Nigerian Traditional Wedding: How Its Done In Nigeria, Customs And Traditions


Have you withnessed or been  to a nigerian traditional wedding before? 

I know you should have attended a traditional wedding in nigeria before or if its the other way round, don't worry as i will just be covering every detail you would want to know about about a nigerian traditional wedding. 

Nigerian traditional weddings are beautiful ceremonies to attend because of the things that come with it. The blaring music, different types of foods and drinks, the accessories and clothings that are worn to such occassions. Without much further ado nigerian traditional weddings are one of such ceremonies that shows the rich culture and heritage of the nigerian population.  

We have so many tribes in nigeria with different culture and traditions, and it isn't different when it comes to nigerian traditional weddings. So I will be talking about each tribe and how their traditional wedding  are carried out and executed. 

Though these events with trends that are going on, they are   now becoming tedious and expensive to run, but nevertheless they are fun filled and enjoyable.

With the groom and bride bringing their two families close together, it helps for understanding the traditions, culture and values of both of the families. 

The various display nigerian traditional wedding attires, nigerian wedding color combinations, wedding dressing styles, wedding customs and traditions are what makes this event so glamorous. 


There are rules, traditions,  culture and rights when it comes to nigerian traditional weddings. Each of the stated above are different in all tribes with every tribe having its own style of doing things. Now let's take a look at the yoruba, Igbo and Hausa tribe. 


nigerian traditional wedding photos

First and foremost the yoruba traditional wedding  is characterized with the grooms family paying the brides family a visit to seek for the brides hand in marriage. 

The first step is the groom choosing a woman he wants to marry and after then a middleman(alarina) is called upon and he starts the marriage process formally by inquiring into the family of the supposed bride.
After this, a meeting is fixed and it begins with courting. Another meeting is fixed between both families and the groom is given a list of items called ‘Eru Iyawo’ which includes the dowry to be paid at the day of the wedding ceremony. Items like yam,  palm oil, sugar cane, obi(kolanut),  atare( alligator pepper), honey, fruits, orogbo(bitter kola), cow and goat meat are basic items that are always present in the list and other items including the dowry. 

On the day of the yoruba traditional wedding, the program which is usually headed by two people that is the Alaga Ijoko for the bride’s family and the Alaga Iduro or the groom’s family starts off with the entrance of the groom and  his people. 
The ceremony for the Yoruba traditional wedding  a time to unite two individuals and also an avenue for the both families to know each other. 
Following the formal introduction, a date is set for the engagement. The celebration is moderated by two women Alaga Ijoko (representing the brides family) and Alaga Iduro (groom’s family). Traditional weddings by the Yorubas begin with the arrival of the groom’s family. The grooms family must come early or they are asked to pay a fine.  The families stretch forth their hands to pray for the groom who prostrates with his friends before heading to his seat.
An elaborate proposal ‘letter’ is presented by the grooms family and read by the youngest member of the brides family. An acceptance letter is given by the brides familyto the grooms.  The ‘veiled’ bride dances into the hall with her friends (Asoebi Ladies). She kneels before her parents then the groom’s parents for prayers. She proceeds to put the groom’s hat (Fila) on his head demonstrating her acceptance of his proposal.
The Yoruba men wear an agbada a two-layered material made from  aso oke for yoruba wedding (traditional/hand-woven material), cotton, damask, lace or wax fabric (ankara). The colour combination complements the bride’s and reflects the colour chosen by his family. The bride’s outfit consists of Gele (head tie), Buba (blouse), Iro (wrapper) usually ankle length as well as accessories.
Various foods like jollof rice, pounded yam and egusi, 


nigerian traditional wedding photos

Taking  a wife in hausa land usually begins with what is known as ”Na gani ina” meaning , i like what i see . At this stage the grooms family and friends accompany the groom to visit the family of the bride ,this is usually an all men affair, the family and friends( men only) take with them some gifts to the bride’s parents house ,fruits and kolanut must be included. The gifts can either be accepted or rejected by the brides’s father. If the gifts  are accepted by the brides father the groom is then permitted to see the bride.
The groom to be and the girl are now allowed to get to know each other’s likes and dislikes, after this if the girl feels comfortable with marrying the man she gives her consent. The bride’s parents now have the duty of communicating the approval to the grooms family. this is known as ”Gaisuwa” then the couple are now engaged. Both families will then sit to have a dialogue on wedding arrangements and setting of wedding date. The setting of the wedding date is known as ”Sa rana”.
The wedding day is called ”Fatihah”,on that day the dowry ”sadaki” is paid. While the dowry is paid, the bride stays inside with older women and her friends .The3 older women are there to carry out aa ceremony called ”Kunshi” this is to prepare the bride top become a wife. It can also be called bridal shower .Generous amount of perfume and scented flowers are applied on the bride. Lalei (Henna) is also applied on her arms and feet they are usually made in unique an intriguing designs.


Igbo traditional wedding photos

Igba Nkwu’ meaning Wine carrying is the official traditional wedding ceremony practised by the Igbos. Before getting to this stage, the groom-to-be’s family pays a visit to the Bride’s family in an act called ‘door knocking’. This is done as an act of asking the parent of the bride for her hand in marriage. The groom-to-be’s family presents Kolanut, Palmwine (local brew), dry gin and soft drinks to the bride’s family. After the purpose of visit and gifts are accepted, some families go-ahead to investigate each other for their good standing and moral standing in the society.
The Igbo women wear different styled embodied tops over two George wrappers (Akwele), a headgear (gele) and coral beads for the traditional wedding ceremony. Others use the ‘George fabric’ to make a long dress and style their heads with coral beads. The isi-agu top paired with the George wrapper, a cap, and a walking stick is worn by the men.
The main ceremony begins with lots of preparation. The food and drinks often locally made. Dishes like Ofe-Nsala, Nkwobi, Isiewu, Okpa, Pepper soup coupled with drinks like Palmwine, dry gin etc.
The Bride carries freshly tapped palm wine in a ceremony called ‘Igba Nkwu’ as she weaves through the crowd in search of her groom amidst feign distraction from the crowd of men. On getting to her groom she kneels and gives him the wine, the groom drinks up the content signifying acceptance. 

They proceed to dance to meet parents for prayers and formal introduction. Igbo people will most likely go back to their hometown ahead of the ceremony but these days most people would rather rent event venues and bring the culture to the city they are.
We have been able to discuss nigerian traditional wedding as regards to three major tribes in nigeria. I will be rounding up my post here on traditional weddings in nigeria here. 
Though I will still be touching other areas that has to do with nigerian traditional wedding in my future post. 

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Nigerian Traditional Wedding: How Its Done In Nigeria, Customs And Traditions Nigerian Traditional Wedding: How Its Done In Nigeria, Customs And Traditions Reviewed by Jikola ken on January 01, 2019 Rating: 5

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