Marriage Steps in Ogbona – By Deacon John Odior Anavheokhai

MARRIAGE STEPS IN OGBONA – By Deacon John Odior Anavheokhai

Marriage, like any other social institution in the world is highly revered in Ogbona, indeed, Avianwu clan in general. It is much more than being ceremonious. It is a bond that binds people of different cultures background, taste and preferences together. It is an expression of maturity, a strict adherence to biblical teachings, deference and overt observance of time tested tradition.
It starts with a boy seeing a girl, approaching and proposing to her. Once there is discernible or perceived sense of temperamental compatibility between both parties, the girl gives the boy the go ahead to see her parents, thus setting the stage for marriage negotiation to commence.
It must be stated here that marriage processes in Ogbona are the same.it is immaterial whether the girl in question is an Adegbe /Onabor or Amhoya.
Onabor or Amhoya is a girl given out in marriage to a spouse outside the shore of the four villages of Arua, Unone, Iraokhor and Ogbona that make up Avianwu clan. She is believed to have been sold out with no right of inheritance to her family property. Her children as it were, are not shared between both families. She is treated as a bona fide daughter of her husband’s family. Of course, her bride price is much higher. Adegbe is the opposite of Amhoya. She has unrestricted access to her family even when married.
According to Aha Idokpesi Okkhaishie N’Avhianwu in his book “The Descent of Avhianwu”, Amhoya at marriage becomes a bona-fide property of the husband who paid a very high bride price on her. By this type of arrangement Amhoya gains in her husband’s home the rights and privileges she has lost in her parents’ home. On the other hand, non-Amhoya at marriage remains the property of her parents because the husband has paid a very little bride price on her. A non-Amhoya retains her rights and obligations in her parents’ home. She can be removed at will by her parents or guardians.
In the distant past some of or all the offspring of non-Amhoya could be adopted at will by her maternal ancestral household. In the case of adoption the women had nothing to worry about as the children who though by the unwritten constitution then became the legal property of the adopting household, would still be very much around in the community. But the husband would always be the loser. The situation however became different at the advent of the Nupe slave raiders.
During the Nupe/Hausa slave raiding expeditions, the women of the non-Amhoya type of Marriage had no guarantee that her children would be left in the community. Her fears were genuine as taxes, ransoms and tributes were paid in humans. For this reason, a non-Amhoya had to establish a good relationship with her maternal (paternal – if this is applicable) ancestral household.
Whether Adegbe or Amhoya, the marriage processes are the same as illustrated below
STAGE ONE
The suitor (boy) goes to his would be in law with the first gourd of palm wine known as Anyio ino gbor. (Enquiring drink). The drink is for the girl’s father alone though he calls a few people to join him in the brief ceremony. The girl is sent for and on arrival, she is subjected to series of questions. At the end her consent on the desirability of the gourd of palm is sort and if she answered in the affirmative, the palm wine is taken. She is not allowed to entertain any suitor again

STAGE TWO
The second stage is Iwukwe, acceptance keg of palm wine. Although the girl had given the father the go ahead to drink the first gourd of palm wine, the boy needs the consent of the prospective father in law too. The taking of Iwukwe drink is taken as the expression of that fatherly consent for the marriage to go ahead.

STAGE THREE
The third stage is Anyio Ivhiera, the kindred’s gourd of palm wine. At this stage the Ivhiera are formally informed and the suitor is formally presented to the entire family. It is inconsequential if some of them had earlier been involved in the preceding stages.

STAGE FOUR
The fourth stage is Anyio Ede. The keg of palm wine for the entire quarter. At this stage the marriage can be contracted as who is who in the entire process has been well informed. At this stage also the bride price is paid and all necessary rites are performed. The boy can organize his friends to farm for his prospective in laws.

STAGE FIVE
The last stage is Anyio Obekhai. Thank you gourd of palm wine. The young man appreciates his in law to be for accepting him and for giving their consent for the marriage to be consummated.

REVISED CUSTOMARY LAW OF MARRIAGE IN OGBONA WITH EFFECT FROM 22 NOVEMBER 2012.
External Marriage – Amhoya/Onabor (This is a form of marriage where a prospective husband comes from outside Avhianwu Clan to marry an Ogbona girl)

a. For the Girl: One Large box of clothes of assorted types of the girl’s choice
b. For the Mother:
• One bag of rice
• One tin of palm oil
• One tin of groundnut oil
• Two bags of salt
• Twenty five tubers of yams
• One basket of dry fish (bonga)
• Forty Coconuts
• Five bunches of Plantain
• One SHE Goat
• Three bottles of Honey
• Bride price for Mother (10,000)
• Akara, Eko and River fish (Equivalent N10,000)
c. For the Father:
• Jerricans of Palm wine – Five (5)
• Cartons of Beer assorted – Ten (10)
• Bottles of hot drinks Six (6)
• Bride Price for Father (50,000)
• Okphe Ukpi of Ogbona: N2,000 and a bottle of wine
• Chief of the Village: N3,000 and a bottle of wine
• Youth of the village : N1,000 and two cartons of Beer
d. Other Requirements:
• Akpogege (announcers) – 2 @ N1,000 – N2,000
• Ibeto (Hair Dressing) N1,000
• Idibie (Body designer) N1,000
• Inwobovhare (handing over of girl to the husband) N2,000
• Irode (Guide) 2@ N1,000 each = N2,000
e. N/B Where a husband cannot present the items listed above, he can pay cash equivalent to the value of items concerned

HRH Chief Willy Idode Chief George Kadiri
The Okphe Ukpi of Ogbona Secretary: Okphe-Ukpi in-Council

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THE PALACE OF THE OKPHE UKPI OF OGBONA
Chief Willy Uloko Idode
Okphe Ukpi Palace Ivhiobore, Ogbona
REVISED CUSTOMARY MARRIAGE REQUIREMEIMTS
This marriage is between Anwu Sons/Daughters anti It is therefore applicable in Avhianwu federation, especially in Ogbona.
1.FOR THE FATHER-IN-LAW
a. Anyio ape – one carton of beer and one hot drink (first day of introduction)
b. Five jerry cans of Palm Wine
c) Five Cartons of Beer-Two cartons out of the five cartons of beer mention above belong to the brother-in-law (Ivhiera), others are for the quarter (Ede)
2.IZISOMHl (Engagement) N500 (Five Hundred Naira)

3.BRIDE PRICE N5, 000 (Five Thousand Naira)

4.FOR THE MOTHER IN-LAW
a. ISOMHI-IGBIGHU N20, 000 [Twenty Thousand)
b. IKA AND EKO or N 10,000 {Ten Thousand Naira)
c. Twenty-one (21) Tubers of Yams
d. EGWU-EKA (One she goat for the Mother-in-law)

5.OTHERS -REQUIREMENTS
a. AKPOGEGE TWO PERSONS FIVE HUNDRED NASRA EACH (N 1,000)
IDI-IBIE (BODY DESIGN) N1, 000
b. IBETO (PLANTING OF HAIR] N1, 000
c. IRODE (2 WOMEN ESCORT) N1, 000
d. (NWOBOVHARE (Handing over the girl to the bride) (N 1,000)

6.COSMETICS FOR THE GIRL
a. A box of clothes of the girl’s choice.
b. 3 Big Saturday Night Powder,
c. 8 bottles of pomade (AVIOBO)
d. One Umbrella (AKPAKPA).
e. 2 Lipsticks {ALUEUNO).

7.AKHEIRQDE (APPRECIATIQN FOOD TO THE BRIDE FAMILY)
All the cooking should be done according to the custom and tradition
8.AMHO-OYA (IPABUA) Bride price (seven thousand Naira).

9.Any man who impregnates a female and had a child without paying the bride price for a period of one year shall pay N50, 000; one carton of beer and One Jerrycan of palm wine to the community. Thereafter, the man shall negotiate marriage requirements with the Bride’s family to claim the child/children.

10.Any man who denies pregnancy and Medical Doctor’s report prove otherwise, the man shall pay N65, 000 (Sixty Five thousand) to the community and thereafter negotiate marriage requirements with the family of the woman. If 9 & 10 above are rejected by the man the child/children belongs to the woman family.

HRH Chief Willy Idode Chief George Kadiri
The Okphe Ukpi of Ogbona Secretary: Okphe-Ukpi in- Council



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