3 Unique Steps into Efik Traditional Marriage Customs

Efik traditional marriage customs is one of a kind – From the first Point of call (Ebot Usongeyin) down to the last day of the ceremony – it’s all good. The Efik culture is unique and beautiful in all ramifications.

Efik ladies are well culture and trained to give their husbands that well desired support, which every man needs from his significant half. An Efik lady is a perfect combination of Beauty and Brain, they are warm and welcoming.

Efik people are from the south-south Region of Nigeria, precisely Cross-River state, occupying the present day CALABAR – a former Capital territory of Nigeria.

Cross-River is inarguably the most beautiful, Peaceful and Affordable State in Nigeria. It is also known as the Tourism headquarters of Nigeria. Cross-River is Home to Obudu cattle Resort, Tinapa etc.

Weddingtin is proud to bring to you the Unique Guide into Efik traditional marriage customs.

Table of Contents

Pre-Marriage Process

When a man finds the girl of his choice, he inquiry the family she came from. With the details, he informed his parent or any elder in his family about his findings. The man’s family sent out investigators to check the girl’s family, to know if they are free from any hereditary or character issues.

When the findings from the investigation is favorable, then the Efik traditional marriage customs move to the next step which is the presentation of Ebot Usongeyin


In Efik Usongeyin means Insult – traditionally the girl’s Parent felt insulted that the man spoke to their daughter first before coming to them, he should have asked for permission before verbally engaging their daughter.

The Man and his parent go with a Goat (ebot-usongeyin); the goat is to appease the god’s and the girl’s family for the Insult rendered to them. In addition, they go with 7 jars of palm wine.

After, drinking and knowing each other, an elder from the girl’s family will ask them to go. The girl’s family will then ask their daughter if she wants to marry the said young man, if she agrees and their investigation about the man’s family comes out good.

Then, the two families will fix a date to meet for the Efik Traditional marriage.

Efik Traditional Marriage Requirement

Traditional marriage customs with the Efik is similar to most traditional marriages in the south-south region. A comprehensive list of what the Bride family requires is listed out below.

Before Ndo (Marriage) with an Efik girl is recognized most of these requirements must have been met, if not all;

  • Boxes of Clothes – the size and height is most times considered, the box must be filled with wrappers, clothes and jewelries.
  • Goat (ebot ndo).
  • Dowry/Bride price – It has to be in twelve bundle of money.
  • Palm wine (mmin Efik) 24 jars
  • Bridal dress (Nkpin)
  • Traditional hair Extension and comb (etinghe)
  • If she is the first daughter Nkpoto must be provided – Building a colourful royal tent for her, which only her stays in it on her marriage ceremony.
  • Any alcoholic drink/ Spirit bought must be in seven (7) folds.
  • Soft drinks and Soda should be according to your capacity.
  • Kola nuts (Ibong).
  • Ntokon Ibong – Ground nut source. Made from blended ground nut mix with pepper, salt etc.
  • Damas (traditional wrapper) for bride’s father.
  • Ọyọyọ (traditional gown) for bride’s mother.
  • Buy cap for the father – Buy Afia itam (white-cap) if the bride’s father is a Chief
  • Traditional Shoes (ikpaukot nkwa) for father and mother.
Efik Traditional Marriage Ceremony

The climax of every Efik traditional marriage customs ends with the wedding ceremony. The wedding ceremony is characterized with beautiful attires, happy faces and merriment.

The elders pour out libation and consult the gods to bless the union, declared the ceremony to begin. They use the alcoholic drink/Spirit brought by their in-laws to offer prayers.

An elderly woman from the bride’s family will inspect all the items brought by groom for the wedding. This is done in the present of all to see, whether he complies with what he was asked to bring.

When all is in order, a song will be sung for the bride which goes; nyamke yam enyen mi ebot ebot edi uyam which means our daughter is not for sale only goat is for sale.

The groom is warned never to maltreat his wife, because they gave her out freely and would take her back if he treats her badly – because she has a home.

The Bride is ushered into the arena majestic in the company of her friends, dancers and other young maiden. The bride dances to the rhythm of the song; nyamke yam enyen mi ebot ebot edi uyam. At the end the bride and groom receive blessings from both families.

A typical Efik traditional marriage customs recognizes the presentation of gift items like Kitchen utensils and other household items from extended families to the bride.

In conclusion, marriage in Efik land will be an expedient experience for anymore who desire the best in a marriage life. Efik traditional Marriage ceremonies are modest, colorful and culturally loaded. Just take a trip down Calabar and see for yourself. 

One thought on “3 Unique Steps into Efik Traditional Marriage Customs

  • January 3, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Ebot usongenyen only applies to marriages where the woman has been already impregnated by the man. Thank you!


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