Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Traditional Marriage Rites In Edo State, Nigeria (Concluding Part)

A Couple and groom 
The wedding

The wedding takes place in the house of the bride's family. It is a special day where people come from far and near to rejoice with the couples.

There is usually a lot to eat and drink on this day. Kolanuts and wine are presented to guests and the ceremony is presided by the Okaegbe (head of the family).

The bride is normally placed on the father's lap during the ceremony and prayers of all sorts are made. After the prayers and conclusion of the Iwanien Omo (wedding ceremony ), the bride who is now called Ovbioha is then escorted to the husband's house along with her properties, by her friends and close family members.

In the husband's house, they would be a lot of eating, dancing and merriment as they await the new wife. On getting to the house, a message would be brought to the husband that there are obstacles on the road preventing her from entering. To remove these obstacles known as
Urghunghun, the husband would have to part away with some amount of money to allow the wife to enter into his house.

This will immediately be followed by the washing of the bride's feet with water placed in a bowl together with money. This ceremony is called Ikpobo-Ovbioha.

It is usually performed by one of the senior wife in the bride's family. A new head tie would be used to wash the bride's hand in the bowl and it would be given to the bride together with the money.

Post-Wedding

In strictly traditional homes, the bride would be taken to the family alter to offer prayer to her. After some days, the bride's mother in-law will visit the new couple together with some female members of the family to confirm if the wife is truly a virgin.

This is usually done by checking for blood stain on the bed spread the couples had their first sexual intercourse. The wife would be given gift items if it was confirmed that she is truly a virgin, if otherwise she would have to go through a ceremony known as Ivihen -oath taking.

She would have to confess the number of men she slept with to the grooms's mother and other elderly women in attendants; this would not be revealed to the husband.

After this, the wife would then be taking to the family shrine to take an oath of fidelity, it is after this oath-taking that she is finally accepted into the family.

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