By O.D Oluwasegun

yoruba wedding6yoruba wedding3

When it comes to traditional wedding in Nigeria, Yoruba traditional wedding is one of the best traditional wedding not only in Nigeria but also in Africa. Before we discuss this topic fully, I think it will be good to have a quick peep into the Yoruba ethnic groups.

The Yoruba, who are from southwestern Nigeria are one of the four major sociolinguistic groups of contemporary Nigeria. The others are the Igbo to the east, and the Hausa and Fulani to the north. Subgroups of the Yoruba in Nigeria include the Awori, the Ijesha, the Oyo, the Ife, the Egba, the Egbado, the Ketu, the Ijebu, the Ondo, the Ekiti, the Yagba, and the Igbomina.

The yoruba traditional wedding is one of the cutural identity of the group. Never the less, there are processes or stages in yoruba traditional wedding. This involves:

1.     The Introduction Ceremony
The first stage is the introduction ceremony which is a simple formal ceremony of the bride’s and groom’s family members officially getting to know each other. The groom’s family will delegate some elders in his extended family and a few closer family members to ask the woman and her family for her hand in marriage. The bride’s family would have been prepared for the visit with foods and drinks to entertain them. Hospitality is a very important part of Yoruba culture. There will be some family members also present from the bride’s family to welcome them. The date is announced for the Yoruba traditional engagement ceremony after the visit when the bride and the groom will be officially united as husband and wife.

READ ALSO:  21 Enemies of Family Progress Pt 4

yoruba wedding3

2.     The Engagement Ceremony
The Yoruba engagement ceremony is actually the “traditional wedding.” This is when the couple is united together as husband and wife and the groom’s family pays the dowry or “bride price.” As with any other wedding, the occasion is graced with lots of fun, singing, dancing, laughing, blessing the couple, and praying. yoruba wedding2

The following are the steps to accomplishing the Yoruba traditional engagement ceremony.

1. Presentation of Request letter from groom’s family

2. Presentation of Acceptance letter from bride’s family

 3. Arrival of the groom

 4. Arrival of the bride

 5. Presentation of the gifts

 6. Presentation of the rings

 7. Presentation of the hat

 8. Introduction of the family members

 9. Cutting of cake

Some common items use in praying for the couple includes:

yoruba wedding5

Honey (Oyin) – a bottle of wild honey, the symbolic value of this item is that, couple’s life will be as sweet as honey and be blessed with promising children.

READ ALSO:  Promoting Marriage Companionship


Alligator Pepper (Atare) –  it comes in a pod with multiple seeds, it symbolizes blessing, healthy and prosperous children for the couple.

Ground-nut Cake (Adun) – it is a local cake made from ground nut, it signifies sweetness, blessing and prosperous future for the couple and their children.

Water – this represents water, which is life, treasured for its multiple uses. Since no one ever dislikes, hates, and speaks evil of water, so the couple will live a peaceful life, free from hate, and dislike.

Kola-nut (Obi) – Kola-nut has several social and spiritual values in Yoruba land, when it comes to marriage, it symbolizes fertility and protection from evil. The kola-nut brought on this day will be used to pray for the fruit of the womb.

Bitter kola (Orogbo) –  represents old age, prosperity and trouble-free world. This means, the couple will live a long life in good health and see generations of their children.

READ ALSO:  Olden Day’s Marriage, Modern Day’s Marriage And Bible-Based Marriage. Pt 2

Palm oil (Epo-pupa) it has several uses, one of which is the antidotal value. The palm oil suggests that, no evil will befall or over-reach the couple.

Salt (Iy?) is used as a preservative and as a sweetener, symbolically, salt in the life of the couple will represent joy and trouble-free life.

Eso (fruits) represents fruitfulness in marriage (child bearing)

Yam and other items.

Prayers are said by families and other well-wishers. The ceremony legitimizes the couple’s relationship, at this point, none of the party without a well-founded reason can back out of the relationship.

Families and friends of the couple also use this period as a reunion moment.