The Idoma Traditional marriage

The Idoma people live in north central Nigeria, Benue State by the south eastern flank.

In most cultural groups in Nigeria, traditional marriage is an arrangement between two families rather than an arrangement between two individuals.
Marriage in Idoma land is considered a lifelong state of union, although divorce is possible on the grounds of Infidelity.
When an Idoma man is about twenty-five years old and has the financial and physical capability to maintain a wife and children, he searches for a woman of his choice, who must be at least eighteen years old. He informs his family of his desire and they will in turn choose a go-between (a person who is familiar with the girl’s family).

This go-between is called  ogbo’onya.

The go-between (ogbo’onya) investigates the family of the prospective bride to ascertain that the family has no history of specific ailments e.g. mental disease, epilepsy, and/or similar problems. If the result of this investigation is positive, the prospective groom’s family visits the woman’s family with gifts of kolanut and drinks.


The bride-price comes in many folds, the groom must pay a dowry first to the bride’s mother and then another dowry to the father; this involves a significant amount of bargaining. Also every member of the bride’s mother’s family must be given money, with the groom’s family determining the amount. The bride’s age group and her more distant relatives also get some money; the amount paid varies according to bride’s level of education and productivity. Then the groom’s family gives the bride a rooster and some money. If she accepts these gifts and gives them to her mother, she indicates her acceptance of the groom, but if she refuses, she signifies her refusal. If she accepts him, she is showered with gifts and money, and the two families eat and drink together. Before the bride is finally handed over to her husband, however, her age group will pose as a mock barrier to those who want to take her and extort money from the anxious groom’s family. The bride’s mother buys her cooking utensils and food because she is not expected to go to the market for the first five market days after her marriage. At the end of the eating and drinking, the wife is finally handed over to her husband’s family.

So as a bachelor looking to marry an idoma girl, you must be ready for this challenge.

Traditional marriage Attire

An idoma bride and her gang rocking the idoma traditional colors of red and black. Which are both significant colors

Cute little bride and ring bearer

It is also important to note that the Idoma people do not believe in divorce except on the ground of unfaithfulness. And when the Idoma woman dies, she is to be brought back to her her village to be buried properly.

Infidelity is highly frowned upon and has consequences according to the Idoma traditions.

The idoma people indeed have a beautiful culture that needs to be showcased And beautiful brides to booth.

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