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    The Beauty Of Edo Traditional Marriage And Culture

    Edo state is at the centre of the ancient Benin Empire and is very rich in culture and tradition. Edo culture is a very beautiful one, and the marriage process is such a one filled with beautiful steps. Here, we shall highlight each of these steps one after the other.

    When a young man finds an Edo woman he wants to marry, he will inform his parents and the older members of his family, stating his intention to marry the woman. After which, messages are sent to the woman’s family to decide on a day for the introduction. This process is called Ivbuomo amongst the Esan, which means ‘seeking a bride’.

    Traditionally, this is the time for each family to conduct any investigations concerning diseases, mental illness and criminal tendencies in the other’s family.

    The young man will then prepare for the introduction. He will have to buy kolanuts and drinks to give to his future in-laws as gifts. He may also choose to buy other items like yams and plantains.

    He will choose a male spokesman from amongst his family who understands tradition and knows how to negotiate terms.

    The Introduction

    After arriving and exchanging greetings, the young man and his family will be seated on one side of the room, and the lady’s family will be seated opposite. The lady’s family will present kolanuts and drinks to the man’s family to welcome them.

    Then the spokesman from the man’s family will stand and declare the purpose of the visit- to seek their daughter’s hand in marriage. At this point, he will present the gifts of Kolanuts and drinks.

    The lady’s father or his representative will then call the intended bride-to-be and ask if she knows his people. He will inform her of his proposal and asks if he should accept the kola and drinks, i.e. if she wants to marry him. If she says yes, joy! The lady’s family will now accept the man’s proposal and give him a list, then serve everyone food and drinks.

    The List

    The Edo people are considerate and the list is purely symbolic and for traditional rites- never a payment- because the bride is not an article for sale.

    The Traditional Wedding

    It takes place in the bride’s family house. The bride-to-be will be dressed in the beautiful traditional attire of the Edo people. The ceremony is anchored by the ‘Okaegbe’- the eldest male or head of the bride’s family.

    Kolanuts and palm wine are presented to guests, followed by lots of food and drinks. The bride price will be paid to the bride’s family. The custom is to give them a lot more, but they will only take what is customary and return the rest, urging you to use it in your new marriage. The bride will be placed on her father’s lap at some point, and prayers are offered.

    Read also: Lesoda Made A Perfect Edo Bride In Her Bridal Attire

    During the ceremony, ‘fake brides’ are brought out by the older women of her family and the man will be asked to identify his real bride. If he is successful, she is presented to his family.

    When the ceremony is over, the ‘Ovbioha’ i.e new bride is escorted in a procession by her friends and family to her husband’s house.

    Read also: Lesoda And Bruno Met Through A Mutual Friend – See Their Beautiful Edo-Igbo Traditional Wedding Photos

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    Photo credit: Getty

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