In this post we will discus the Traditional Marriage Process Ika-Delta State; Requirements and Formalization procedures.
The marriage process usually begins with the prospective groom visiting his would-be in-laws casually to get himself acquainted with them. Despite the fact that he has been visiting before now, he makes it seems as if this is the first time. This stage is called the first knocking.
A Friend or two of his or an elderly person usually accompanies him to the brides family on a second visit depending on the distance to the family house. It is at this point in time that they inform the parents of their intentions to come and have proper introduction and an introduction list is given to them by the brides family, which is the list of items required for the introduction ceremony. This stage is known as the second knocking.
The item which may vary from family to family is usually supplied by the eldest man in the bride’s family. Each family usually has a spokes person for the Ceremony.
Depending on those involved it could be a big or a small ceremony.
Nevertheless the groom and his family come prepared for the introduction. Before the grooms family is asked about the purpose of their visit the brides family welcomes them with kola nuts and palm wine which is shared from the oldest to the youngest.
Then the groom’s family answers the question by presenting the required items and says all the sweet but rhetorical things like: “our child saw a beautiful flower in your farm and he is interested in having her” and the bride is brought out for them to be sure of the ‘flower’. She is then asked if they should accept the items or not and if she agrees; it’s accepted and food and drinks is served.
After the traditional wedding list is given, a date can be fixed for the traditional wedding or left pending. In order to gather the items on the traditional wedding list, the groom’s family goes and get ready for the main ceremony.
The groom’s family visits once again prepared to conclude their quest; when the date has been set and the items ready. Sometimes money could be given to the bride’s family especially for proximity reasons to help in procurement of these items, after the spokes person lets their intentions known and presents the required items. Crosschecking all the items on the list and discovering that some items couldn’t be acquired the brides family for one reason or the other can decide to monetize it.
The groom is asked if he can still recognize his ‘flower’ after all has been checked and everyone seems to be satisfied and of cause he says yes then someone else; a lady covered almost completely is brought out and they ask him if that is the girl, and he will decline. People cheer and they take her back and they repeat the first act, with the grooms family required to offering small mount of money before she is uncovered.
The third time however, his bride is brought out amidst singing and dancing, he recognizes her so that everyone is happy. The bride is then handed over to the grooms family by handing her over to the grooms father or eldest person in their family; by placing her on their lap and chanting prayers in the process. The couple are then prayed for by both families and joined as husband and wife.
Afterwards both families can choose to disperse as the wedding has been concluded. Or there can be huge party with eating and drinking and dancing. The latter takes precedence most of the time as there is always a party afterwards where there is food and drinks, cutting of cake and dancing.
In case of inter-tribal marriage, the couple get to change to various traditional outfits then finalize in the grooms cultural attire to show that she has become their wife and full member of their family.
Ika-Delta State Ttraditional Marriage Requirements and Formalization procedures
Things required from the prospective Son-in-law:
1. First knocking at the door requirements/Things to bring:
• Kola nuts (ogi Agbor) -9Nos.
• Alligator Pepper -1Nos
• Bottle of Gordon’s Gin -1No.
• Bottle of Schnapps -1No.
• Palm wins -1Keg.
2. Second knocking at the door requirements/Things to bring:
• Kola nuts(Native only) -2 pieces
• Alligator Pepper -2Nos.
• Minerals (Soft Drinks) -1 crate.
• Beer (Any Type) -1 carton
• Stout (Small) -1 carton
• Bottle of Gin -1No.
• Bottle of Schnapps -1 No.
• Palm Wines -2Kegs
3. Traditional Marriage (Engagement)/Things to bring:
• Engagement Bible/Holy Bible with white cover or any religious object according to faith.
• Engagement Ring -1No.
• Wedding Ring (Not to be produced at this ceremony if there is going to be formal Church wedding /registry wedding.
• Pair of Shoes
• Suitcase or Trunk Box
• One piece of cloth (George; Blouse Material and head tie)
• Native woven wrapper complete with head tie of same material -1No.
• Request/Consent Money for the lady: N100-N200
Drinks Etc. to be brought to the ceremony
• Soft drinks
• Stout (small)-2 crates
• Schnapps -2Nos
• Gordon’s Gin -2nos
• Dubonet Wine -2Nos.
• Assorted Bee-4 crates
• Palm Wine Kegs
• Yam (tubers)-25Nos.
• Kola nuts (These are special marriage kola nuts: Big Agbor kola nuts of almost equal sizes) -5Nos.
• Salt -1no.,5kg(bag)
• Maltina (cartons)-2Nos.
Various Financial Expenses
• Egho igbgb”(Money for young girls/age group)-N100
• Egho ndi nwunyen (money for house wives) -N200
• Egho ikpon-olor (money for elderly women in the family)-N200
• Egho ikoro (money for the male youths/age group) -N100
• Egho ijenozi (money for the marriage go-between) -N100
• Egho mmundu (money for the children of the house)-N500
• Egho ndi ri mmulor (money for those other persons who live with the lady in the house
Things to be given to the girl on the day when she is being escorted to the husband (bride gifts from the parents.) This heading of expenditure is not for the husband but by the parents of the bride.
The following are the basic requirements as the parents can do more or less depending on their financial strength etc.
• Cooking pot.
• Iron pot with three legs -1no.
• Dishes and flat plates and drinking cups -Any number
• Kitchen knives including female traditional knife (mma) -Any number
• ‘’Odo’’(Mortar with “eka”(pestle)-1No.
• “mkpute”(Wooden Grinder with “eka”(pestle)-1No.
• Brooms (eziza) -3nos.
• Working/washing basins (not plastic) Enamel-2Nos.
• Bag of salt 25kg. -1No.
• Trunk box full dresses, shoes and jewelries -1No.
• Any other thing which, within the financial resources of the parents, they think that they would like to give to their dearly beloved daughter.
Things for the Mother: to be brought along to the engagement/traditional marriage
• Egho ogi mu nwa (Money for labour pains)-N500
• Full Ika traditional dress with pair of shoes to match
Things for the Father: to be brought along to the engagement/traditional marriage
• Egho nedi gi zun nw (Money for training given to the lady by father) -N700
• Full traditional ika dress (ekw mgburu)
• Egho isa igu -(N300-250N)
• Eghowe gi aiu nwa (Bride price)-N1,000
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