This is another very interesting part of being a Nigerian aside our super rich culture, heritage and everything, we have the TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE RITES. The colourful event greatly programmed with display of tradition is very far from an eye-saw.
First of all, you have to be super prepared for whatever you are going into, (that is if you know what I mean)
Some traditional weddings are organized in a small pattern, while some are elaborate, but which ever be the case, they are still very colourful.
There is nothing else that gives you the Right over that huge beauty and helper except the payment of her Dowry. One could think the dowry that is often talked about is a large or huge sum of money but it is far from the Truth, it is simply a courtesy, a show of readiness to take a wife and the ability to sustain her.
A father believes that no amount of money is worth selling his daughter to another family, so often a very little amount of money is used for the dowry in line with our cultural heritage. It could be as little as five Naira (N5) and the groom would be asked to use what he should have paid to take care of his bride, but in some other cases, the groom has to prove his competence or his responsibility by buying clothes for his in laws which sometimes can be a big deal.
After you do the introductory process and both families have come to terms, a special date will be set or fixed when the groom and his family members will come officially and invite the traditional chiefs, kinsmen and maybe traditional spirits to bear witness to the union. the blessing that accompanies a traditional marriage is always heavy, because the kinsmen who are still so into the traditions and customs will bless you and call on the gods of the land to bless and to protect the union and make it fertile. This rite is always performed in the bride’s family house.
The most fascinating thing about the whole traditional marriage is the level of customs and traditions attached, whenever I have to attend a traditional marriage, I watch with great interest when the parents of the day present and break kola nuts, (mandatory), the bride has to dance in with her maidens, let me just give you first hand gist how the wife looks on the day of her traditional wedding, she appears spectacular, very beautiful, the makeup she wears on that day even though light brings out a queen. then she automatically becomes a celebrity, all the guests are on the lookout for her because her attire depending on the tribe, is beautifully worn and I do not know how she does it on that day, but every casual step just goes for the occasion.
You are totally OYO (on your own) if you have to go for a traditional marriage dressed in jean and t shirts or any outfit that doesn’t have a tune of tradition in it. Trust me, you will look like a passerby..
Another very interesting part is when she has to receive a cup of palm wine and go in search of her husband, as it is with the Igbo Culture, she will walk through a lot of wrong hungry men *lol* and search for her husband who will tactically hide from her and allow her search for a while, finding him she kneels gracefully and allows him take a sip from the cup she’s holding. They hold hands and dance together for their friends, family and well wishers to see them, while the custom of spraying them the costly Naira is performed alongside.
The bride is handed over to her bridegroom, and his family and she becomes a member of that family automatically. It doesn’t end there anyways, a typical Nigerian marriage would also lead you to God’s altar to finalize everything.. But I wouldn’t let you know how cool a white wedding can be because our gist is centered on the traditional wedding..
Watching the performances from different traditional dancers and even masquerade dancers will make you wish for endless moments, that is why the Ada Ada video by Flavor remains outstanding,
If you ever get the chance to attend a Traditional Marriage, do not pass up the opportunity, if it is too beautiful for you to behold, do it to prove whether or not my story is true.
Photo Credit: Lipstickalley.com, pinterest.com,