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There seems to be a strong feeling that it originated with the African-American slave communities, but it pre-dates the mass slavery times, as it has a long tradition in Europe, usually within marginalized or poorer communities where a Church marriage involved considerable costs. It is known in the Roma communities, the Welsh, and in the British Regiments serving abroad (India and European campaigns). It was probably taken up by the African slave communities from the British slaves who pre-dated them on the plantations, and whom were also only able to marry with their owners consent, so reverted to old tradition.