Weddings are common in all cultures and tribes across the world. It is a time when a man and a woman are legally joined as one and declared husband and wife.
The process of weddings and the requirements may vary from tribe to tribe; this is what makes them unique.
This article is about the Igala ethnic group, and if you’re curious about how Igala weddings are being conducted or you may be interested in marrying an Igala lady, you might want to read the article to the end.
What Should You Know About Igala Ladies?
Igala women, like those from any other ethnic group, are known to have a strong cultural upbringing and good manners. Most of it have been instilled through proper guidance and training from their parents. This nurturing process for an Igala girl child begins in childhood and continues until they reach a marriageable age.
The Igala girl forms close bonds with their mothers, often mirroring the qualities—both positive and negative—exhibited by their maternal figures. However, there is a high possibility that Igala parents consistently provide valuable advice to their daughters who are preparing for marriage.
Approaching an Igala Lady
The early phase of Igala weddings involves a mutual agreement between a man and a woman desiring to get married. However, potential suitors often face the fear of rejection and might not know what to do.
Interestingly, approaching an Igala lady becomes easier when you are polite. Expressing your intentions right at the initial meeting may not be advisable—an action considered inappropriate for a first date. Instead, focus on engaging in enjoyable activities that will lead to mutual friendship. Once this rapport is established, it is recommended that you openly communicate your intentions to her.
There’s no need to fear rejection, Igala women are known for peacefully declining requests without any rudeness. If the idea of approaching someone in person makes you uneasy, using an intermediary is an option, though not mandatory. Let me assure you, taking the step to go in person demonstrates your competence, and she is likely to appreciate that
How to talk to an Igala Lady’s Parents About Your Intentions towards their daughter
This phase consists of two stages and is commonly referred to as the introduction phase of Igala weddings. Once the lady has accepted your proposal, the next step is to advance the relationship by meeting her parents.
Igala parents are good at conducting thorough background checks on their child’s prospective spouse. If both parents are Igala, then both families goes deeply into the family history of the intended son or daughter-in-law. This practice comes from the belief that unhealthy characters may be hereditary.
See Also Igala Wedding Pictures
Pre-introduction Phase of Igala Weddings
This stage involves the woman bringing her partner to meet her parents individually. Essentially, he introduces himself to her parents without any accompanying company. It is at this juncture that his destiny is shaped, as he discovers whether he is accepted or not. It is recommended that he brings gifts for her parents and, if applicable, for her siblings. The outcome of this phase sets the course for what follows next.
Wedding Introduction in Igala
During this phase, the man arrives with his family to formally communicate his intentions to the woman’s family. While the event is not elaborate, some members of the woman’s family are invited to witness the occasion.
The man is traditionally expected to bring two plates of kola nuts, each adorned with a substantial sum of money, and four crates of acceptable drinks, which will be presented to the woman’s parents. Additionally, he is required to provide funds for the preparation and entertainment of all attendees, including both families.
Moreover, a spokesperson, acting as a mediator, accompanies the male family to introduce them and articulate the purpose of their visit. Subsequently, the woman is consulted regarding her acceptance of the proposal. Upon her agreement, prayers are offered, and the gifts brought are formally presented to her parents.
Both couples are anticipated to introduce their spouses to family members holding key positions within the family.
Igala Weddings: Fixing of Date and Courtship
This phase is typically straightforward, given that both sets of parents endorse the union. Nevertheless, once you’ve completed the two introduction stages and secured approval from her parents, it’s advisable to proceed with the wedding promptly. Delay could pose risks unless there are pending background checks. Consequently, a mutually agreeable date is set for both families, and invitations are dispatched.
How is Igala traditional wedding done?
This Igala traditional wedding event is also known as the engagement day in Igala tradition. On this day, the man arrives to receive a bill containing the expenses for catering and entertaining the invited guests. Also, he purchases two mats and two wrappers, which will be used on the wedding day. He presents two plates of kola nuts, a reasonable amount of money, and four crates of drinks, mirroring the items brought during the introduction phase.
During the traditional wedding ceremony, the mats and wrappers purchased are spread on the floor. One for the bride and the other for the groom. The bride then dances to the music alongside her friends, and as this unfolds, money will be sprayed on her while she exchanges greetings with both families. Afterward, she changes her attire and reappears with her friends for a second dance, with money being sprayed on them during the celebratory moments.
The bride returns once more, changing into her attire for the third time. This time, she emerges with two of her closest friends, engaging in a dance before taking a seat on the mat. Her friends position themselves, one on her left and the other on her right. Occasionally, the bride may initially resist sitting, prompting the groom’s family to continue spraying money until she feels inclined to take her seat.
Following this, the groom enters the scene accompanied by two friends, dancing together. Money may or may not be sprayed at this point, depending on the family’s preference. They then join the bride on the second mat, adopting the same seating arrangement. Notably, on this day, both the groom and the bride are expected to be attired in matching outfits.
Do Igala parents collect Bride Price from Groom?
No, the majority of Igala parents do not require a bride price for their daughters, and this characteristic adds a unique aspect to Igala weddings. The essential contributions are the gifts brought during the introduction and the funds allocated for catering and entertainment on both the introduction day and the traditional marriage day
What are the requirements for Igala traditional marriage?
As mentioned earlier, the wedding requirements are limited to particular gifts and money to ensure the success of the ceremony. Additional items, such as yam, red oil, meat, etc., essential for cooking, may be brought by the man. This is generally optional, as he may choose to provide money for the purchase of these items instead.
What are the Igala wedding lists to kickstart marriage?
The Igala wedding and marriage list is what you should pay proper attention to before proceeding to tie the knot with your partner.