See Traditional Marriage Among The Igbos Of Nigeria Below…
i. A man sees a lady of his choice and opens up his mind and intentions to her. If she agrees, they begin a discreet dating affair that must not be made so public.
ii. The man then intimates his parents of his desire to marry the particular lady, and the parents inform the entire family who investigates the lady’s family to be sure she’s from a good and healthy family.
iii. The man together with his parents then visits the parents of the lady, who entertains them with drinks and foods until the evening. Then parents of the man or their spokesman clears his throat and reveals the reason for their visit to the family of the lady – to marry their daughter who is identified by name in case they have several marriageable girls.
iv. In some villages, the parents of the lady might call her out and ask if she knows the suitor and interested in marrying him; and in some other villages the parents of the girl will only understand the purpose of the visit and ask for time to speak with their daughter.
v. Before the next meeting which might take weeks, the parents of the lady would have investigated the family of the suitor to be certain he is from a good and healthy family.
vi. On the day of the next meeting, the family of the man comes again to the bride’s family who says they have accepted the offer of marriage; and then lists out the bride’s dowry and other items that must be presented for the wedding to hold.
vii. Some of the items demanded by the lady’s family include –
– The bride dowry (Ika Akalika)
– Kegs of palm-wine
– Bottles of gin, wine, spirits
– Kolanuts and bitter-kola
– A goat or chickens
– Bags of rice
– Tubers of yam
– Crates of soft-drinks
– Packs of stockfish
– Bales of traditional cloths or wrappers
viii. A day is fixed for all these items to be brought to the family compound of the lady. The numbers of yam, drinks, chicken, or other items vary from village to village. As soon as these items are submitted and accepted, then a wedding date is set.
ix. On the day of the wedding, there is feasting everywhere and friends and family and villagers from other places come to attend the occasion. A gourd containing palm-wine (Iko) is given to the bride to be handed to her husband who is seated among the guests or crowd. She looks out for her husband even as distractors beckon her to bring the palm-wine, but she declines and hands it over to her husband – kneeling down. Then is the marriage perfected.
x. In some other villages, they may require the bride to hawk or sell a tray of sweets or boiled eggs or other trivial items among the watching crowds and visitors to show she is industrious and would be very helpful to her husband in the home. This may precede the palm-wine giving ceremony to her husband.
xi. In some communities, they practice the “Idu Uno” where the bride’s family visits the bride’s new home some days after the wedding to present her with household items such as cooking utensils, bed-sheets, boxes, sewing machine, bed, pillow cases, plates, clothes and other things newly married couples need to start a life and family.