Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday Naija Spotlight: Igbo Wedding

There are three major ethnic groups in Nigeria {Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba}. The first ethnic group I'm going to discuss a little bit about are the Igbos, particularly their vibrant in color and people wedding!
Many Igbos are following the Western way of getting married. Some are holding onto old tradition ways. There are two ways a Igbo individual can get married. One way is doing a Church wedding {recognizing their union before God} and another way is the traditional wedding. {I personally prefer the traditional wedding.}

Motherland Nigeria provides an in-depth analysis of the process the families of the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be will take.
Church Wedding

Traditional Wedding
The bride marches into the reception hall {most likely the reception hall is held right outside of her father's compound} with her bridal train {her cousins, siblings and friends}.
the bride
The groom marches in BEFORE the bride with his father and his own entourage of well-wishers.
the groom
Both the groom and bride are dressed in traditonal outfits. Their entourage can seem like the whole village so the groom and bride tend to wear a different lace from them.
Hide and Go Seek!
The bride seeks her groom hidden in the crowd of well-wishers. Many single men will try one last time for her hand in marriage offering her money, happiness and shelter. But the bride coyly smiles and goes on seeking her husband. When she finds her husband to be, she kneels down and offers him palm wine.
Symbolic offer!
This drink offer is a symbol of their union. If the groom accepts he'll drink the palm wine. And together they were walk over to their parents for their blessings.
First Dance!
Together they now married couple will have their first public dance as husband and wife.

Church Wedding

Church Wedding

The Church Wedding in the Igbo community depends on the person's religion. Their soon-to-be married couple goes to recognize their holy union in faith. The bride and groom are not dressed in traditional Nigerian garments but European-style suit and bridal grown.

african american weddings

Below are some similarities and differences that I spotted between the two wedding ceremonies.


Igbo Traditonal Wedding has a bridal and groom entourage. Church Weddings have a bridal train that consists of the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. Igbo traditional weddings will have delicious Naija food prepared by family, friends and community admirors.



The vows exchanged at the Church Wedding is not the same as the parents of the soon-to-be married couple's blessings from their respective families. Church Wedding will have a cake. Igbo traditional wedding is a community and joyous effort whereas the Church Wedding involves the families and friends of the bride and groom.

{pic credit: BBC News}


Anonymous said...

I really like the break down of Igbo weddings.

Miss Chi Chi said...

You're welcome. I witness plenty Church Igbo weddings and only one traditonal wedding. I prefer the way Nigerians get married in the traditional sense.

Anonymous said...

Chei, this my cousin's Igbo traditional wedding is still floating. I wonder if she knows how much of a "celebrity" she is.

Anonymous said...

^^ I don't get folks who cannot speak proper English online. What in the world is 'chei?'