Traditional Marriage Rites in Cross River State

The traditional marriage rites in Cross River State are quite simple but culturally focused. Most of the traditional ceremony that occurs in Cross River is highly influenced by the culture, traditions, and customs of the land.

Cross River State is a South-south London and mini nation-state. This is referred to as that because the state consists of multi-ethnic groups with different cultures, traditions, and languages. The tribe in the states include Efik, Ejagham, Yakur, Bahumono, Bette, Yala, Igede, Ukelle, Bekworra.

The main languages spoken by people in this state include English language, French, Efik, Ejagham even though there are many other minor languages.

Read Also: List of Traditional Marriage Requirements in Calabar/Efik

Today, we will be looking at the traditional marriage rites in Cross River, particularly the Yala tribe. Traditional marriage rites in Cross-River among the various ethnic tribe in the state are quite similar with a little difference.

The Yala tribe is found in the Northern District of Cross River and they are known for their simple traditional marriage ceremony. They speak mostly Igede, Ukelle, and Yache languages. Below are the steps in which a Yala bride and groom get married according to the traditional marriage rites in Cross River.

Steps In Conducting A Traditional Marriage Rites in Cross River State


This is the first step between a lady and her suitor to become married. When a man sees a lady he is interested in and they have both agreed to build a home together. The next step is to go to the bride’s family for visitation.

First Visitation

After agreeing with the lady, the groom visits the lady’s(bride) family with his friends and family. Accompanying them are drinks (Palm Wine), edible things, and gifts. During this visit, they make their intentions known. After much contemplation, the bride’s family then chooses another date for the groom to come and for them to inform other extended family members.

Traditional Marriage Requirements

Before the second visit, which will be the traditional marriage ceremony day, the list of the traditional marriage requirements will have been sent to the groom and his family. All are expected to be completed before the second visit.

Also, the Yala people do not collect a bride’s price but the groom will be responsible for every drink, food, and clothes to be used by the bride’s family on that day.

 Second Visitation/ Traditional Wedding Ceremony

On this day, the bride’s family is the one who will be in charge of the food to be served to all the guests and well-wishers.

An elder from the bride’s family will also bless the union of the two couples with prayers and hot drinks(Schnapp). The parent of the bride also receives some money as a token of appreciation in a 2:1 ratio for both the father and mother respectively.

This is all done according to the Yala tribe’s traditions and customs. Meanwhile, the celebration continues amidst all these processes with many traditional dancers entertaining guests with music.

During the end of traditional marriage rites in Cross River (Yala), the bride’s family also gift the groom’s family a carton of any hot drink for them to take home.

That’s how the traditional marriage rites in Cross River particularly in the Yala tribe end with the bride being escorted to her husband’s house.

What other information do you think we should have added to our article on traditional marriage rites in Cross River State? Share your thoughts with us via the comments section.