Marriage which is legally and formally recognized union between man and woman or lady to show exclusive and permanent commitment to each other is differ in practices as a result of cultural and traditional differences among countries, states and locality. However, regardless of cultural and traditional differences marriage is being done to achieve the same ends through different means.
Traditional marriage in Oluwo village in Ibadan, the south west part of Nigeria is closely related to that of Hausa tribe as a result of same marriage doctrine being practiced among Muslims and this is because of large percentage of Muslims which constitute about 80 percentage of the whole population in our locality. However, the way we perform our traditional marriage rites and ceremony in our village is different to that of Hausas’ as a result of different cultural inclinations that are attached.
Before a man and a lady could get married in Oluwo village, it is the responsibility of that man after seeing a lady that he loves to go and seek the approval of her parent before proposing to her, however if they answer ‘yes’ he would go ahead and decline if it is otherwise. Hitherto, he will go ahead to propose to her and if eventually the lady grant her proposal she will inform her parent about him and after this, he would be invited for conversations. Pertinent to this, in the conversation, they will ask him questions such as; what he is doing for a living to know if he is financially capable to take care of their daughter and if he is earning his income through legitimate means. Also, they will ask him the state he comes from or his agbo ile(clan )if he is from that locality and the reason for this is to know whether his family has bad history or not.
Pertinent to this, if he is able to answer these questions correctly he would be asked to invite his parent for further conversation. This is to enhance the relationship between the two families before marriage. In the meeting, date for the wedding ceremony would be agreed upon and the lady’s family will give the man’s family the list for their daughter’s bride price which often include:
One important thing that would be left out of the list is saddaq (like dowry) because this must be between man and the lady. Saddaq is a legitimate request of the lady from her husband to -be which could be money, gold, silver or any goods and serve as a payment made to her to make her privates accessible to him after the conjugal bliss.
Alas! The day has come the bride and groom will be in epitome of immense joy. All the aforementioned items must be presented on that day by the groom’s family. The bride and groom will sit on balloon decorated chairs with the same attire usually in ofi. The bride parent and family will be on sit and the groom’s family will also sit in a position provided by the bride’s family because they are the one that will choose venue which is usually in their house or selected place of their choice. Friends and well-wishers will also be in their own canopy too.
The gathering will not complete without the presence of alfa (a clergy man) who will perform the most sacred part of the ceremony which is asking the bride parent if they willingly want to give their daughter to the groom as wife and if the answer is ‘yes’ he will ask the groom also if he willingly want to take her as wife without compulsion and if the answer is also ‘yes’ he will now shower blessing on them. This process is called akidu nikah and it is done with the following items:
After all these, eating and drinking begins in galore and this can be served with local or continental dishes depending on their financial capability.
Traditional marriage in my village is always awesome a reason why bachelors and sprinters deeply look forward to this day not only because of the prestige that it brings to the family but also the sense of fulfillment that will bring to them too.