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In the spirit of our independence, we thought to highlight some beautiful traditional bridal rites because as you know, marriage in Nigeria is a community affair. These traditional bridal rites are customs for the bride-to-be, as a way of making her look beautiful and presentable to her new family.
Although these rites are going extinct now, some of them were good in theory while some were just plain weird. Check them out:
1. Mbopo in Ibibio land
The fattening room project is done after puberty. Fat was then seen as a sign of prosperity, fertility and beauty and acceptance into the fattening room was a privilege. In t., the girl will be fed with carbohydrates and given all round beauty treatments and it usually lasts for about a month or slightly more. Towards the end of the stay, the girl is circumcised to ensure she stays chaste till her marriage, and remains faithful too.
The bride to be is fed only amala and nzin soup for three days and she’s well taken care of and can only see females within the time. After the 3 days, she’s dressed up beautifully in a short two-piece wrapper, and beads while her hair is woven in Didi style. The food choice isn’t for fattening but as a reminder that no matter how broke her family gets she can always manage the traditional food for a long as is needed.
A few days to the wedding, the women in the community get henna leaves, make a paste and rub it all over the bride. It is expected to make her glow. They wash it after a while, they also give her advice on how to take care of her husband. Some of them also do a kayan mata procedure. Although this is somewhat compulsory, the family’s wealth will determine if the bride goes to a place for this or if it’s done in her house.
What peculiar bridal rite is done in your tribe? Here are some Nigerian wedding customs that we think need to go!