Itsekiri traditional marriage is locally referred to as Tetmotsi. It’s mostly based on the unity of families rather than Gifts, bride price, and other goodies that come with Traditional marriage.
The Itsekiri are found in the Niger Delta areas of Delta state. Itsekiri people are closely related to a tribe in Yoruba land called Ilaje and also to the Urhobo tribe which shares the same state.
The land of Itsekiri is called the Kingdom of Warri or Iwere by their sons and daughters. They are mainly fishermen and vibrant traders in the olden days even though they know ventures into the Whites profession like every other tribe in Nigeria.
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The traditional marriage in Itsekiri land is always simple and classic with a strong touch of their cultural traditions and customs.
Before a traditional marriage can take place, the itsekiri traditional marriage list and requirements is given to the groom. Even though it’s usually affordable and modest. Below is the list of the Itsekiri traditional marriage requirements list.
List Of Itsekiri Traditional Marriage Requirements
- Traditional fabrics and rappers with other attractive clothes
- High qualities jewelry including Golds, Corals, and Silver
- Hot gins, Soft Drinks, and assorted wines
- Food items to be served on the Occasion
- Kola nuts
- N12 or more for the bride dowry
Itsekiri Traditional Marriage Attire and Ceremony
During a traditional marriage ceremony in Itsekiri land, the groom is always dressed on a decked rapper with a top(Ikemeje) and a hat.
The bride will wear at least two different rappers with 3 ornamental accessories ranging from Silver to Gold to Coral. This is worn at different times for different reasons.
Itsekiri Traditional Marriage Ceremony
The traditional marriage ceremony always started with an elderly member of the bride’s family welcoming their in-laws with kola nuts and hot drinks. The groom’s family who feels respected by these acts also reciprocated by giving them more hot drinks and Kola nuts which are shared widely among both families.
The groom’s family announcer and spokesman will also present another hot drink while stating their intention. The bride’s family then calls their daughter to confirm their statements. The Delta bride who is dressed in Silver Ornaments on her neck, hands, and hair with a beautiful wrapper comes out to greet and confirm the statement.
While all these are going on, guests and well-wishers are being entertained with different types of food. Ranging from Owo and Banga Soup with Starch, Jollof and fried rice, Egusi Soup, and so on. The bride’s family can also serve boiled yam with unripe plantain, pepper soups, hot drinks, and even palm wine.
Then the next step is the payment of the bride price. The groom can pay as low as N12 depending on the bride’s family. The reason is that the Itsekiri sees marriage as a union between two families and not as selling their daughters to another family. Which explains why a dead Itsekiri woman has been buried in her father’s compound or community instead of her husband’s community.
During this time, the bride will have changed to another rapper with gold ornaments adorned. The elders blessed their union with prayers after the bride’s payment.
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After this, they are entertained by traditional dancers and Itsekiri music. The bride also uses her last ornaments while thanking well-wishers and guests who came to celebrate with them.