We bring you some good news as we briefly cover the wedding ceremony of the Nigerian Itsekiri clan. The Itsekiri, also known as the iJekri, Itsekri, Ishekiri, or Itsekhiri, are a group of people from the Delta State in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.
They predominantly reside in the Delta State local government areas of Warri South, Warri North, and Warri Southwest on Nigeria’s Atlantic coast.
A Overview Of The Itsekiri Tribe’s History
Additionally, several of this group’s members are from the states of Edo and Ondo. The Yoruba of South Western Nigeria and, to a greater extent, the Urhobo (particularly the Okpe) and Edo are closely linked to the Itsekiris.
The Itsekiris call their homeland the Kingdom of Warri, or ‘Iwerre,’ as it is officially known, which is physically adjacent to the territory serviced by the three Warri local government districts.
The main town of Warri, a multi-ethnic city, serves as the industrial and commercial hub of the Delta State region and is a significant hub for the production of crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum in Nigeria.
Customs of Itsekiri Marriage explained
For the Itsekiri, marriage is an extremely holy connection. Both males and females value it. Consequently, a thorough introduction must happen before the wedding day itself. Temotsi is the name for the traditional itsekiri union.
Every daughter is required to take part in this important ceremony. The bride’s mother will use this as an opportunity to go above and above to make sure that her daughter is wed in the most opulent style possible.
The bride is able to accessorize in this chamber with the most priceless coral, silver, and gold jewelry and clothing.
The bridegroom and his family will attend the wedding with the necessary present items, including attire, fine jewelry, drinks, a variety of wines, food items for the occasion, and kola nuts.
It is noteworthy that only N24.00 was spent on the bride. Although according to another school of thinking, the groom’s pocket would not even tremble at N120.00. Some elders suggested that this may be the cause of an Itsekiri woman’s burial in her family rather than in her husband’s community as is customary in some cultures.
In addition to the straightforward bride price, the groom is obligated to give additional gifts to the bride’s parents. The further specifications differ from family to family.
Itsekiri wedding attire guidelines
The bride must dress and redress before the marriage may officially begin, using the gold, silver, and coral textiles and accessories mentioned before.
The silver attire serves as the first course, and she emerges from it to meet the elders and announce that the exceptional man in their company has come to marry her.
In the second course, the bride makes a second appearance covered in gold ornaments that conceal her naked shoulders. As the Okparan, a representative of their ancestors, prays for them and officially pronounces them husband and wife, the bride fee is paid at this point.
The head of the family on the bride’s side formally gives the bride over to the head of the groom’s delegation while the heads of the other families take turns praying for the pair.
The bride quickly replaces the gold decorations with corals for her third alteration. She accessorizes her head with the Gele or headscarf while wearing this last dress.
She arrives in her final outfit and is introduced to the entire family and guests before the ceremonial dance between the two of them.
It’s vital to remember that among the Itsekiris, women must wear two wrappers (different varieties of George), while men must wear a wrapper and a top known as Ikemeje. A fedora or sexton hat completes the appearance.
Other Customary Conditions
Warm beverages, bead chests, and kola nuts are typically used during the marriage rites. Later on, the bride’s family receives a larger presentation of kola nuts and drinks from the groom’s side as a way of returning the favor. Everyone shares in this.
The representative for the groom’s party then explains why they are there while presenting two large native kola nuts and another bottle of gin.
Another ritual the bride’s family performs on the groom is to check to see whether he is missing any body parts; often, this involves counting his toes and fingers to make sure they are all ten.
The Itsekiri and Ijaw populations share several traits. According to history, Ijaws are descended from Itsekiri, an Oba Olua of Benin son who was discarded.
The bride makes her first appearance after considerable thought and scrutiny of the husband, dressed with silver decorations on her hair, neck, and hands over a matching wrapper.
And thus concludes our brief description of the itsekiri traditional ceremonial.