We have an article today about traditional engagements in Nigeria Twirl peeps!! How exciting! Our writer sent this aaaaall the way from Nigeria, (Abokuma, its an email.lol). Her name is Adepeju Adeyanju (Peju for short), a young Nigerian woman and professional project manager based in Lagos and she loves loves loooooves to attend wedding ceremonies. You can follow her on twitter @Pjobaby. Enjoy Part 1 of her piece:
“Yoruba people are often described as the most flamboyant, party loving and most accommodating people of Nigeria. They are from Southwestern Nigeria and occupy Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara states and some parts of Kogi state. When a man and woman agree to marry in Yorubaland especially if the woman is Yoruba. The groom to be will visit the bride’s parents under informal settings and he will be interrogated to know how serious he will be in marriage, his socio-economic background and details of his family background.
The groom’s parents will also have a chat with the bride to have a clue on who she really is and the type of home she comes from. If both parents have been friends or the courtship have been long enough for both parents to know it all, this step is skipped. Both sides also make background checks on each other from other sources to know the main personality and mental health traits of one another. If the bride’s parents are satisfied with the groom, he is asked to tell his parents to come see them for a formal introduction. The formal introduction is the first official step in getting married in Yorubaland, it is called “mo mi nmo e” meaning let’s get to know each other. It is done in the home of the bride’s parents and done during the day. The groom with his parents, some family members and friends visit the bride’s parents who will be waiting with the bride and other family members. The groom’s side do not go empty handed, they go with fruits, bottles of wine or gin, biscuits and sweets to signify sweetness and fruitfullness.
The formal introduction can range from intimate in the sitting room of bride’s parents with just core family members; in an interactive way where all family members introduce themselves. It could also be elaborate under a tent at bride’s family compound; with a moderator; drumming; singing and more elaborate dressing. Either way, family members present are introduced, prayers are offered to the new couple, lunch is served and the atmosphere is jovial. Both parents with the couple discuss type of wedding to hold, wedding dates and other key wedding decisions.
Bride’s parents give groom’s parents traditional engagement list. The bride’s family also give groom’s family gifts, usually a carton of biscuit to signify acceptance of their visit. To both families, bride and groom are now officially recognised as a couple and their relationship taken with more seriousness and acceptance. Both families can now be called in-laws. Everybody is looking forward to the remaining wedding events and praying for the success.
A typical traditional engagement list in Yorubaland includes these:
* Bride price (a token)
* Token of money for bride’s parents and some other family members
* Tubers of yam (21 or 42)
* Kolanuts (21 or 42)
* Bitter kolanuts (21 or 42)
* Natural honey
* Palm oil
* Baskets of fruits
* Bottles of wine or gin
* Crates of soft drinks
* Biscuits and sweets
* Bible or Quran
* Engagement ring
* A leather box containing fabrics, shoes, bags and jewelry for the bride.”
Insightful isn’t it?! How are engagements and/or marriages celebrated in your country or tribe? Keep sending ’em in! Twirly Tuesday posts on any topic of your choice to be featured every Tuesday here on our blog. Kindly send posts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Come back for part 2 of this article next week which promises to have even more pictures!! We love pics!
Have a blessed week everyone. xo