Have you ever wonder how the Igbo people celebrate a traditional marriage? well, this article will explain everything you need to know about the Igbo people traditional marriage rites and attire.
Unlike most cultures in Nigeria, the Igbo culture has a unique way of choosing a spouse and celebrating traditional marriage.
The parents of the groom and the groom are usually involved when choosing a spouse and making arrangement for traditional marriage is concerned.
Igbo traditional marriage rites
Traditional marriage rites among the Igbo people are very festive, graced with colorful attire and heavy spending.
Before an ideal Igbo traditional wedding takes place the future groom must go throw this stage:
Firstly, the future groom will search for a woman he likes and informs his parents about it. The future groom, his parents, close friends, and kinsmen will visit the future bride parent and state the intention for the visit.
According to the tradition of the Igbo’s, the parent of the future bride is not expected to give a positive or negative response on the first day of visit from the future groom parents. However, both parents will fix another date for responding to the marriage offer. This will enable the future bride’s parents to investigate and know the type of family proposing marriage and also consult from their daughter if she is interested in marriage.
In some Igbo community, on the return visit to the future bride’s home; the family of the future groom and his kinsmen will reiterate their intention for marriage again.
They will expect that by now the lady’s family have carried out all their investigation and can give them a positive or negative response.
Also, it is expected of the future groom to come with gifts on the return visit such as palm wines, kola-nuts, dry gins, and soft drinks; the gift presented by the future groom and his family varies from one Igbo community to the other.
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List of items for the wedding ceremonies
Before an Igbo traditional wedding takes places, a groom will have to present the following items. However, the Igbo traditional marriage list of items varies from one community to the other.
For instance, traditional marriage rites and list of Items in Imo state are not the same as other parts of Igboland.
Igbo traditional marriage list
- Gallons of palm-wine
- Bottle of gin
- A goat
- Packets of cigarettes (optional)
- Bags of rice
- Tubers of yams
- Crates of soft drinks
- Bundles of Hollandis wrappers
Once the items are ready, the future groom will visit the future bride’s house to perform the marriage rites.
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After the marriage rites, a wedding date is set. During the wedding celebration, several indigenous dishes will be prepared for people in attendance; everybody will eat dance and be merry.
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During the wedding celebration, the bride will be given a cup of wine; she will go round in search of her husband.
Once she sees her husband, she kneels down and offers her husband the cup of wine. Afterward, the couple’s parents and elders of the family will offer prayers for them.
Finally, the couple will dance with family members and well-wishers, till the wedding celebration is over.
In some Igbo communities, they practice Idu Uno. Idu Uno is an official visit where the family of the bride pays the new couple a visit in their new home.
The Nuclear family of the bride along with her extended family will purchase several gift items such as cooking utensils, plates, bedspreads, luggage, sewing machine, bed, pillowcases, clothes, etc.; and present it to the couple on Idu Uno day.
Idu Uno is practice to give newly married couple a good head-start in their marriage; thereby saving them the cost of buying everything themselves.