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The Yoruba traditional wedding is not complete without the eru iyawo engagement list. This is the list of items the bride’s family asks for after they have accepted the groom’s proposal to marry their daughter.
The items on this list vary from region to region and between families in Yorubaland, but t. are some basic essentials that are always found. The groom is expected to show up with the items on the day of the traditional marriage as part of his willingness to seal the deal. The items are wrapped in attractive packages and might even become part of the traditional wedding decorations.
Just in case you’re at a loss, or you just want to know what to expect, these are the essential things that should be on the eru iyawo engagement list:
- Engagement rings for the bride and groom
- Holy Bible(for Christians) or Quran, praying mat, praying kettle, rosary, white hijab, veil and tasbir (for Muslim weddings)
- Proposal letter
- 42 tubers of yam (Isu)
- 42 bitter kolas (Orogbo)
- 42 kolanuts (Obi abata)
- 42 alligator peppers (Atare)
- 42 pieces of dried fish (Eja Osan)
- 1 dish of peppered corn meal (Adun)
- 1 bag of salt
- 1 bag of sugar
- Wine (alcoholic/non-alcoholic)
- Keg of palmwine
- Palm oil
- Cartons of soft drinks and malt (according to the bride’s family’s discretion)
- Cartons of juice (according to the bride’s family’s discretion)
- Cartons of bottled water (according to the bride’s family’s discretion)
- A basket of fruits
- 1 umbrella
- 1 goat
- 1 big box of aso oke and ankara materials, gele, clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery (wrist watches, necklaces and earrings)
The quantity of some of these materials (like the drinks) can be flexible according to the bride’s family, but some traditional materials (like kolanuts and alligator pepper) are specified in numbers and have significant meaning.
While you’re preparing for your traditional wedding, check out these Yoruba bridal outfit ideas that will make you look like a queen.
Featured image via Wani Olatunde.