When people think of marriage, they usually imagine beautiful brides in their stunning wedding gowns and headdresses. However, not many consider the looks on the groom’s side. If the couple chooses to have a traditional wedding, the groom’s attire can be just as gorgeous as his bride’s. That is why we would like to tell you about the Igbo traditional wedding attire for groom and take a peek at the traditional Nigerian wedding ceremony.
Igbo traditional wedding
In Nigeria, wedding ceremonies are incredible and breathtaking. Each ethnic group has their own traditions that are spectacular in their own way. Igbo traditions are one of the most interesting.
The traditional Igbo wedding ceremony is called Igba Nkwu, which means wine carrying. It concludes the entire marriage deal that has started with the groom asking for the bride’s hand. All the friends, relatives, colleagues, even neighbours come together to congratulate the newly wedded.
The wine carrying lies in the basis that the bride has to find her groom among the attendees and present him with a cup of wine. If the groom drinks the wine, then the ceremony commences and everyone celebrates.
Finding the groom sometimes is no small feat, as nowadays, traditional Igbo weddings have borrowed the Yoruba concept of Aso-Ebi. It means that the guests at the wedding usually dress in the same colors and fabrics. It always result in beautiful wedding pictures, but it sure makes it harder for the bride to find her man.
And now that we have given you a brief summary about the ceremony, it is time to reveal what a groom should wear at a traditional Igbo wedding.
Igbo traditional attire for a groom
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As the brides choose their corals and headdresses, the grooms, too, put a lot of consideration into their outfit. Most Igbo men choose to wear Igbo traditional attire for their wedding day.
Starting from top to bottom, on their heads, grooms wear a special cap or hat. The most popular one is the Okpu Agwu (leopard cap), a fez or a striped hat. There is also a ceremonial hat, but only men with titles can wear those. Often the headwear does not match the rest of the clothes. However, it adds more flare to the outfit. Some men also accessorize their hats with vibrant feathers.
On their torsos, Igbo men wear an Isiagu, or a plain white shirt that reaches the knees. Isiagu is a type of pullover shirt, usually embroidered with lion heads, crowns or other large symbols.
The bottom half of the outfit is usually rather subdued compared to the rest. Grooms like wearing simple trousers that are traditionally wide-legged. Others, however, go for the wrapper, which can be as short or as long as they want.
The traditional wedding attire of a groom should also include accessories. Most grooms match their brides by wearing coral necklaces. Some add gold chains to their shirts. There is also now a trend among Igbo men whereby they carry a walking stick covered in intricate designs.
The most important thing is that the groom’s outfit should complement the bride’s attire. The clothes should be made out of the same or similar materials and they should not clash with one another.
At the end of the day, it does not really matter what the groom or bride are wearing. Even the prettiest clothes will not keep a couple together if there is no love between them. However, if love is present, it should be celebrated. And there is no better way to do it than with honouring your people’s traditions and carrying on their legacy.
READ ALSO: Igbo traditional wedding