The Igbos are one of the three dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria. They hold their culture in high esteem and inhabit 5 states –Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Anambra-in the South East.
Their conjugal ceremonies are akin to grand festivals as families jive in pomp and pageantry, magnanimously parading extravagance and riches as a communal status symbol. While many find this unusual, it is a delight to watch.
If you are considering marrying a lady from this part of the country, Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal shares four interesting things to note about Igbo traditional marriages.
It is expensive
Igbo traditional marriages are some of the most expensive in the country. Compared to weddings in other ethnic groups, this ceremony often serves as an opportunity to showcase wealth and social status.
According to native custom, the groom uses this ceremony to compensate the parents for raising a decent and responsible daughter and prove his worth as a man.
Bride price is over-the-roof!
The bride price attached to marrying an Igbo woman gives many men a scary feeling as the list of items demanded by the bride’s family can be overbearing.
Due to this, there is a public perception that they want to sell their ‘girls’, however this is not the case.
The bride price is negotiable but it is the role of the groom’s family to persuade the betrothed his father to trim the items on the list. Bargain items like kegs of palm oil and tubers of yam, if you truly love your woman and want a healthy purse after the wedding!
Wine carrying (Igba Nkwu)
Wine carrying is an integral part of the wedding. It is a feature that invited guests should look out for as it lends credence to the unique nature of Igbo culture.
It is a gallant display where the bride required to present freshly-tapped palm wine to her soon-to-be husband. She looks for him in the crowd as an enthusiastic group of men comically compete for her attention. Once she picks him out, her kneels touch the ground before him as she presents the cup of palm wine for him to drink from. Here is the tricky part, it important for the to accept this wine and guzzle every drop. If he rejects it…he rejects the woman!
Compulsory trips to the bride’s village
If the groom is from another ethnic group, he may not look forward to this but, it is an inescapable ritual. The groom may be lucky if the bride’s parents are in Lagos and have lax tied with their hometown.
However, if the reverse is the case, the parents of the bride may insist that the wedding be held in the village, after he travels to see the elders of the family dwelling there.
Although people from other tribes are often amazed at these demands, it adds to the thrills and frills of Igbo conjugal bliss!