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#RIB2016! Ibiye & Tonye’s Iyaa Traditional Wedding in Okrika, Rivers State | Xtians Imagery

I have been working with the team at Xtain’s Imagery for a few weeks now,, and I must tell you not only are they some of the most talented photographers around, but some of the most passionate people as well!  Let’s take a trip to Okrika town, in Rivers State for a beautiful wedding experience between our  beautiful bride Ibiye and her dashing groom Tonye!


Traditional marriage of Okrika people is involves two ceremony, the Ya or Iyaa and Igwa. Some believe have it that Ya is the real deal because it is a permanent union and predates Igwa – which is an adaptation due to the increase of settler population among the Okrika people.

The Ya – Here the couple must come from the same tribe/clan. When a man is ready for marriage he informs his people and they immediately go ahead for the marriage rites of the said bride. Marriage ceremony involves certain customary functions that precede the consummation of the marriage. The man is mandated to produce three pieces of cloth (Kano cloth, India cloth and raffia palm cloth (okuru). An elder ties the raffia cloth round the couple, invoking blessings on them. Then the couple walks around town in that outfit, greeting people in the area and receiving blessings in return. The traditional marriage is finalized by the provision of all items required of him (groom), which is listed below;


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The second type is called igwa, means mixed; here the woman and the man may marry even though they are from different families or tribe.

Marriage once bound can never be withdrawn. However, If divorce is unavoidable because of infidelity, the woman still belongs to the previous man (Ya marriage) even if she marries another man. In fact, according to Okrika tradition, the woman and her possession including children still belongs to the previous man who performed the Ya marriage rites. A woman who married under the Ya system can still be married under Igwa. If the woman has not been previously married to any man under the Ya system, children from the Igwa marriage belong either to the lawful husband of the wife’s mother or to her brothers.

Marriage List – for the father

1. 2 pieces of Holland’s Wax 2. 1 native shirt 3. 1 hat 4. 1 big towel 5. 1 pair of shoes and socks 6. 1 walking stick 7. 1 wristwatch 8. 1 dozen pairs of underwear 9. 1 she goat with N10, 000.00 for cutting goat’s head


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Join us in wishing these love birds a blessed marriage!


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