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The Traditional Marriage List In Imo State: What You Need To Know



The Traditional Marriage List In Imo State: What You Need To Know

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Are you planning a traditional wedding in Imo State? It’s very important to understand the traditional marriage customs, especially the marriage list.

Traditional weddings in Imo State are steeped in cultural traditions, and knowing what’s on the marriage list is essential for couples preparing to marry and for guests attending the ceremony.

However, concerns have been raised about the high cost of marriage, particularly in areas like Mbaise.

This has caused some men to hesitate when considering marriage in such regions, and it has also led to some Mbaise girls remaining unmarried.

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Traditional Marriage List In Imo State:

What is Igbo Marriage Customs?

Igbo marriage customs in Nigeria are deeply rooted in tradition and culture. Marriage in Igboland consists of numerous procedures, including the payment of bride price, which is a vital part of the couple’s marriage.

Here is what you should know:

Bride Price:

  • In Igbo tradition, the groom and his family pay a price to the bride’s family, symbolizing the bride joining the groom’s family.

Wine Carrying:

  • During the wedding, the bride carries a cup of palm wine to her groom, showing her willingness to join his family, usually in a joyful atmosphere.

Family Background Check:

  • Before the wedding, both families look into each other’s backgrounds. The bride’s family checks the groom’s family for any issues like health problems, bad behavior, or past divorces.

Formal Introduction:

  • The groom’s family visits the bride’s family to introduce themselves and express their desire to marry the bride, usually with a larger group to show support.

Marriage Inquiry:

  • The groom’s family visits the bride’s family to ask about getting married, usually without bringing gifts, just as a formal introduction.

Consent Seeking:

  • The bride’s extended family, called Umunna, must agree to the marriage before it can happen.

Gifts for the New Home:

First Visit to the Newlyweds’ Home:

The Components of a Traditional Marriage List:

The traditional marriage list, also known as the “igba nkwu” list, includes items that the groom’s family gives to the bride’s family as part of the marriage talks. These things represent respect, goodwill, and the groom’s willingness to care for his future wife.

Understanding Bride Price Customs:
One of the key components of the traditional marriage list is the bride price. This is a customary payment made by the groom’s family to the bride’s family as a gesture of appreciation for allowing their daughter to become part of their family.

Bride Price (Ime Ego) is a Crucial Aspect:

  • In Igbo tradition, the groom’s family pays a bride price to the bride’s family. This payment symbolizes commitment and strengthens the bond between the two families.

Bride Price Amount is Flexible:

  • There’s no fixed amount for the bride price in Igbo culture. The families negotiate the amount, which can vary based on factors like the bride’s education and family status. Some regions have a nominal bride price, like 30 shillings or 60 Naira.

Bride Price is Privately Negotiated:

  • The negotiation and payment of the bride price happen privately between representatives of the groom’s and bride’s families. It usually occurs in a separate room away from the public wedding ceremony.

Bride Price Can Be Returned for Divorce:

  • If the marriage ends in divorce, the bride’s family is expected to return the bride price to the groom’s family. This return signifies the woman’s transfer back to her family.

Bride Price Does Not Equal Commodification:

Bride Price is Distinct from Wedding Expenses:

  • The bride price is separate from other expenses in an Igbo wedding. These expenses can be significant and may discourage some men from marrying.

Traditional Marriage Rites and Rituals:
Traditional Igbo weddings are rich in symbolism and ritual. From the breaking of kola nuts to the exchange of gifts and the pouring of libations, each ritual has a special meaning and significance.

The Traditional Marriage List In Imo State

ItemDescriptionBride Price (Ime Ego)Payment made by the groom’s family to the bride’s family as part of the marriage customs, symbolizing the transfer of the bride to the groom’s family.
KolanutsUsed in various rituals and ceremonies throughout the wedding process.
Palm WineTraditionally offered as a drink during ceremonies and celebrations.
YamsSymbolizing fertility and prosperity, yams are exchanged between families.
Goats/ChickenOfferings to symbolize wealth and abundance in the new union.
Cloth MaterialsTraditional fabrics used for clothing and ceremonial purposes.
JewelryAdornments worn by the bride and groom, often passed down through generations.
BeveragesAssorted drinks served to guests during the wedding festivities.
Cooking UtensilsHousehold items presented to the newlyweds to start their married life.
CashMonetary gifts given to the bride and groom or their families as a sign of goodwill and support.
Baskets of FruitsOfferings representing prosperity and blessings in the marriage.
Traditional GiftsItems with cultural significance, such as traditional mats, calabashes, and artworks.
Marriage CertificateOfficial documentation of the marriage recognized by both families and authorities.
BeddingsSheets, blankets, and other bedding essentials for the newlyweds’ home.
LivestockCattle, pigs, or other livestock given as valuable gifts to the newlyweds.
Cooking IngredientsSpices, herbs, and cooking ingredients symbolizing the sustenance of the new household.
Spiritual OfferingsOfferings made to ancestors and deities to bless the union and ensure harmony.
Educational MaterialsBooks, stationery, or educational resources provided to encourage learning and development in the new family.
Traditional Drummers/DancersEntertainment provided during the wedding festivities to celebrate the union.

Traditional Marriage Attire in Imo State:
The attire worn by the bride and groom during a traditional wedding is also an important aspect of the ceremony. Traditional attire varies depending on the community and may include colorful fabrics, intricate beadwork, and traditional jewelry.

The Role of Elders in Traditional Weddings:
Elders play a crucial role in traditional Igbo weddings, providing wisdom, guidance, and blessings to the couple. Their presence is seen as a symbol of support and unity within the community.

Traditional Marriage Food and Drinks:
Food and drinks are an integral part of traditional Igbo weddings, symbolizing abundance, hospitality, and celebration. Traditional dishes such as pounded yam, egusi soup, and palm wine are often served to guests.

Groom’s Family Responsibilities:
The groom’s family is responsible for providing the items on the traditional marriage list and ensuring that all customs and rituals are observed. This includes coordinating with the bride’s family and elders to plan and execute the wedding ceremony.

Planning Your Traditional Wedding in Imo State:
If you’re planning a traditional wedding in Imo State, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the customs and traditions of the region. Consult with elders and community leaders for guidance and support throughout the process.

The traditional marriage list in Imo State is a reflection of the rich cultural heritage and values of the Igbo people.

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