Eta & Thomas recently had their Idoma traditional wedding in the bride’s home in Abuja and Tolu Sholanke Photography was there to capture all the beautiful highlights from this wedding.
A brief history about the Idoma culture & wedding traditions
The Idoma culture is such a beautiful one. They live in central Nigeria, Benue State. They are mainly farmers; it has subgroups like Adors, Otupas, Ogbanibos, Apas, Ofokanus and Owukpas. Marriage tradition in Idoma land is considered a lifelong state, although divorce is possible on the grounds of adultery or other concrete reasons.
When an Idoma man is at least twenty-five years old and has the financial and physical capacity to maintain a wife and children, he looks for and finds a woman of his choice, who must be least eighteen years old. He reports his findings to his family, which then chooses a go-between, a person who is familiar with the girl’s family.
The bride-price comes in many folds, the groom must pay a dowry first to the bride’s mother and then another dowry to the father; this involves a significant amount of bargaining. Also every member of the bride’s mother’s family must be given money, with the groom’s family determining the amount. The bride’s age group and her more distant relatives also get some money; the amount paid varies according to bride’s level of education and productivity.
Then the groom’s family gives the bride a rooster and some money. If she accepts these gifts and gives them to her mother, she indicates her acceptance of the groom, but if she refuses, she signifies her refusal. If she accepts him, she is showered with gifts and money, and the two families eat and drink together. Before the bride is finally handed over to her husband, however, her age group will pose as a mock barrier to those who want to take her and extort money from the anxious groom’s family.
The bride’s mother buys her cooking utensils and food because she is not expected to go to the market for the first five market days after her marriage. At the end of the eating and drinking, the wife is finally handed over to her husband’s family. (Omokhodion 1998).