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    Kasim Bilkisu
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      Edo State is one of the six states in Southern Nigeria. It borders Kogi State to the north and east, Delta State to the south, and Ondo State to the west. The capital of Edo State is Benin City, Edo has been around for a very long time, and its origins date back to the 15th century. Edo Province was part of the Benin Empire. One of the mighty empires that existed in Nigeria.

       

      Each tribe in Nigeria has its own wedding ceremony and the people of Edo have created one of the most spectacular weddings in Nigeria. Even in the past, Edo girls were usually married between 15 and 18, but now education and civilization have changed.

       

       

      Every Edo girl of marriageable age always strives to marry a responsible, dedicated, and hardworking man who will not only love and cherish her but also support her financially, morally, and physically. It is also every parent’s dream to hand over their daughter to a suitable groom on this auspicious day for the entire family.

       

       

      In Edo, Parents go to find a bride for their son. It is the engagement system. But these days, couples can meet anywhere and fall in love. Courtship usually lasts until marriage and can last from a year to the time you are ready to marry. In the past, when a girl was born, they would usually bring a bundle of firewood or yam and convey their wishes to the girl’s parents.

       

      Messages are exchanged between the two families after the man formally introduces the woman he wants to marry to his parents and agrees on the choice of partner. This is often known as “Ivbuomo”. It means looking for a bride.

       

       

      During this time, both families are subjected to several checks. The investigations carried out include the health of the family, the frequency of crimes, and other information that may cause problems for the couple in the future. Once that’s settled, they can start discussing the blood. The groom’s family also decides what to give to the bride’s mother and other family members. The final terms of the contract are drawn up on the set date of the wedding. The wedding ceremony is held at the bride’s house. It is a special day that people come from afar to rejoice with the couples.

       

      There is usually a lot to eat and drink on this day. Guests are served kola fruit and wine, and the “okaegbe” (head of the household) presides over the ceremony. The bride is usually laid on her father’s lap, a lot of food and drink is usually served and various prayers are said. After prayers and “Iwanien Omo” (wedding ceremony), the bride, now known as “Owbioha”, is taken with her belongings to her husband’s house by close friends and relatives.

       

       

      While waiting for his new wife at the man’s house, they will eat a lot, and dance. Arriving at home, the man was informed that there was an obstacle in the way. To remove these obstacles, called “Urgungun”, the man had to give up a certain amount to allow the woman to enter the house. Immediately afterward, wash the bride’s feet with water from a vessel containing money. This ceremony is called “Ikpobo-Owbioha”. It is usually done by one of the older women in the bride’s family. A new headtie was used to wash the bride’s hands in a bowl and was offered to the bride along with money.

       

      In strict traditional families, the bride is taken to the family shrine to pray for her. A few days later, the bride’s mother-in-law comes with several women in the family to confirm to the new couple that the woman is indeed a virgin. This is usually done by checking the bed where the couple first had sex for blood stains. The woman was given a gift if she was proven a virgin, otherwise, she had to go through a ceremony known as the Ivihen oath. She had to confess to the groom’s mother and the other older women in the attendants how many men she had slept with. This is not disclosed to the husband. Afterward, the woman goes to the family altar to pledge her allegiance. After this oath, she will be accepted into the family.

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