosa, give (goods, cattle, etc.) to a woman’s parents in order to secure her hand in marriage.
1.intransitive.rare.To pay a dowry according to the custom of lobola.
1836N. IsaacsTrav. (1936) I. 40Jacob had become enamoured of Enslopee’s sister, and had sent three head of cattle to ‘Loboler,’ [printed lololer] when it was understood, that the girl was to have been sent by the persons who drove the cattle.
a.To secure the hand of (a girl or woman) in marriage by giving lobola to her parents; to marry (her) in this way.
[1857J. ShooterKafirs of Natal 48The verb for buy is tenga; but when a Kafir speaks of ‘buying’ a wife, he uses the verb lobola, which means to take away a cutting, and figuratively to remove a pain. It would seem therefore that the word, when applied to the giving of cattle for a girl, refers to the pains which the mother endured in bearing and nurturing her; and that they were originally given to remove those pains — that is, to reward her for them.]
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