Bonding Figurines

Table of Contents
A Rilanga tradition in which a tin figurine was handed to a lover while proposing marriage.


After crafting or commissioning the figurine, the one proposing usually waited for a private moment, to avoid putting pressure on their partner. They then presented the figurine to the other person, asking them to accept the gift and thereby the one depicted by it.   If the other person did so, they would often see to it that a matching second figurine was made shortly afterwards. Both figurines were then put on display in the accepting partner's household. During the ensuing wedding ceremony, they were placed on top of the traditional cake, and once the couple moved into a shared household, the figurines were put on a dedicated shelf in the living room. There they would later be joined by the eggshells of the couple's children.

Components and tools

Bonding figurines were about as tall as the length of an adult's palm. They were crafted from tin, due to it being relatively soft and having a low melting point. Special care was taken to depict the proposing person (and later, the accepting one) as accurately as possible. Those who could afford it often paid professional sculptors to capture their likeness.   The finished sculptures were partially colored with resin-based paints. Mainly the feathers and eyes were painted while the rest was often left in the silvery-gray color of the metal.


While it was usually the man proposing to the woman, reversed roles were not unheard of, especially when the woman in question was wealthy or in a position of authority.
Alternative name(s)
Dinsablin mi Rulitire
Related ethnicities
I give myself to you. Will you accept me into your home?
— traditional question while holding the figurine before the partner
I accept you, into my home and into my life.
— traditional answer while taking the offered figurine

Cover image: by Kathrin Janowski


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5 Dec, 2022 19:20

I like this twist on an engagement ring!

Check out the worlds of Solis Empire, Magic Earth, Ithir,Vyraj and Terra Nova
7 Dec, 2022 08:36

Thank you, I'm happy that you like this idea! ^^

Creator of the Kaleidoscope System, an alien star system shaped by a colorful radiation source.   My pledge for WorldEmber 2022 turned Worlduary 2023
8 Dec, 2022 18:53

This tradition is so sweet and so resourceful. Engage first with the future wedding cake decoration.~ And what if the significant other declines? What happens to the figure? Getting molten down and reused for the next proposal?

Creator, artist and writer of the science fantasy world Kingsmaker.   Check out my Worldember page.~