Traditional marriage system in Igbo

Traditional marriage system in Igbo land.

See how the Igbo people of nigeria celebrate their traditional marriage system.

Marriage is a ceremony that’s been celebrated all over the world.

It’s a wonderful day in the lives of the couple as that day marks their beginning of a new life. They leave their parents and form their own family.


A marriage ceremony is a joyful day for everyone, not only for the couple. It is full of entertainment, dancing, eating, and drinking.


Let’s see how the Igbo people celebrate their own traditional marriage, how it’s done, and the essential things that should be available on the marriage ground.


The Igbo tribe is located in the eastern part of Nigeria. The tribe has spread to almost all parts of the world as they hustle for money.


Preparation for traditional marriage in Igbo land


Just like normal white weeding, there is a lot of preparation for a traditional marriage in Igbo land.


The couple must make some necessary arrangements for the marriage on time.


There are two steps in an Igbo traditional marriage.


The first step is the proposal, and the second one is the main marriage.


Igbo traditional marriage must take at least two days. In some parts of Igbo, like IMO state and Enugu state, traditional marriage takes three days, though you can celebrate one and give it a distance of one month before celebrating the other one.


Proposal day in the Igbo traditional marriage system.


This is the first step a boy takes that shows that he is interested in marrying the girl.


Once a boy and a girl agree to marry themselves, the next step is the proposal.


The man’s family will give the woman’s family a notice that they are coming to their house. This notice can be a one-week notice or even four-days notice.


In the Igbo traditional marriage system, the following people must be present on the day of the proposal:


  • The parents, both the bride and groom’s parents,
  • The oldest man in their village, both the bride and groom’s village,
  • Best friends of the couple’s.


On the proposal day, the groom’s family will carry twenty-five liters of palm wine and two cola nuts.


As this celebration is just being attended by a few people, they can reduce the amount of palm wine.


They will present the cola nut and palm wine to the bride family. Before the bride family accepts the drink, the groom family has to reintroduce themselves to everyone and explain their mission. They will ask the girl and her family whether she is engaged to any other man. They probably know the answer to this question, but they just asked it to fulfill the custom and traditional system.


On this day, they will come up with the marriage date.


The actual marriage can be set for two weeks or more at this point. The man and woman will inform all their relatives, friends, any organization or club they belong to.


After this one is done, they will prepare for the actual marriage.


Items requires for marriage in Igbo land


The necessary things that should be available or be done before the marriage day depend on the financial or social stability level of the couple and their parents. The couple and their families will inform their friends and relatives about the occasion.


Traditional marriage is a great ceremony in Igbo land. Before the actual marriage date, the couple make the necessary arrangements for food and drinks. marriage clothes


materials like chairs, canopies, spoons, and plates.

Musical instruments, a DJ, and an MC are all available.

The bride’s price money


( This arrangement is at the bride’s family’s house )


Procedure on the marriage day”


See the details of everything that’s done on the Igbo traditional marriage day.


The groom will celebrate the marriage at their own house until about afternoon or evening time, depending on how far the bride’s house is located. The celebration will be going on at the bride’s place, but once the groom’s family arrives, the actual occasion will start.


The bride’s family will block the main entrance with a rope. When the groom arrives, they will be dancing on the entrance waiting for the bride to cut the rope for them. This stage can take about ten minutes to complete.


The bride will come out with some of her friends, dancing to the tune of the music the groom’s family is playing. The groom and his family have to give her a lot of money before she can cut the rope. If the money they spread is small compared to the groom’s financial status, she has to dance and waste their time until they spread more money.


  • Breaking the cola nut.


The eldest man in the bride’s village will present two cola nuts to the groom’s family and bless the cola nuts. The prayer he says here will mark the opening prayer of the occasion.


The youngest married man in the groom’s kingsmen will share the cola nut with the groom’s family according to their tradition.


After sharing the cola nut, the next thing is reintroduction. The bride’s family will ask the groom’s family what they are looking for. The groom’s family will start explaining that they found a fine woman in their house and they wish to marry her.


  •  drinking of wine.


They will bring a glass of wine in a glass cup and ask the woman to carry it and find her husband. The woman will be dancing with her friends. She will dance and parade all over the area pretending to be looking for her husband. The last place she will go is to her husband’s seat.


She will sit on her husband’s lap and give her husband the wine to drink. The husband, after drinking, will give the remaining wine back to her to drink.


This stage is one of the most joyful in traditional marriages in Igbo land.


Next thing, the couple will move to a small house set aside for them (this is a well decorated canopy that contains only two seats and one table).


This time, the well-wishers will be presenting their gifts to the couple.


  • Payment of the bride price


Payment of bride price in an Igbo traditional marriage is one of the pillars of the ceremony. The eldest people will move out completely to a room.


There they will be negotiating the bride price. During this period, everyone in the room is expected to sit down, as it’s a traditional that you must relax when paying the bride price, No rushing.


Payment of bride price is the last step in traditional marriage in Igbo land,This shows that the woman has become your wife truly.


Once the bride price is paid, they will celebrate the party to the fullest.


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