Yoruba engagement list is compiled to remind the groom about the gifts to the family of his bride that he has to give according to the traditions of a conservative Nigerian Wedding.
These gifts are normally picked by the bride’s relatives themselves and then included into the Yoruba introduction ceremony list or «Eru Iyawo».
We suggest taking a closer look at one of such lists that are usually made by the bride’s close people. It’s interesting that the bride is not allowed to be part of these preparations.
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1. Yoruba traditional wedding programme
This festive event is normally held in two stages:
- The ceremony of introduction;
- The ceremony of engagement.
As for the Igbo traditional marriage ceremony, it consists of the following 4 stages:
- Iku Aka or Iju Ese – this is Marriage Introduction or Proposal stage;
- Getting consent from the bride’s Extended Family
- Ime Ego – the payment of the Dowry;
- Igba Nkwu Nwanyi or the Ceremony of Carrying Wine.
Most often, the list of items for Yoruba introduction ceremony includes several items from this list:
- for the groom: several tubers of yam; a couple of bottles of wine;
- for the bride: make a yummy meal; a non-alcoholic drink; conservative Yoruba engagement dress paired with Gele head wrap.
2. Yoruba engagement list
So what exactly is the engagement list of things to do?
As a rule, the Yoruba Traditional Wedding Engagement list is given to the family of the groom by the fiancée’s family about a fortnight before the celebration. All the gift items on the list must be beautifully wrapped and given to the bride’s family on the wedding day.
This list usually contains:
- 42 Atare or Chilli Peppers;
- 42 Orogbo or Bitter kolas;
- 42 Obi abata or Kolanuts;
- 42 pieces of Eja Osan or dried Fish;
- 42 Tubers of Isu or Yam;
- 1 Aadun ( the Dish of spicy corn meal);
- 1 Pack of rice;
- 1 Bag of Sugar;
- 1 Pack of salt;
- 1 Umbrella;
- 1 Goat;
- 1 Keg of palmwine;
- 1 Keg of groundnut oil;
- 1 huge bag with garments, footwear and accessories; it must include aso-oke material, 2 sets of lace with gele and 2 sets of Ankara;
- 1 Wrist watch, Earrings and Chains;
- 2 Carafes with honey;
- 2 Baskets full of Fruit;
- 2 Bottles of non alcoholic wine;
- 2 Crates of juice;
- 4 Crates with malt soft drinks;
- 4 Boxes of bottled water;
- 4 Crates of non-alcoholic drinks in cans and bottles;
- Cookies and other Sweets;
- Engagement rings for bride and groom;
- The Bible (if the couple are Christian);
- Quran, a mat and a kettle for praying, rosary, white hijab, veil and tasbir (if the couple are Muslim);
- In many Yoruba villages the groom’s family pays about N5,000 to the bride’s family. Another N10,000 can be spent on ‘fees’ for mother’s and father’s approval, money for the fetching and unveiling of the bride, the payment for the disclosing of the engagement list, etc.;
- If there’s a COW on the list, it normally means all the wedding expenses were covered by the family of the bride.
So these are general rules about what things should be included in the Yoruba traditional wedding list. You can buy all the things on the list or just part of them – this depends on your budget.
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