Traditional marriage rites In Cross River state. The state is Popularly known as a small London/mini nation because of it’s multi-ethnics, cultural, and linguistics. The state’s divers cultural rites of almost all areas of life is simply amazing.
Calabar have rites of births, Passage, Festival, Music, Dances, Religion , Oral Literature, down to the rites of marriage which is the main focusof this post. And in all these rites, the people of the state pride themselves in them; saying that it is a culture which came to them from their great-great grandfathers.
After the man meets a lady and expresses his interests in her, if she agrees, the groom in company of his family/friends then pays a visit to the girl’s parents to make his intentions known to them with some gifts of drinks, alcohol and non- alcoholic beverages.During this initial call, a date will then be fixed for the second coming thus enabling the girl’s parents to inform others about the intended marriage ceremony of their daughter. Before the scheduled date, a list of the items for the marriage solemnization would be given to the man.On the said day and with all the expectations met, the program proceeds in this manner:
1. Food would be provided for everyone at the occasion with music and dances by the bride’s family.
2. Drinks would be the responsibility of the groom and his people.
3. An elder from the bride’s family will prayers for the unification of the both families with a hot drink (Seaman Aromatic Schnapps to be precise) provided by the groom’s people.
4. After this, a token would be given to the parents in a ratio of 2:1 of whatever amount is deemed fit by the traditions.
5. The bride’s parents will give a carton of beer as a take home to their in-laws, this drink is not to be taken from gifts that the in-laws came with.
There are many ethnic groups/tribes in Cross river state and as such, the most in terms of domination is Yala which happens to be the most dominant tribe of Cross river state, possibly the tribe of the popular Nigerian musician Iyanya, because of his hit song, “Kukere” gave him away as coming from that tribe since their local language is known as kukelle.