Love is a beautiful thing. When two people decide to tie the knot, many plans are set to make the day a memorable one. In the eastern part of Nigeria, marriage is a big deal and often a thing of pride.
Unlike other cultures, where it concerns the couple more than anyone else, in Igboland, the parents of the couple, their extended families, villagers and towns people play active roles in the traditional wedding ceremony.
However, the groom and his family play an important in making the entire process a reality. From getting to know the girl and planning to 'pluck the flower' from the garden, the intending groom works his way to introducing himself to the bride's family and paying the set bride price.
Unlike the Yoruba culture, where gifts are just given to the bride and her family, the Igbo's take the dowry payment part very seriously. An agreement has to be met and it is the duty of the groom to pay the dowry or risk losing the bride.
Legit.ng presents the special procedure conducted at an Igbo traditional wedding.
1. Iku Aka
In the beginning, a man who is intending to marry a woman, goes with elders from his family and friends to make his intentions known to the family of the bride. During this meeting, the groom and his family show up bearing gifts of palm wine for the father, mother, aunties and uncles of the bride.
It is at this meeting that their approval is given and a date for the wedding is set. They also release a list of items or amount to be paid as dowry for the woman.
The groom then leaves to go and bring the goods as requested and in a case, where some of the items can't be found, a certain amount is agreed upon and paid by the groom.
It after the items have been brought that the proper wedding ceremony planning begins. This is after the groom has assisted with several items including cow, food ingredients and the likes.
The wedding day is always sweet one. The bride is adorned with beads and dressed in beautiful clothing for her man.
2. Igba Nkwu Nwanyi
The next stage is the wine drinking ceremony which is also the traditional wedding. The bride is given a container containing wine, which she must serve her husband with. It's a playful moment as she has to hunt for where he is seated among the guests and present him with the drink on her kneels.
After he accepts and drinks it, he then lifts her up from the ground. He then puts money in the container and they both dance together in joy and harmony.
It celebration galore as friends and family join the couple in celebrating their love. In some weddings, the bride shows off her dancing skills and has her friends present to assist and cheer her on.
3. Ndi Ochie
After the ceremony, the couple pay their respect to the elders present and gift them bags of salt and drinks to gain blessings and prayers.
Just like that, the couple begin their lives together as husband and wife!
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