Traditional Wedding: 10 Most Expensive Nigerian Cultures To Marry From

Irrespective of culture, irrespective of religion, irrespective of societal class, people all over the world consider marriage institution as one of the most cherished noble event of a life time.

ijebu and yoruba traditional marriage
– Newly married Yoruba couple

From one end of the world to the other, weddings or marriage ceremonies involve all members of a community, sharing in the joys of the to-be-couple and spending a large amount of money to make the occasion joyous and successful.

In Nigeria however, marriage ceremonies among certain tribes can be extravgantly expensive due to the elaborate traditional rites and the cultural demands placed on the groom before his bride can be released to him as a wife.

Generally speaking, some cultures demand that a groom pay between N500,000 to N3 million as dowry on a bride before the wedding takes place, and some demand that up to 50 cows be provided as dowry for the bride before she is released as a wife to her suitor. After all, Jacob in the Bible served his father-in-law for 7 years before he could marry his first wife, and another 7 years to be able to marry his second wife.

Below are some of the most expensive traditional wedding cultures in Nigeria:

1. The Annang People of Akwa Ibom State

The Annang people are found in Akwa Ibom state and they are the second largest ethnic group in Akwa Ibom state. Any groom who intends taking a bride from the Annang people must be ready to meet the traditional marriage rites which is indeed expensive because of the loads of stuff and fees that the groom is expected pay for.

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2. The Ogoja People of Cross Rivers State

The Ogoja people are found in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State. The major communities in Ogoja are Ekpogrinya,, Nwang, Esham, Nnang, Egbong, Ewinimba and Banasara. Marrying an Ogoja lady is expensive because of all that is required for the groom to fulfill before the bride can be handed over to him. Very elaborate.

3. Mbaise Ethnic People of Imo State

The Mbaise people are found in Imo state of eastern Nigeria and they occupy three local government areas in Imo State (Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu Mbaise and Ezinihitte Mbaise). The Mbaise people are known for their quest for higher education, hence the large numbers of graduates and professionals amongst them.

However, marrying their educated daughters can be a very tall tree to climb, because they are aware the bride-to-be leaves their community and assumes the name of another man for life, bearing his children and being a helper and homemaker to him. The dowry levied on a groom could be over N300,000 and the marriage list to be provided could cost up to N700,000.

traditional marriage gifts in igbo land

4. Ikwerre people of Rivers State

The Ikwerre people of Rivers State also have very expensive marriage rites, and this is largely because they believe their daughters have been raised with pains and dedication – and any man that would have them must pay suitably for them. The dowry and items listed for marriage ceremonies may cost up to N1 million before a family agrees for a man to marry their daughter.

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5. Ibibio people of Akwa-Ibom State

The Ibibio ethnic tribe of Akwa-Ibom State is predominantly agriculturalists, and their daughters are raised to be strong and self-sustaining. Marrying from this tribe can be very expensive because their daughters are believed to have been groomed to support a man and help him raise a family. A man should be ready to spend upwards of N700,000 before a marriage date is fixed among the Ibibios.

6. Bororos of Northern Nigeria

The Bororos of northern Nigeria look identical to the Fulanis in several aspects and they have several similar cultures. It is believed both the Bororos and the Fulanis require several live cows that could even constitute a herd before releasing their daughters for marriage. They may request for between 10 to 50 live cows, depending on the ability and wealth of the suitor, before a wedding ceremony can take place.

mariage custom

7. The Efik People of Cross Rivers State

The Efik people have a rich culture and marriage is not left out. A groom is expected to organize a carnival like event for the traditional marriage especially if he is getting married to the daughter of an influential person in the town.

efik traditional marriage

8. Nkpa People of Abia State

The Nkpa people of Abia State occupy Bende local government area of the state, and they value marriage so much that an outsider from the tribe or community will pay through his nose to obtain a wife from amongst them. It is believed that marriage between an Nkpa man to an Nkpa lady is cheap and affordable, but highly expensive and prohibitive if the man is from another tribe or state.

9. Ijebu People of Ogun State

A man is not tasked so much at attempting to marry an Ijebu lady from Ogun State, but the wedding ceremony can be as expansive as feeding and entertaining a whole community. The dowry or bride-price requested of the suitor and the wedding items listed to be provided may be within reasonable range, but the Ijebus are known to be jolly-hearted and wouldn’t miss any social opportunity for a lavish party or cultural event where food and entertainment take centre-stage.

ijebu and yoruba traditional marriage

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10. Ngwo people of Enugu State

A man who wants to marry from the Ngwo people of Enugu State must demonstrate that he is able to fully take care of his wife by meeting the exorbitant ceremonies required for the wedding to take place. The man is given a long list of items to buy or provide for the family of the bride and for the wedding to take place before he is allowed to marry their daughter.


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In addition, Anambra as a whole is another study case….

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Laura Urbanos:

In addition, Anambra as a whole is another study case….

Apart from Igbo, Yorubas in general are fund of wild marriage celebration. Even if you may not be straightly tasked in some cases, the bride must be well prepared to foot some so huge bills. The bill for family, friends, relatives, neghbours, clans, etc asho ebi uniform is not a small thing. Even after marriage, be prepared to pay for ‘orishi-rishi’ party celebrations here and there.

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