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    A Perfect Guide To Efik Traditional Wedding

    The Efik is a tribe in the southern part of Cross River state. They are known for their rich culture and hospitality.

    The Efik traditional marriage is very colourful and there are lots to learn from the rich cultural wedding ceremony.

    Below are the steps of an Efik traditional wedding:

    Exchange of Letters

    This is the first step in the Efik marriage process. It is expected that when a man finds the woman he wishes to spend the rest of his life with, the man informs his family, who in turn, sends letter to the woman’s family, stating their intention.

    Usually, such letter is accompanied with drinks and/or gifts. If the lady’s family consent, they send back a reply, and this leads to a visitation by the man’s family, to the lady’s family.

    Introduction – Udiong Ufok

    This process depicts the man’s first visit to the woman’s family. The young man, along with his family, will visit, bearing drinks and other gifts, to make a formal request from the woman’s family, to marry her. Several members of the lady’s extended family may be present too. Both families are introduced to themselves, and at the end of the day, a date is chosen for the next rite, which is known as Ukong-Usung.

    Knocking of the door – Ukong Usung

    This is the ceremony, where the man is presented with the traditional marriage list. The highlight of this day is the presentation of drinks by the man. Each drink presented by him has a significance attached to it. For instance, a separate drink is presented for expressing intention, another for appreciation, and another for prayers. Usually, there will be at least seven drinks presented by the man on this day, each bearing its own individual significance.

    The Fattening Room

    The Fattening room is an old traditional marriage rite practiced by the Efik. Usually, around six months before the marriage, a bride-to-be is sent into seclusion. In this seclusion, she will be fed, and pampered as much as she wants, and she will usually be taught about the doings of marriage. She’s fed properly, because the Efiks believe that a woman with a full figure, and a healthy waistline is beautiful.

    Older women are also assigned to train the bride-to-be on how to handle domestic activity in the home, such as cooking, and childcare. They also share experiences about marriage, and give advice to her. At the end of the seclusion period, a ceremony is held to honour her awakening into womanhood.

    Wedding Ceremony – Ukpe Nkpo Ndo

    On the day of the final ceremony, the bride price is paid to the parents of the bride. Gifts are often presented to the bride as well; notably, the Ekebe, a box containing all kinds of clothing and accessories. Cheering, dancing and celebration takes place, as well as other significant celebratory rites performed by the bride and groom. This significantly marks the end of the traditional wedding rites.

    Read also: Efik Bridal Hairdo Inspiration For The Beautiful ÑWAN NDÖ

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