Nigeria as a country is very diverse with many ethnic groups and a large number of people with different cultural practices and beliefs. The Ijaw Tribe is the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria with a beautiful cultural heritage. A major part of this culture is their wedding ceremony and the Ijaw traditional wedding list determines it all.
In the Ijaw land, Marriage is not forced on anyone, People get married on the basis of love, when you have found that special woman, you then proceed to get consent from her parents, after mutual agreement from both of you.
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The next stop after the agreement is the introduction ceremony also known in the Ijaw language as ”Ware Ogiga Obolo” which simply means ”to knock”. This ceremony is meant for both families to get to know each other, the groom’s family together with elders from his community visits the bride’s family and makes their intention of marrying their daughter known. They are supposed to come with gin and beverages and if they are not Ijaw their expected to bring kola nuts.
During this ceremony, the date of the traditional marriage is then decided and the groom is provided with a list of things to bring on the day of the event. Unlike other ethical Traditional lists that contain food items, this list doesn’t contain anything apart from salt.
The Ijaw traditional wedding list includes
1. Money for brides waist
3. Money for brothers
4. 20 liters of Gin
5. Box of clothes
6. Lantern, Motal and Pestle
7. Attire for parents of the bride
8. Money for the parent of the bride
9. Money for maidens
10. A canoe and fishing net
This Ijaw traditional wedding list varies depending on the father of the bride if he wants to add more items to it or remove from it.
The traditional ceremony is the main activity and the one everybody is looking forward to because it is the official date the man and the woman become husband and wife. This ceremony takes place in the house of the bride, the family of both parties comes together to celebrate this colorful event. The bride’s family will, first of all, inspect the item brought by the groom if it matches the one on the Ijaw traditional wedding list and if it does the ceremony continues.
The wife is presented with other maidens, then the groom is asked to show and verify who he wants to marry from them, when he has selected his bride the family of the bride accepts the gifts, and the couples are then showered with prayers. The ceremony continues with singing, dancing, and eating, to round it all off the groom finally takes his bride home.
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