Nigeria has a large number of different ethnic groups, and each of them tries to adhere to its old and sometimes shocking traditions. These unhealthy marriage practices in Nigeria may be really shocking; nevertheless marriage in Nigeria is an essential element of life. For most people in the other cultures, such traditions will seem truly unhealthy, and to someone, it may help to make the right decision. Let’s check them!
Unhealthy marriage practices
The traditions of one group may be completely unfamiliar and incomprehensible to ranother group. Still, marriage is a fundamental decision for a man and a woman. A man should not stay lonely, and it will also be inappropriate for a woman to live the whole life in the house of her parents.
Yet there are genuinely shocking marriage practices in Nigeria that are indispensable conditions for marriage. Therefore, before entering into marriage with a representative of the following tribes, it is vital to get acquainted with their rules and traditions. Of course, for most people, such marriage practices will seem truly unhealthy, and to someone, it may help to make the right decision.
The Fulani Sharo marriage practices in Nigeria
According to this tradition, the bridegroom, who wants to marry one of the girls of the Fulani tribe, must prove that he is worthy of this honor and pass a specific test.
The groom needs nothing more than to prove his endurance and resistance to pain. Since the representatives of the Fulani tribe are mostly nomadic, this requires that people should be tough and have a strong character. In order for the representatives of the tribe to decide whether the groom possesses these qualities, it is necessary to flog him shortly before the wedding. If the candidate does not withstand the required number of strokes, then he is refused.
The Yoruba marriage customs and practices
The concept of respect in Yoruba kingdom literally manifests itself in prostration. Making prostration, a person thereby shows a high level of respect. That is why in the tradition of the Yoruba tribe there is a practice of prostration, when the groom, his friends, and all family members need to bow to the family members of the bride.
In this case, the bow is made by laying the chest on the floor. In other words, you must lie on the chest in front of the bride's parents. At the same time within the framework of the wedding ceremony, such action takes place four times. The most shocking thing about this is that no one cares that you are wearing clean clothes or you put gold jewelry on.
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A chastity test is an ancient tradition in the Yoruba tribe. This shocking and at the same time very controversial practice takes place on the eve of the wedding. The bridegroom needs to consummate the marriage. For this reason, he is left alone in the room with the bride, and his relatives are waiting for him at the door. After this, the groom must take out a sheet, the one from the marriage bed, on which traces of blood must remain. This means a proof that the girl was innocent until this moment.
If the representatives of the groom could not be convinced of girl’s innocence, then according to tradition, partially boiled and roasted yam will be delivered to her relatives. It is considered a great shame to get such a message and then the bride will have to live in shame all her life. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that this tradition in the 21st century gradually begins to lose its importance and is used much less frequently.
Igbo marriage custom
Members of the Igbo tribe have many traditions before marriage. A bridegroom who wants to marry a girl from the Igbo tribe must give a so-called dowry before entering into marriage. This implies besides cash, the purchase of gifts. Sometimes the amount of cash spend on that can go up to N500,000. Moreover, if the bride has received a higher education and has a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, the amount can be increased significantly.
Such a shocking tradition has caused many unsuccessful attempts to start a family.
Igbo tribe practice of seniority in marriage
The Igbo tribe also has a tradition, when in families with several children, the oldest child must be the first to marry.
Often, a man has few options in this case, namely:
- Waiting for his turn according to seniority among siblings
- Abandoning this tradition and getting to marry outside the tribe without blessing of the family
Of course, following the traditions of the tribe is very important for all Igbos, but often people find a compromise in such marriage customs. Some families are more lenient in such cases and seem not so demanding on their children.
Nigeria is a fascinating country, with a particular culture and traditions. Though the African continent is now increasingly focused on European standards, many traditional marriage practices in Nigeria have still preserved among the local population.