Big congrats on your forthcoming nuptials. However, while you prepare for this special day, we don’t want you to be perplexed about your commitments regarding the marriage list. Nevertheless, in Yoruba culture, traditional marriage is always a memorable occasion. This page will inform you everything you need to know about Yoruba traditional marriage, including the bride price, materials, and how the ceremony is carried out.
Traditional marriage is symbolic and a vital part of the culture in the Southwestern portion of Nigeria, hence it is not taken lightly. The Yoruba word ‘Igbeyawo’ literally translates to ‘bride borne by the husband.’ Among the Yorubas, getting married is seen as a significant achievement.
They believe that a man without a wife is unworthy of respect, and that a woman without a spouse is incomplete. As a result, when a guy approaches a lady to ask for her hand in marriage, her friends and family are ecstatic for him and rally to his side. The Yoruba wedding ceremony is typically vibrant, full of life, abundant resources, and a happy atmosphere. It is seen as a happy occasion for the couple, their family, and friends. All components of the event are heavily influenced by Yoruba culture. There is no event like it, from the bride and groom’s colorful aso-oke and agbada to the amala and gbegiri prepared to the gifts presented as the eru-idana (engagement items).
COMPREHENSIVE YORUBA TRADITIONAL ENGAGEMENT LIST – ERU IYAWO
We’d like to applaud you on your impending D-day. However, as you prepare for this special day, we don’t want you to be confused about your responsibilities regarding the bride price. As a result, I’ve compiled a Yoruba traditional engagement list that might serves as a guideline and plan for your traditional wedding.
The bride’s family usually presents the groom’s family with an engagement list a few weeks before the traditional wedding day. On the traditional wedding day, the gift items requested on the list (known as Eru Iyawo in Yoruba) are wrapped and handed to the bride’s family.
YORUBA ENGAGEMENT (ERU IYAWO) LIST
The Yoruba marriage list includes the following:
- 1 Dish of peppered corn meal (Aadun)
- 1 Pack of Sugar
- 2 Baskets of Fruit
- 2 Decanters filled with honey
- 4 Crates of canned or bottled soft drinks
- 4 Crates malt soft drinks
- 4 Cartons of bottled water
- 2 Bottles of non alcoholic wine
- 2 Cartons of fruit juice
- 1 Bag of salt
- 1 Bag of rice
- 1 Umbrella
- 1 Goat
- 1 Keg of palmwine
- 1 Keg of groundnut oil
- 1 Big suitcase containing clothes, shoes and hand bags including aso-oke fabric, 2 sets of lace with gele and 2 sets of ankara
- 42 Bitter kolas (Orogbo)
- 42 Tubers of yam (Isu)
- 42 Kolanuts (Obi abata)
- 42 Chilli/Alligator Peppers (Atare)
- 42 pieces of dried Fish (Eja Osan)
- 1 Wrist watch, Earrings and necklace
- Biscuits and Sweets
- Bible on bride and groom engagement rings (for Christians)
- Beads, white hijab, veil, and tasbir, as well as the Quran, praying mat, and praying kettle (for Muslim weddings)
The items on the engagement list above are not mandatory, while some, such as the Bible/Quran and bitter kola, are.
The items on the engagement list will vary depending on where the bride’s family hails from in Yorubaland, and your family may decide to request more or less items. Speak with the groom’s family to limit the amount of goods. Unfortunately, the bride has no say in what is requested on this engagement list, which is created by the bride’s family members.
YORUBA BRIDE PRICE LIST
The following items are needed for some traditional Yoruba customary practices during the Yoruba engagement ceremony:
In most yoruba areas, a bride price of five thousand Naira (₦5,000) is affordable. The other financial gift is usually around nine thousand Naira (₦9,000) or ten thousand Naira (₦10,000), and it is split and handed in lesser amounts throughout the event. It’s both symbolic and amusing.
- Owo Ori (The Bride Price) – ₦5,000, Varies
- Owo Ijoko Agba (Money for the elders consent) – ₦1,000
- Owo Baba Gbo (Money for the bride’s father’s consent) – ₦1,000
- Owo Iya Gbo (Money for the bride’s mother’s consent) – ₦1,000
- Owo Ikanlekun (Door knocking fee) – ₦1,000
- Owo Isiju Iyawo (Fee for unveiling the bride) – ₦1,000
- Owo Aeroplane (Bride transportation fee) – ₦1,000
- Owo Iyawo Ile (Money for the Housewives) -₦500
- Owo Omo Ile (Money for the Children of the household) – ₦500
- Owo letter kika (Letter reading fee) – ₦500
- Owo Telephone (Fee to call the bride out) – ₦500
- Owo Isigba (Engagement gifts unveiling fee) – ₦500
- Owo Alaga Ijoko (Master of Ceremonies fee) – ₦500
The money is collected at various intervals throughout the traditional wedding ceremony, while the gift items are placed at the location prior to the start of the ceremony.
The gifts are frequently presented in baskets or boxes that coordinate with the wedding color scheme.
BALANCING THE BOOKS FOR A YORUBA BRIDE PRICE AND TRADITIONAL ENGAGEMENT
Now, let’s share some helpful advice to grooms. If you’re planning on visiting your bride’s Yoruba family, you now have a better sense of how much a Yoruba engagement ceremony might cost. Before your white wedding, it’s critical to settle the bride price and your traditional marriage as soon as feasible.
Nonetheless, many grooms are doing this on the exact day as their white wedding, or a few days or weeks later. There’s no law about how far apart Yoruba traditional wedding/engagement and white wedding dates should be — it’s all up to you.