Wedding Season: A glance at Yoruba weddings

Oluwatomike Bali
Staff Writer

In the today’s world, there is vast variety of different cultures and traditions people believe in and practice. Marriage is a very important component that is affected by culture and traditions.

Marriage is a legal recognized union between two people as partners in a personal relationship. With different cultures coming together, a “different” marriage is celebrated. In this article, I will be taking you on a journey to experience one of Nigeria’s cultural marriage celebration.

Nigeria is located in West Africa. Over 250 languages are spoken in Nigeria; Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and English being the main languages. The Yorubas are from the western part of Nigeria and one of the biggest celebrations that goes on in a typical Yoruba household is the marriage celebration.

Once a couple involved in a personal relationship agree to get married, the families involved come together and start the wedding planning. The groom’s family sets out a date when they would go visit the bride’s family. This initial visit, called “the introduction”, takes place at the bride’s family’s designated location.

This is a sign of honor and respect to the family. On this day, the groom and his family come with lots of food stuffs as a sign of seriousness. Once with the bride’s family, they make their intentions known on wanting to make the bride their daughter. When the bride’s family agrees, a mini-celebration occurs and the date is set for the main traditional wedding. 

The traditional wedding starts off with the guest of each couple representative coming in and sitting at their allocated seats. The groom, his family and the bride’s family then make a grand entrance, dancing in as the take their seats.

The marriage and acceptance letter that is written by the groom is then read by one of his friends, this follows with the groom and his friends prostrating in front of the bride’s family asking for his wife to be released to him alongside with their blessing. This is also a sign of honor and respect.

After the groom receives the blessing, he then awaits his bride. The bride also comes dancing out with her friends dressed beautifully and veiled. She dances towards her parent and kneel to also receive their blessing, after which she receives the groom’s parents’ blessing and dances towards her husband.

When she is with her husband, depending on their religion, they are joined with either a Bible or a Quran. The dowry is paid, food is served and the dancing begins

The Yoruba cultural wedding is one of the many ways marriage rites are performed across different cultures. In some cultures, weddings are celebrated for days with a lot of festivities, while in the western world it’s a lot simpler.

Feature photo courtesy of Zumi.

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