The Ijaw traditional wedding is one that emphasizes the culture of its people. For the Ijaws, the traditional wedding is a celebration, where a man becomes one with his wife
The Ijaws are the main occupants of the Niger-Delta part of Nigeria. They are people who value their culture, which they ensure reflects in the way they perform their traditional wedding.
First, there is the introduction ceremony in which the groom and his family meet the bride and her family. In the Ijaw culture, they call this “ware ogiga gbolo”, which when translated means “to knock”.
However, the suitor must have visited the parents of the bride previously to inform them of his intentions. After which he gets a date to come for the introduction along with the list of things he would come with.
On the day of the introduction, the groom comes with some local gin, alcohol and other beverages. If the groom is not an Ijaw man, he comes with kola nuts. It is generally not a tradition for the Ijaws to break kola nut for prayers.
After the introduction, a proper date is set for the traditional marriage proper, as discussed by the spokespersons from both families. Regardless of this, the intending couple largely influences the wedding date.
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The bride’s family must have handed the groom a list containing all that he should bring for the traditional marriage rite.
On the marriage ceremony date, friends and well-wishers turn up to witness the grand ceremony. The bride’s family would, first of all, ensure the requirements on the list have been fulfilled.
As is common among marriage traditions, before the bride is presented to the family of the groom, other maidens are presented to be sure the groom knows his bride. Once they identify her, the bride’s family accepts the gifts. Then both families bless both the bride and groom in the traditional way.
The Ijaw traditional wedding is rich in culture. One in which no stone is left unturned and ensures all requirements are fulfilled, before the man and his wife can become one in marriage.
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