- The people of Ogu/Bolo kingdom, a community in the Okrika local government area of Rivers state had their Iria festival
- The festival is a rite of passage marking the transition of young virgins into womanhood in the community
- The young girls are to demonstrate their virginity before progressing to other of the age-old yearly traditions dating back to the 17th century
Legit.ng journalist Adekunle Dada has over 5-year-experience covering metro and government policy
Rivers state - Iria festival, a rite of passage marking the transition of young virgins into womanhood in Ogu/Bolo kingdom, a community in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, has generated a lot of reactions on social media.
This is due to the pictures of young girls dancing half-naked at the market square, Premium Times reported.
The age-old yearly tradition dates back to the 17th century held on Saturday, 2 December 2023.
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The first hurdle for the young girls is to demonstrate their virginity and they are being examined by the women of the town.
The successful candidates are ushered into a “fattening room” where they are fed with body-nourishing meals, especially pounded yam mixed with pounded plantain and fresh fish, according to The Punch.
The young girls also undergo training on the nuances of womanhood.
The Ogu Council of Chiefs oversees the event and officially recognises the qualified girls into adulthood by presenting them with certificates
This process includes pampering and preparation for the main event – dancing half-naked at the market square.
The culmination of the Iria ceremony unfolds at the market square with the maidens, adorned in traditional attire that only covers their lower body, boldly displaying their bare breasts.
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