Igbo Marriage

The Igbo people have a certain process which the follow to have a marriage within their ways. There is a certain standard and procedure to go through to have a wedding. A lot is very customary within the marriage as a whole. I have found out the tradition and ceremony of marriage by researching the topic Igbo Marriage. During my research I found five sources that include web articles and, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Marriage in the Igbo tribe is very great.A marriage is not held between a man and a woman, but between the families of both, sometimes even between clans or villages. Before even proposing, the groom’s family searches for the right partner for him. His family will investigate the girl’s family. According to a web article called “Igbo Traditional Marriage” by Chris Chiwetelu, “The investigation will dig into the background of members of the girl’s family going as far back as possible, looking for any incidents of recurring diseases, abominable acts, and problems with bearing children, insubordination or other marital problems”.After the investigation is done, the groom’s family approaches the bride’s family compound. When the groom goes to let known that he is interested in the other family’s daughter, he brings a small group of family. They present the bride’s family with gifts such as, kola nuts and small amounts of palm wine. If the bride accepts, the groom and his entourage will come back to her compound to acquire a “bride price”. Coming up with a “bride price” is derived as, “determining the value of a wife to a man” in the same article “Igbo Traditional Marriage”.Broom sticks are used to represent money. The bride’s family will come up with a huge bundle of broom sticks, and the groom’s family will take them into consideration but, come up with a counter offer of much less broom sticks. The families go back and forth until a price is reached, which also comes along with the groom agreeing to treat the bride well, not over abusing her or her children. The Igba Nkwu ceremony is the actual wedding ceremony. The wedding takes place at the bride’s compound. Several hundreds and even thousands of people show up to the ceremony.The grooms family must give the bride’s family, gifts like, kola nuts, palm wine, heads of tobacco, snuff, cloths, jewelry, etc. The bride’s family prepares all of the food for the ceremony. The bride and her maids do a dance around the compound while the in-laws throw money at them as gifts. The final ceremony is a church wedding. This time the groom’s family is responsible for all of the preparation. The next morning the bride is supposed to wake up early and sweep the groom’s family’s entire compound.It is tradition and, other women married in the family join along. The bride returns home to her family’s compound for about 3 days, and then returns to her new husband. As the marriage continues, each partner gets to know each other better. Some husbands may get married several more times. Divorce is not common in the Igbo people, marriage is very important to them. Following these procedures, the Igbo tribe takes their marriage ceremonies very seriously. From the bride price, to the compound sweeping, everything is done in order.

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