Daughters in Kenyan tribe kept in the dark about arranged marriages

A young Pokot girl from a settlement in a remote Kenyan village is held by a member of her community as she tries to escape a forced marriage, unaware of the arrangements her father had made.

Like other families in the settlement, her parents had arranged for their daughter to be married early on in adolescence.

Many families refrain from telling their daughters their plans, worried they may run away from home, reported Reuters.

According to the centuries-old tradition, the future husband arrives at the girl's family home accompanied by a group of men.

With them they bring a dowry of livestock - in this case 20 goats, three camels and 10 cows, given over a period of several weeks.

The final 10 cows are handed over on the morning the girl is taken to her new home by her husband.

Before they can get married the girls must go through a rite of passage to mark their coming of age.

They are kept out of the sight of the men in the community for a month, then for about a week before the ceremony, the girls wait in an isolated hut, dressed in colourful beaded headdresses and animal skin.

According to Reuters, over 100 girls took part in the rite, which begins in the evening and lasts through the following day. The girls walk in a line one after the other, and are required to stand and sing through the night.

Once the ceremony comes to a close, the girls are ready to be wed.