Ancient Traditions Of Marriage In Igede (Overview).

Generally speaking, Igede Traditions are expressed through many different art forms, such as attires, festival (Igede Agba),  music, marriage, art, dance and sculpture.

 Marriage In Igede

Igede has a very diverse culture. They are rich in cultural heritage and having possession of many amazing and interesting facts. Among these amazing facts is the issue of the ancient traditions of marriage in Igede which is our fundamental focus in this page.

Basically speaking, culture of Igede people are traditionally multi-day affairs, and involve many intricate ceremonies, such as the traditional marriage and  the popular festival called Igede Agba.

Igede Agba is a New Yam Festival and it  is a yearly cultural occasion that is celebrated among the Igede people at home and in Diaspora.

The festival  is celebrated in month of September every year. lt is a new yam festival at which the people of Igede thank their communal deity for bumper harvest before they officially begin to eat the new yam. The period also serves as celebration of their National day. It is the Igede celebration to commemorate their happiness at arriving at their abode.

Marriage in Igede land is one of the most ceremonial and functional part of Igede culture like every other communities in Nigeria. But the way it was practiced in the  ancient days, middle age and even most likely in contemporary time has rendered so many people curious.  Scholars and researchers have tried to figure out why and how it was practiced in that way in those days.

We understand that every culture has succeeded as a system for human survival. No culture can be judged as evolutionary better to another and cultural features can only be understood in terms of their role in the complete system.

Therefore, all culture deserve respect for their different cultural values, beliefs, and practices. We are less likely to interpret differences as bizarre, offensive, or deficient if we consider them in terms of their own cultural context.

Ancient Traditions of Marriage In Igede

Thank God for Obega Stephen Itachu who shares affirmative argument on Ancient Traditions Of Marriage In Igede Land including why and how it was practiced. The marriage according to him was tagged Force Marriage or Catch and Marry.

As several questions arose among Igede in diaspora on why Igede people of Nigeria practiced or still practicing this type of marriage (force marriage) WUAHWU DOBI JWU.

Force marriage is mostly done when the anticipated bride might have collected bride price and other material things from the groom family but later refused to marry the proposed groom for some certain reasons best known to her.

At this point, the man’s family would come up with a plan to have the lady captured. This is best done outside the lady’s parent vicinity to avoid commotion.

Though such marriages in Igede culture happen to be the best in the past according to history. In those days, Igede women don’t believed in moving from one husband to another, that is, Polyandry is never their thing.

In recent time, the practice of this type of marriage gradually going to extinction as globalization and civilization involving. Education and Christianity which also mandated several consultations during courtship such as medical test to ascertain blood match, nature of illnesses etc before getting married.

Another instance for the occurrence of this type of marriage is when the bride parent and the groom parent had an agreement in giving their daughter hand in marriage without the consent of the daughter. Before the mutual agreement, certain amount of money would have been paid to the bride family.

The money paid is called bride price and it is culturally based in Igede land. This act may sounds unfair and inhuman, but historian opined it was a marriage tradition around the ages in Igede land.

In some cases, the lady may happen to love the guy even when the guy is not ready for marriage, but the because the guy parents loved the girl in return while the guy himself is less concern the guy parent could plan with the  lady to pay them a kangaroo’s visit pretending not knowing what was about to happen, before you know,  the sound of marriage gunshots to air and she will be cry under pretends as ” hiii. ,hiii ,wi wi anu bahyim kam rwu me chuchu “later ,the guy had no other option than to do his father’s wish because it is the tradition. Therfore the guy can also be a victim of force marriage in Igede land.

The Case of Physically Challenge Person;

As an Igede person, non of the sons must be useless or less privilege in any ramifications. That’s just the believed. In this case, if a physically challenge person try so hard to get a wife but all to no avail, no matter how beautiful a lady maybe, the moment the family elders pointed at you ,the youths will be communicated immediately and traditional gunshots will be shot to the air she becomes the challenged person wife.

At times the lady may not know who’s getting married until the gun powder is robbed on her chest .

At the point, there may be unfavorable  reaction, ranging from destroying things in man’s compound ,stabbing her captors with any sharp objects as a result of emotional shuck etc .you may asked “why are the parents of such ladies doesn’t comes for their daughters released”?

The answer is mostly, before the parents might heard about the incident, the groom might have

Angi Nwechu Otuka :

This group can even capture a lady of their choice in the present of her siblings .They mostly hanged around  every market day ,if peradventure the lady whom one of them was eyeing passes through any lonely road or outskirts ,then they will seize the opportunity and take her as wife .

There is some instance where the bride’s family uses to engage in a rescue fight to free their daughter from such captivity particularly if the guy in concerned has a bad reputation, character, and extremely poor that he can’t take care of their daughter.

Consequently, Ancient Traditions Of Marriage In Igede land is based on capture. After the captive, marriage is done with traditional gunshots to the air as a celebration as other marriages will do in their own way.

The groom’s parents follow up with the traditional marriage right immediately. This is done by sending formal delegates to the girl’s parent to inform them that their daughter is not loss but rather in their home for marital purpose and the next thing bride price.

Acknowledgment: Obega Stephen Itachu ( Profesional Instructor of Igede Language ).

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