Mentor under the bed
Arranged marriages were the norm among the Swahili and often the would-be bride and groom do not see each other until the night of their marriage.
As part of the pre-wedding preparation, an elderly woman, otherwise referred to as Somo will train the bride on how to satisfy her husband or be a good wife.
The Somo would sometimes even hide under the matrimonial bed while the newlyweds consummate their marriage. This is done in case of some unexpected problems such as the bride being resistant to the consummation.
The Somo will later confirm that consummation has taken place and she will show off the piece of the bed linens to prove that the bride was a virgin.
The bride and groom can now be left alone, often isolated together for about seven days.