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Top 5 Interesting Marriage Traditions In Nigeria You Should Know


With 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria can be easily be referred to as a
culturally rich country with different ethnic backgrounds and culturally
resplendent practices to admire. Marriage traditions is one of such
culturally resplendent practices and Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 5 interesting Nigerian marriage traditions to know.


The Fulani Sharo Tradition
In what is referred to as an ‘act of bravery’ by the groom before he
marries his bride, the potential groom is flogged publicly just before
the nuptial and is expected not to wince, cry or show he is in pain. It
is believed that this process will help prove the worth of the potential
groom in terms of strength, endurance and resilience because the
nomadic Fulani are one group of people known for their hard work,
courage and discipline. The tradition is more or less a test of the
strength of the groom, and any groom who cannot endure the required
number of strokes losses out of the marriage race.


The Virginity Test
This is an ancient marriage tradition that has over time become a
controversial tradition hotly debated by two schools of thoughts. One
school of thought supports it and believes that a female’s pride is in
having her hymen intact, and the other school of thought considers it a
crude practice that is a relic of a lost age in these modern times. The
practice is typically carried out after the wedding ceremony, when the
groom is expected to consummate the marriage with his bride. The family
of the groom waits outside, at the entrance of the room, for the groom
to come out with a blood stained bed-sheet as a confirmation that he
married a virgin. If the bride fails the test, a euphemistic message to
that effect is sent to the bride’s family, and this spells doom for the
woman because she will have to live with the shame of defiling herself
before marriage.


Igbo Marriage Tradition of Fund Solicitation
This is one interesting marriage tradition that has been hotly debated
over time and has prevented a number of eligible suitors from marrying
their love interests. The custom is a peculiar and largely expensive one
that involves presenting a list of gift items, sometimes alongside
cash, before marriage to the prospective bride can take place. The list
gets more expensive if the prospective bride is a bachelor degree
holder, and increases significantly if she has acquired a masters or
doctorate degree. Many a times, this fund solicitation has led to the
collapse of courtships after the man realizes he cannot meet up with the
challenging requirements for marriage.


Custom of Not Marrying Until the Eldest is Married
This is mainly synonymous with the Igbo custom, although it is currently
not as widely practiced as it was in the past. It is based on the
belief that marriage should follow in order of seniority. This tended to
cause a lot of fighting and controversy when the younger sibling will
be ripe and ready for marriage with a prospective bride or potential
suitor, but will have to wait for the older sibling to marry first. Many
men and women who found themselves in such situations, decided to
postpone the idea of marriage till their elders tied the knot or, if
they couldn’t wait, go ahead with the marriage without the blessings of
their family. In the case where it was the lady that was affected, some
men would prefer to leave the lady and marry outside such tribes if they
couldn’t wait for the lady’s elder sister(s) to get married first.

The Traditional Wedding Act of Prostrating
This is a Yoruba traditional wedding act that is practiced even in
modern times. Respect is highly regarded in the Yoruba kingdom and this
goes out to every man intending to marry a Yoruba girl. The groom and
his friends will have to prostrate to the bride’s family, regardless of
what they are wearing – be it imported lace or even gold; there is
simply no escaping the tradition. Usually, after the prayers are said,
the groom dances in with some of his friends and prostrates before the
bride’s family.

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