Marriage Ceremony In Ozalla Clan

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Last up date (July 25, 2021)

Marriage ceremony is also an important traditional ceremony in Ozalla Clan as any man that does not marry in his life time is regarded as an incomplete person in the clan.

There are many processes involved in marriage in Ozalla clan.

In treating the marriage therefore, the writer has to base his facts on the Traditional aspect of it and not the modernized aspect.

In the Olden days of our forefathers, it was usually in the custom that mother will tell their son that it is the right time for him to get married. The father of the man would search for a girl of his choice and he would then inform his son that he has got a person for him for marriage.

The father of the man will contact the family of the girl. If the family of the girl (especially the father and mother) accepts , they will not tell the man immediately rather, they will tell him to be coming to their place pending their consideration about the man to marry their daughter

After many calls by the man only, his family or some of relatives, the father of the family of the girl will then accept the marriage and tells the man to contact his entire family for approval. After the man has got the family’s approval, he will then allow his son to be visiting the parent.

It is normally assumed in older days in Ozalla Clan that a man who can work very hard in the farm does not find it difficult to marry. With this, the father of the girl can be inviting the father of the man proposing his daughter or the man for work in his farm. This will to be done many times until the man’s family will send delegates to the girl‘s family to pronounce and give final consent to the marriage.

This consent is normally done by the Elder men in the extended family of the girl (IDUMU). Normally, family of the girl is always informed at least three day to the day they will come for the final consent.

On the early morning of the day (either Ozalla Market day or Iruekpen Market day) the family of the proposed bridegroom will send some old men at least three or four men to them. Getting there, they will inform the family of the proposed bride of their mission and present to them the traditional Kola-nuts and wine for the purpose.This known in Ozalla as “FOBOVBOKHORE” After the final consent the delegates sent would report back and if successfully, the proposed bride groom’s father will shoot seven Gun salutes in appreciation of the consent. It is this time that the general public will know that such person is to marry such girl.

Owan Edo BrideBride known in Ozalla as "EGHAYO"

The father of the proposed bridegroom will to pay bride’s Dowry to the Bride’s father. In Ozalla custom, all agreed amount of money is usually paid to the father of the bride, to the mother and to the bride,

Thereafter, the circumcision of the bride has to be done. It is normally done locally and when the circumcision is going on, some women in the family will be singing some traditional songs accorded to it. One of the songs in English translation means “Do not cry because you want to be a beautiful girl.” Some amount of money is normally given to the women that celebrated it. Thereafter, many games (Native games) will be played. Example of it is marble seed game. This is done in the bride’s house by visitors to her. The ceremony (Circumcision) is always associated with visits by relatives, the bridegroom’ relatives and well-wishers. Whenever visitors call on her, she (Bride) will present to them some Kola-nuts and other Edible things.

After this, the bridegroom’s father will contact his own family and tell them to help him in cutting some customary woods to the Bride’s parents. Not anyhow wood. It is the local strongest and fire consuming wood. It is known in Ozalla as “ORONKHIA” But the name given to such wood when cut is “ERONSORHUE”. It is normally seven logs being sent to the family of the bride.

Normally, the circumcision has to be given time to heal. It is assumed in Ozalla that the bride has to make use of the woods to heal her circumcision.

A day will be fixed by the parents of the bride- groom for the bride to go out and to be accompanied by her junior sisters to visit relatives of the bridegroom’s place and well- wishers. The significant of this, is that, the people will now know that it is getting near for the girl to go to her husband’s place. This is known in Ozalla as “IKHODEAN”. The bridegroom or the parents must send her things to use for the occasion. It is usually one day for this type of visit.

After, the day of the marriage have be fixed and agreed upon by both families. The Bridegroom’s parents will inform the entire family that their son will marry at least five days preceding the marriage day.

On that day, the bridegroom’s parents will make arrangement with band (KOKOMA IN OZALLA) or any other local dance and to be accompanied by people being delegated by the bridegroom’s family.

Before the bride leave home to the husband’s place she will go round all her relatives to tell them that she is going to marry. After this, the girl will dress up in her best attire normally Ozalla (Edo) traditional dress. The bride’s family will send some people in the family (Men and Women) to lead the bride to her husband’s place. And it is usual for the bride’s family to tell the delegates that the bridegroom should not maltreat their daughter and that he should take good care of her.

When both members of the two families will lead the bride away, they do not normally go straight to the husband’s place but they will make a call at the eldest woman from the bride’s quarter that marries in the Quarter to inform her that the bride is going. After this call, they will go straight to the bridegroom’s place.

The women in the family will gather themselves and start dancing. It is in custom that the women should sing seven .Traditional songs and after, they will general refreshment and amount of money is usually deposited to them on the course of singing and dancing

This however do not end the ceremony, the bride will not immediately go to the husband’s room. She will sleep with the mother of the bridegroom or sister in law for the period of seven days before she finally go to her husband’s room. This does not happen in the modern time now in Ozalla.

To complete seven days of the marriage, the mother of the bride will continue to send her daughter food for seven days. It is assumed that the bride will not taste out of the husband’s food during the seven days until the evening of the seventh day.

On the morning of the seventh day, the bride who is known in Ozalla as ‘EGHAYO” will pack all the dirty clothes of the husband, that of the father in-law¬† and mother in-law and also those of the relatives of the bridegroom to the stream for general washing. Children will normally accompany her to the stream to help her in the washing.

It is also in custom that Antelopes have to be sent to the family of the bride either before the marriage or after the marriage pending the availability of Antelope this is known in OzaIla as “UZOEGBE”. But it is most appropriate to send the Antelopes to the bride’s family before the marriage. These antelopes are to be shared by entire family (Men) of the bride It is also in custom that a female goat has to be bought for the bride and to be in the bride’s home with her parents. It is also in custom in Ozalla Clan that except a woman is accord the traditional marriage rites before she can share things (Gift) in the extended family (IDUMU) with other women. It is this marriage ceremony that help to calculate the chronological seniority of the women in the Family that is according to how they are married.

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