A Traditional Nigerian Igbo Marriage!

So on the 26th of March 2016 I went for a Nigerian Traditional Marriage. In Nigerian Igbo culture the traditional marriage is the main event. The traditional European wedding with a white gown and floral arrangements and the whole she-bang, called a white wedding here, is a secondary event. Once a couple have been united in a traditional marriage with the traditional rites they are considered husband and wife and the woman can go to live with the husband in his house. They are permitted to start their married life and can then go on to the white wedding anytime later. In my husband’s village (Abiriba) and in most conservative Christian families, the girl goes to her husband’s house only after the white wedding. In such cases the traditional marriage is just a matter of fulfilling tradition, no real importance is given to it.

To me this was a very exciting event. It was the daughter of my dearest friend and a lady who I consider to be a mother to me in this strange land. She has looked after me and looks out for my interests almost like my own mother. And this was the first marriage in her family! Moreover, I was also a lot more involved in this event. Unlike other traditional marriages I’ve been to where I was a guest and a spectator, here I was involved. My two little ones were even in the bridal train! OOhhh the excitement!! Usually events here tend to be boring for me because I don’t understand the language nor the significance of the rituals. But as I was more involved here, I was given more information and more interpretations! I’m going to add a collage of pics from the wedding at the bottom of this post. I was requested to wear an Indian Sari in the wedding colour of red so I did. Of course my jewellery was made to match 😉 And since I’d made something for myself I had to make something for my daughter too. I made her a hairband to match her bridesmaids’ (Ashebi, as they are called here) dress.

  IMG-20160328-WA0004

For the hairband I used the pattern from My Hobby is Crochet (www.myhobbyiscrochet.com/2013/08/thread-headband-free-pattern-and.html) but I didn’t use the suggested flower. Instead I used the Chrysanthemum Flower designed by Clare Sullivan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmGjPTFDJkg) I got it off the BobWilson123 website. I used the Yeye yarn I have available (light fingering / 01 weight) and a 3.5mm hook.

For my own jewellery I used seed beads that I had (not sure about the size cause the sizing system here is very different from global systems, though they maybe a size 10/0) and used a basic spiral bead rope pattern tutorial from Inspirational Beading (http://inspirationalbeading.blogspot.com/2010/02/beading-tutorial-spiral-rope-chain.html?m=1) The blog has some great beading tutorials. I’m going to try her Dutch spiral and double spiral rope patterns next. The designer, Mortira, makes everything seem so easy.

Remember the wedding accessories I’d mentioned in my previous posts? Those are for the same girl’s white wedding. So far I’ve finished the silver bow for the little angels. Since the white wedding is in May I still have time to make the rest. Though time does seem to have a habit of getting away from me 😉   teeheehee…


I like the bow but i think its missing a bit of bling. What do you think?

 

And here are some pics of the traditional marriage itself.

The Cake.

The base is a trunk, topped with the brides traditional clothes, beaded jewellery and next to it is a Calabash, used for the traditionally drunk palm wine and unseen behind the trunk is a walking stick traditionally carried by the groom.

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