TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE IN OKPE KINGDOM (From Dr. (Prince) I. S. Mebitaghan, A BRIEF HISTORY OF OKPE KINGDOM, New Era Publications, Benin City, Nigeria, 2001, pp. 51-57). (Reproduced with the permission of the author). MARRIAGE is the process of a union between a male and female during which both enter into a contract to be husband and wife. The families of the couple eventually are involved in the entire process to ensure a successful lasting union. The process begins with the period of courtship, the length of which varies between individuals involved. When both have eventually made up their minds about each other, the girl then unfolds her love affairs to her mother, to gain her support and necessary advice from time to time. At a…show more content… $ $ The groom’s entourage arrives some minutes before the appointed time. The traditional rites begin by the family welcoming the guest with: -Money; -Some ‘native’ kolanuts only; and -Assorted drinks.
The spokesman receives these items on behalf of the guests. Thereafter, he proceeds to introduce members of the groom’s family to the bride’s family, who are also introduced to the groom’s family by the spokesman for their family. The leader of the groom’s family will now
perform the traditional breaking of the kolanuts presented. This is done by saying prayers for the host’s family either in his dialect or a common language. He then breaks one of the kolanuts for use in prayers; first, to the parents of the bride, chiefs and Elders around. The leader of the groom’s family will also pray for the groom, his parents and Elders in his entourage. The rest of the kolanuts are distributed to all present. The leader of the groom’s family proceeds to open one of the hot drinks, pouring some in a glass and he prays for the host’s family members in the traditional or Christian form, depending on the religion of the families involved. Some of the drinks presented having been served to all present, the remainder is to be taken home by the visitors (that is the groom’s delegation). Having completed the entertainment of the guests, the spokesman for the groom’s family will rise to explain the reason for