Example Of Essay On The Wedding Culture Of The Igbos
Attention Getter: Look at this picture. (Show first slide.) This is a perfect example of a traditional marriage ceremony of the Igbos. This traditional wedding is called “Igbankwu”, and it is one of the occasion when we witness the colorful clothes of the Igbo culture, which are usually seen in East Nigeria in Africa.
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience on how a traditional Igbo wedding takes place
Overview: The Igbo culture is one of the few remaining cultures around the world where there is still a price settlement given to the bride. Although many of the citizens nowadays make use of the contemporaneous tradition of doing the marital ceremony inside the Church, many others perform the traditional manner of marriage. Here, the ceremony takes place within the residence of the bride, where the groom is welcomed.
Thesis Statement: In the Igbo tradition, marriage is the union, not of two individuals, but two families or villages that, through marriage, will be unified into one.
Transition: Even though the ceremony of marriage has been transformed over the centuries, the traditional manner of celebrating wedding ceremonies are still being performed.
In the pre-colonial times, the indigenous people of East Nigeria lived peacefully without a king.
The chiefs ruled the tribes.
The elders guided the tribes.
The chiefs and elders voiced out the traditions.
Marriage is one of the basic traditions.
Transition: As reflected in the basic traditions of the Igbos, there is a traditional manner of performing and celebrating marriage, which the couple and their families must perform.
As reflected in the basic traditions of the Igbos, there is a traditional manner of performing and celebrating marriage outside the bride’s residence.
The groom asks the bride informally if she would be willing to become his wife in marriage.
The groom, with his father, goes to the bride’s residence.
An elderly man in the bride’s village welcomes them.
The elderly man challenges the groom if the latter is ready to face the challenges ahead.
The groom accepts the challenge, and goes straight to the bride’s residence.
Transition: As reflected in the basic traditions of the Igbos, there are also traditions that the couple and their families must perform once they get to the bride’s residence.
As reflected in the basic traditions of the Igbos, there is a traditional manner of performing and celebrating marriage inside the bride’s residence.
The initial greeting is performed.
The introduction takes place.
The groom and his father explain the purpose why they have come.
The bride’s father calls for his daughter.
The daughter confirms her knowledge of the groom.
The daughter accepts the groom’s intent of marrying her.
Transition: As reflected in the basic traditions of the Igbos, the groom and his father goes to the bride’s residence once they visit for the second time.
As reflected in the basic traditions of the Igbos, part of the traditional manner of performing and celebrating marriage is discussing the bride’s Ika-Akalika.
The groom and his father, together with some elders, visit the bride’s family for the second time.
They bring with them wine and kola nuts.
The bride’s family serves them a meal.
Negotiation between the two families takes place.
The bride’s price settlement is being paid.
The bride’s family accepts the groom’s family, and marriage takes place.
Transition: As reflected in the basic traditions of the Igbos, the wedding takes place after the bride’s price settlement has been paid.
As reflected in the basic traditions of the Igbos, the traditional wedding takes place within the residence of the bride.
The bride’s family welcomes the groom’s family and their guests.
The bride goes around selling boiled eggs to signify her capability of doing business.
The father of the bride takes an “Iko” and fills it up with palm wine, and then gives it to his daughter.
The daughter receives the “Iko” and then offers it to her groom.
The wedding is performed, after which a nuptial dance takes place between the bride and the groom.
Transition: Now, let’s summarize. The traditional wedding of the Igbos has been handed from generation to generation, extending their tradition of unifying their community through the union of the bride and the groom. For the Igbos, marriage is the union—not of two individuals—but two families and the kinfolks.
Clincher: Nowadays, it is amazing to see that the traditions of the indigenous people of East Nigeria are still being performed, even after the Catholic Church has led them towards the Christian way of celebrating and performing the wedding.
Figure 1: The bride drinks wine from the "Iko" and offers it to his groom (Uchegbu-Mensah 1).
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Lawrence, Lawrence. Niger Delta, Agonies of Igbos and Other Nationalities. Raleigh, North Carolina: Lulu Publishing, 2012.
Onyekwere, Mark Uzomba. Igbo Idioms. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2011.
Uchegbu-Mensah, Gloria. Wedding Fashion Icon. 2015. Pinterest. 11 March 2015 <https://www.pinterest.com/brunsucre13/wedding-fashion-icon/>.
Widjaja, Michael. Traditional Family Ceremonies. 2015. Igbo Guide. 10 March 2015 <http://www.igboguide.org/HT-chapter11.htm>.