List of Ijaw traditional marriage rite. In the first place, do they have a culture? This question is usually asked because of how scattered the Ijaws are, but the answer to that question is affirmatively Yes!
In case you don’t know, the Ijaw culture is very unique and quite different from all others. For the very fact that they live along the coastlines, their traditions/customs are expected to be river related which is not far from the truth because they are in love with water as a people.
The Ijaw traditions are usually centered on water with beautiful display of their cultural values such as in meals, burial rites, festivals, and in marriage ceremonies.
Their uniqueness involves all aspects of their lives, from their day-day ways of life down to their tasty traditional dishes which makes even a non native to always salivating for more after being served.
Their foods usually contains almost all types of sea fishes both cooked and smoked, shrimps, crabs, and prawns. Merely putting these down here is already making me feel like going for that Ijaw tasty meal.
Anyway, let’s not get sidetracked with that as our focus on this article is marriage related. Good!. Ijaw tradition marriage ceremony goes beyond uniting of two people in love to also bringing two families together in some unique special ways which is different from other ethnic groups as far as their marriage traditions is concerned.
The Process Of Marrying An Ijaw Lady Are Outlined Below:
*Just like every other tribes, after an Ijaw man meets a lady he likes to marry, the usual friendships ensued which serves as courting giving them opportunities to know themselves better.
*At a stage when it’s clear that the friendships deserves extending into marriage, the man informs his family about his intentions and arrangements would be made to visit the bride’s family. The date for them to come would be given to him along with the list of things to come with.
* He is expected to come with some quantities of local gin and other alcohol beverages, Kola nut are usually not permitted because it is against their traditions to break kola nut for prayers. This visit affords both families to meet each other, socialize together and have some free reign of drinks together
* At this meeting even though it is somewhat informal, both families have a spokesman to have things properly coordinated and it is during this visit that the date for traditional marriage is chosen.
*The bride’s family have upper hand in choosing the date after this, a proper list containing the comprehensive list for the traditional marriage is then given to the groom’s family for them to through and have some necessary adjustments made.
At the end of every other things comes the proper list for the traditional marriage without which the groom has to go back and reorganize himself to meet up.
Ijaw Traditional Marriage List Are As Follows:
(1.) Money for the bride’s waist and for the brothers
(2.) Money for parents of the bride, tobacco, and for their attires
(3.) Mortar and Pestle
(4.) Box of clothes
(5.) A Canoe and fishing net
(7.) 20 litres of dry gin (Ogogoro)
If you have read the above list clearly you will discover that apart from salt, no other food item is found on the list and that should make you ask some questions why? Well it is just one of the uniqueness of their cultures.
A typical Ijaw person will tell you that it is better to give him the instruments for farming than giving you some finished products and which I believes, there is enough sense in.
While going through the list you may also have noticed some things that are not all that relevant to urban living such as canoe and the fishing nets, and even as that, there are also traditionally not neglected but are monetized to make up for the lack.
The bride price varies from clan to clan, family to family, but mostly depends on the financial abilities of the groom. When the day for traditional wedding finally arrives, people and relatives from far and wide are invited after the bride’s parents and her people had made sure that every necessary requirements has been taken care of.
At the marriage celebration, the Ijaws usually add one spec to liven up to the occasion by presenting other maidens dressed in the same attire and instead of the groom, asks his family members to choose their bride and this is to confirm that the bride is not only known by the groom alone but also his family members as well.. and that to me, has some additional meaning to what real marriage is all about and should be.
As the occasions draws to a close with every necessary customs duly observed, the gifts accepted, the groom and his bride would then be blessed traditionally.
Finally, with all sorts of merriment and dances, the newly wed is escorted to her husband’s home by friends and women in the family along with gifts of various types.