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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Yoruba Introduction Ceremony How To


Hi Eya, I  am a Yoruba properly married woman. I read an old wives connection post where the poster asked how Yoruba Marriage Introduction is carried out, but could not post my comment. In the Yoruba culture, an introduction is held so both families can meet officially. 
Yoruba Introduction Ceremony used to be an affair of just close
family members of the bride and groom to be, where both families meet and get to know relatives of their son and daughter in law before the wedding proper.  These days, people have turned it into a mini wedding kind of.
Ok, let me be kind and sweet enough to walk you through the traditional rites of a Yoruba introduction ceremony. Enjoy below:
Firstlying before the D day, the lady would have informed her parents of the other family’s proposed visit. 
A day is fixed and communicated to them.
The day starts with the bride family getting ready to receive their guests. Cooking good  food and drinks just the way any family welcomes important guests. 
The lady dresses in her traditional iro and buba with gele head gear,  not uniform. She is not expected to wear a similar outfit with the man because this is just an introduction to the real thing. 
By noon or whatever time is fixed,  the groom's family arrives and traditionally, they are expected to wait outside under the rain or sun until they are invited in by the lady's family. 
After they get invited in, the groom is asked to state his intentions  and greet his inlaws to be – by greeting, in Yoruba Culture, we mean men lying flat on the ground and women kneeling.
Shortly after this, the lady dances in with her friends, the "moderator" asks the lady a few questions like:
1.Do you know this man?
Are you sure you want to marry him?

Lastly, each member of both families is introduced and that's done! The rest of the evening is spent mingling and getting to know family members present. The lady can now change into a mire comfortable outfit and enjoy the rest of  the night.  
If anyone disagrees with my easy steps to Yoruba introduction ceremony,  they can say so on the comment section. But this is the correct established guide to marriage introduction. 

Image courtesy : The Yoruba blog.

7 comments:

  1. @ Properly married Yoruba sis, I have a question. Why is called marriage introduction? We have four forms of marriage in Nigeria and to me, none should be seen as an introduction to another. Why do we say the African Traditional marriage is introduction to the church wedding when they are Completely different. A couple can choose to go with just one form or all four and truth is that they are properly married. For our culture, the bride price has to be paid. As Christians we need spiritual blessing of the marriage, Muslims also need that spiritual blessing. To legalise our marriages, we need that marriage certificate, reason for registry marriage.
    Tagging our traditional marriage "introduction" is something I'm yet to understand. I don't know if that's correct or an error.

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    1. I dnt tink u got it, introduction is a time where both famiies get to knw each other n no bride price wil be paid, its after d intro dey talk of marriage

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  2. Aunty Eya the introduction is completely different to the traditional wedding (In the yoruba tradition).
    The introduction is just close family members and friends of the groom meeting at the brides family house. This is to informally get both families to introduce themselves and the parents of the couple to ask questions. At this stage no bride price is paid, it just introduction.
    The traditional wedding in what people call 'engagement', in my opinion it is totally the wrong choice of name. This is when both families formally meet and the groom ask for the hand of the bride in marriage. There is usually a moderator from both sides of the family. The groom is made to do all sorts such as postrating, frog jump, sing and all ( not a tradition) but this is what moderators do to get the whole event interesting. At this stage the bride price is paid, clothes a bible and engagement ring is blessed. Fruits, food stuff and money for little children and wives of the family is paid.

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    1. Sorry, you are wrong. Yoruba marriage rites consist of itoro (which is now called introduction), idana (engagement) and igbeyawo (wedding). This is how it has been done from olden days till the 90s. People have bastardized it all cos they can't speak proper Yoruba and translate the meaning of a lot of things. And they try to western it to the point of no return because they want to throw parties like the elites...hence to belong. The only differences between olden days igbeyawo and modern ones are the entire family goes to church/mosque/registry before the bribe handover (igbeyawo means bride's handover. From Yoruba to English translation, it means...the conveyance of the bride) and the olden days igbeyawo is intimate while modern day isn't. The olden days idana (engagement) is the only big party, it is open to family, friends, enemies, well wishers and etc; they all serve as eye witnesses to the proposal from the groom's family. And that's why most people think the modern day engagement is igbeyawo because it is still celebrated so big (and that's how it should be, even right from the olden days, because it requires several eye witnesses to see the groom's family formally propose after they had before during itoro, now called introduction, which is an intimate gathering and groom's family screening stage). Please, you guys should stop misinterpreting our culture. Let's read more and learn more. Stop reading Wikipedia. The proper documentation of Yoruba marriage rites is on encyclopedia, it is a scholar library. Wikipedia is a collaborative library which means anybody, including you and I, can log into it and write anything we want without verification or evidence. Rather than search for "Yoruba wedding". Search for "Yoruba marriage rites". We can always adapt it and evolve without losing the true essence of the rites.

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  3. Please I need your advice, my husband families are coming to meet my parents but my parents insist my husband gives the money for the intro without adding anything on their own part.of which he can't afford please what can be done can they be entertain with table water only

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  4. Firstly, all fingers are not equal. Secondly, "Your soon to be husband is the one coming to ask for your hand in marriage with is family members and should be ready for whatever conditions he is given by your parents". The introduction is a meet and greet. Although many people now turn it into a mini wedding as the original post stated, you are not many people. If you love your husband and are willing to marry him in his current financial state believing that tomorrow holds a better future for both of you, Have your introduction as small as you can afford and entertain your guests with whatever you can afford. However, if your parents are making things difficult for you from the introduction, it's most likely because they don't support your relationship with your Mr Right.

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  5. Yoruba wedding is 2 - phase:
    1. Introduction
    2. Traditional - please don't use any other name for this one, it is not an engagement, you're really married at the end of this.
    The white western added the 3rd layer for us: white wedding (church, mosque)
    Introduction is just that - introduction of both sides of the family to each other. The bride's family receives the groom's family at their house. The groom`s family only takes basket of fruits and bottles of wine and/or other acceptable gifts. No other obligations on the groom's side. When all 3 wedding steps are run into 1 or 2 days is where the confusion starts - the introduction and the traditional then gets compounded and run straight from one into the other. The introduction is supposed to be several weeks or months before the wedding, it is during or after the introduction that you get your long list of items to bring for the traditional. We need to get these steps right for the sake of future generations. The groom is not supposed to pay for the introduction expenses on the bride's side unless the bride's family is very poor, this is the bride's family welcoming their future son-in-law and his family to their home. Good luck to prospective brides, i just celebrated 31 years of marriage in January.

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