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Jumping the BroomThe Surprising Multicultural Origins of a Black Wedding Ritual$
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Tyler D. Parry

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469660868

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660868.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

Irregular Unions

Irregular Unions

The Broomstick Wedding in the British Isles

(p.14) Chapter One Irregular Unions
(p.iii) Jumping the Broom

Tyler D. Parry

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how various communities throughout the British Isles, including Celtic populations, the British Romani, and English laborers employed the broomstick wedding in their matrimonial celebrations. It showcases how marriage ceremonies in Britain largely determined one’s class status, as elites throughout England mocked folk ceremonies and dismissed the broomstick rituals used by common people or marginalized ethnic groups. However, this chapter shows that its practitioners found significant value in the ceremony for many reasons and adjusted its forms in accordance to their own communal needs. Consequently, there was no single way to “jump the broom” throughout the British Isles, as it was done in accordance with the specific group using it. The first chapter concludes by postulating how British migrants retained their marriage customs as they migrated to North America, and contextualizes the circumstances under which the broomstick wedding was extended to an enslaved population of African descent by the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Romani, Celtic, Folk, Ceremonies, Laborers, British Isles, England, Migrants, Broomstick wedding, North America

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