Nigeria is blessed with enormous and rich traditions and cultural practice. Recently I witness the introduction ceremony of a friend; his fiancée is an Urhobo woman. The Urhobo people are from southern Nigeria, one of the major ethic groups in delta state. Today I will be brining to you a typical Urhobo marriage introduction ceremony; this is how it all went.
A prospective groom with his parent and relative will visits the bride parent to formally introduce themselves and ask the girl hand in marriage. On the introduction day the groom is attached to a spokesman that serve as his mouthpiece to negotiate on his behave during the process and other thing required of him.
The ceremony started with prayers, the bride family present their prospective son in-law and his family with drinks, kola nuts and garden eggs. The girl’s father or an elder in her family will offer a substantial amount of money (#5000) and place it in a trail, member of the bride’s family will also give to add up to the first. The money is presented to groom and his family as a welcome gift and as transportation for finding their way to their home. The money offered depends on the financial ability of the girl’s family.
After accepting the gifts and drinks given to them, they drink and eat from the gift presented to them. The groom through his spokesperson thanks his in-laws and reciprocates the same gesture in double folds. The groom’s spokesman will formally announce their intention for coming – their son (groom) found the bone of his bone in this family and they have come to ask her hand in marriage. The girl’s father will ask if the groom knows which of his daughter he want to marry and her name, he replies ‘’yes’’ then the girls his house will brought out one after other. There will be series of distractions to see if he really knows who the he want to marry.
After that all said and done, the girl will be asked if she agrees to his proposal and should they (her family) accept the gift brought by the groom and his family. If her responds is yes, there will load jubilation and in a case where she refuses, all the gifts presented by the groom and his parent will be returned back to them.
Every member of both families will introduce themselves and exchange pleasantries. The bride’s family is in-charge of providing entertainment, food and drinks for this ceremony. A date for the traditional marriage will be fixed and bride price list will be given to the groom.
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