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Experience The Beautiful Culture In The Urhobo Traditional Wedding

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The Urhobo traditional wedding is an integral part of culture amongst the Urhobos of Delta State Nigeria. A woman whose bride price has not been paid amongst the Urhobo’s is not considered a wife.

 

The consent of both families is sought before the marriage process starts. Usually, the bride’s family hosts the marriage ceremony at the bride’s native home.

 

The groom’s family gives them formal notice before the chosen day. On arrival, the bride’s family will welcome their would-be in-laws with drinks and kola nuts. It will be supported with some money, regarded as “wedge” in Urhobo tradition.

 

A spokesman for the bride’s family will make the presentation of the drinks and kola nuts with the money to the visiting family. The visitor’s spokesman will, in turn, will accept the presentation on behalf of the groom’s family.

 

After this initial customary refreshment, the hosts will ask for the visitors’ mission. Then, the groom’s family would formally inform the bride’s family that they have come to marry their daughter for their son. The groom may or may not be present at this stage.

 

If the bride’s family accepts the proposal, they would make a show of identifying who the bride they wish to marry is. The host family would at this stage assemble their spinsters for the visitors to pick one among their daughters.

 

Experience The Beautiful Culture In The Urhobo Traditional Wedding
Photo: IDONSABI
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There is an interesting aspect to this identification exercise. It happens when the bride’s family presents another attractive girl who is not the chosen bride. They parade her before the visiting groom’s family, peradventure they would opt for a new bride. This customary exercise is repeated three times.

 

Of course, they expect the groom and his family to reject the girls insisting on their particular bride. However, each time the groom’s family rejects a girl, they pay her some money as an appeasement.

 

Finally, they present the bride to the groom for him to confirm the true identity of his chosen bride. Once this process is over, they would seek the bride’s consent. Thus, during an Urhobo Traditional Wedding, they ask the bride if she is willing to marry the groom. The family of the bride can only receive the bride price if she consents to marry the groom.

 

Despite its importance, the process is a mere formality. This is because before the set day for an Urhobo Traditional Wedding the bride price and all arrangements would have been agreed upon and concluded. There is likely an understanding already between both families.

 

“Esuo” is the final stage of a full marriage according to Urhobo custom. It confirms the completion of all requirements from the in-laws.

 

The bride’s family escorts her with her properties and goodwill, to the husband’s family. They become her new family until the death of the bride as wife to the groom’s family.

 

You should experience this mind-blowing traditional rite someday to fully appreciate its beauty.

 

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