Marriage Under Etsako Native Law And Custom

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Last update 03-06-2020) 

There are three alternative forms of marriage called, in most Chans, Amoya, Isomi, and Enabo.

An Amoya wife is one for whom a full marriage-payment has been made. The husband and his descent group acquire full rights in uxorem and in genetricem. In no circumstances is she allowed to pass out of her husband’s family although, should her husband be impotent, she may be allowed to take a lover in order to produce an heir. On the husband’s death she passes to one of his heirs. The children are fully affiliated to the husband’s descent group..
In isomi marriage the marriage-payment is smaller and, the woman may terminate the marriage at any time. Some accounts say that the children of an isomi marriage are divided between the descent groups of the husband and the wife’s father. They belong to the latter unless the father redeems a son by purchasing a title for him or acquiring an amoya wife for him unless the son himself chooses after his father’s death to remain with the latter’s family and inherit a share of his father’s property. .

Enabo marriage differs from amoya only in that the wife comes from a different tribe. At Ibie when a man dies his enabo widow must marry his heir or return to her own town; she cannot marry another man in her husband’s town.
An amoya wife is acquired at Fuga (Avianwu) when she is only. four or five years old; the husband takes her away without ceremony and she is brought up in his household. He receives the whole marriage-payment for daughters of the marriage, the mother’s family having no share.

An Isomi marriage at Fuga involves a smaller marriage-payment, but additional services are due to the parents-in-law. The suitor, once accepted, begins to assist his father-in-law on the latter’s farm, and fetches water and firewood for the mother. The ceremony involves the exchange of presents between the two ‘‘families. , On reaching her husband’s house the girl sweeps it out with a broom and 10 days later begins to work on her husband’s farm. She lives with her husband’s mother or senior wife, sometimes until her own children are old enough to work, but if she misbehaves she may be removed to a house of her own. At Auchi the bride-price on the daughter of an isomi marriage is divided between the: descent groups of the father and mother, the latter receiving the bigger share.  Marriage is forbidden between close kin and that the ward, in some chans at least, was formerly exogenous. It is reported that at Uwepa there are two exogamous marriage “classes “. The children of an amoya or enabo wife belong to their father’s class, those of an isomi wife to the mother’s class. This rule is upheld even if an isonzi child decides to affiliate with his father’s people

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