Marriage holds a sacred place in Idoma Land, being a vital part of their culture. Living together as an unmarried couple is generally frowned upon, as marriage is seen as the foundation for a man and woman to coexist. In Idoma Land, like in other Nigerian tribes, the main purpose of marriage is to have children, as they are crucial for the community’s survival. However, having children outside of wedlock is strongly discouraged due to potential disadvantages faced by these children in the community. The process of marriage in Otukpo district involves four stages: finding a bride, investigating the bride’s family history, the introduction, and the dowry negotiation. The groom’s family presents a counteroffer to the bride’s family’s initial dowry request, leading to negotiations until an agreed amount is reached. The agreed bride price is then presented, and the bride symbolically accepts it, signifying her consent and the official union of the two families.
The Idoma traditional marriage list is a collection of items that must be presented to the bride’s family before the marriage can take place. While the specific items may vary, certain items are compulsory and non-negotiable. The list typically includes edible items such as palm wine, cola nuts, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and goats. These items are divided among the husband’s family, wife’s family, and the community for consumption during the marriage ceremony. The presentation of the items involves negotiation between the families, with arguments and quarrels often done in a playful manner. Other components of the marriage list include items for the bride’s father, mother, and the bride herself. The provision of these items signifies the groom’s capability to care for the bride’s needs. Additionally, the bride’s mother presents kitchen-related equipment and utensils as gifts, and sometimes a child to assist with household chores. The cost of the marriage list can vary based on the groom’s financial capacity.
Idoma Bride Price List
- Three jars of palm wine (25 liters each)
- A plate of cola nuts
- Three to six cartons/crates of alcoholic drinks
- Three to six cartons/crates of non alcoholic drinks (usually malt)
- At least two goats, among other items.
Below are sample Idoma bride price list pictures.