The Yoruba Wedding Ceremony  
Date Added:  11/17/2007
The Yoruba Wedding Ceremony
For the Yoruba people, the wedding is a social affair, which must entail rituals, and ceremonies that meet social approval. Although, there are other activities that take place during this occasion, such as dancing, singing, performing, and praying, food and its products play a central role in bringing all these activities together.

Marriage is an essential institution in the Yoruba history and culture. Yoruba tribe is also one of the tribe recognized in Nigeria. In Nigeria, various types of wedding/marriage are recognized, which include Church wedding, Mosque wedding, Customary/Court wedding and the traditional marriage. Traditional marriage entails two stages which are the introduction and engagement. The introduction ceremony is part of the traditional marriage whereby the grooms family introduces themselves to the brides family and also to make their intentions known of asking the hand of their daughters hand in marriage to their son, through the help of an intermediary referred to as standing policeman ( olopa iduro) for the groom and sitting policeman (olopaijoko) for the bride family. The standing and the sitting police are the main anchor of the ceremony. The ceremony takes place in the brides house and they are responsible for all preparations and costs. The sitting police meet the grooms family at the door and takes them is to the brides family after kneeling at the door.

A proposal letter is presented to the brides family and in return an acceptance letter is given to the grooms family and then a date is fixed for the engagement ceremony. The engagement or traditional marriage also takes place in the brides house, here the grooms family are expected to bring the items listed in the marriage list given to them, items collected depends on each family and these include yam, goat, box of clothes, salt fish drinks, wine, bibble, rings and the likes. The bride and groom exchange rings and vows and hence are pronounced husband and wife. The Yoruba traditional marriage entails some customs which are adhered to which includes taking the bride-to-be to the fattening room where she is well fed and also taught how to be a good wife, she is also cleansed by taking a special birth before going to the husbands house, she must not also meet the husband in the house on arrival and her feet are washed outside the house before going inside the husbands house, and she is believed to enter into the house in peace after the feet washing.

For more detailed information please check out the following websites below.

References and reprints from the following sources for more information:

Afolabi Gabriel Adejola
http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/2004/database/adejola.html

Sturgis, Ingrid. The Yoruba Wedding. The Nubian Wedding book. NY: Three Rivers press, 1997.

The Yoruba Wedding Ceremony
http://www.otal.umd.edu/~vg/pwf98/pw61/final2.html


 
 
 
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