The Yoruba traditional marriage

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The Yoruba people are an African ethnic group that inhabits western Africa, mainly Nigeria and Benin. The Yoruba constitute about 44 million people in total.

There is a lot to talk about the Yoruba, but in this article i will only be talking about the Yoruba marriage. There is these general belief that if you want to eat go to a Yoruna wedding. but there is more to a Yoruba wedding than just food and were going to leran more about that in these article.

The Yoruba Tradition Engagement Ceremony

This is what is known as the traditional wedding and people are invited to come witness. On this day, the ceremony is anchored by two people; the Alaga Ijoko from the bride’s family who is usually a female and the Alaga Iduro who’s from the groom’s family.

usually takes place days, weeks or even months before the white wedding ceremony. … The entire ceremony is orchestrated by two representatives who are chosen or hired by each side of the family.

The wedding ceremony is the climax of a process that starts with courtship. The young man identifies a young woman that he loves.

Then once they both express mutual love, they let their parents know about their feelings for each other. The man’s parents arrange to pay a visit to the prospective bride’s parents. Once their consent is secured, the wedding day may be set. Prior to the wedding day, the payment of bride price is arranged. This secures the final consent of the bride’s parents, and the wedding day is fixed.

Once day is fixed, religious leaders are called and couples are warned not to go out of town. The wedding day is a day of celebration, eating, drinking and dancing for parents, relations, the new husband and wife and their friends and, often, even foes.

In Yoruba land, marriage is not just the union of the families on both sides. But before the bride goes to her husbands house, she is escorted by different people i.e. family and friends to the door step of her new home in a ritual called Ekun Iyawo.

Traditional marriage in Nigeria among Yoruba

A Yoruba bride hugs her mother on her traditional wedding day. This is a farewell hug from mother to daughter. meaning ‘The cry of the new bride’, this is to show that she is sad leaving her parents’ home and signify her presence in the new home. There she is prayed for and her legs are washed. It is believed that she is washing every bad-luck that she might have brought into her husband’s house away.

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she is given a calabash (igba) and is then asked to break it. When it breaks, the number of pieces it is broken into is believed to be the number of children she will give birth to. On the wedding night she and her husband have their first meeting and he is ordinarily expected to find her to be a virgin. If he doesn’t, she and her parents are disgraced and may be banished from the village where they live.

This is common in the old days and also the traditional worshipers as for Christian and Muslim members, they generally blend it with a church wedding and registry wedding (in the case of Christians) or a nikkah and registry wedding (in the case of Muslims).

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