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Ethnic Groups with High-Staked Bride Price in Nigeria
By Jane Nneoma

All over Nigeria, bride price is paid by grooms in return for the family's consent and blessings for the bride to start a new family but some of these bride prices are ridiculously high.

 

According to practice, bride price takes different form based on traditions and custom of the people. Sometime, it is an amount of money, property or other form of payment expected to be made by prospective groom's family. In Nigeria, the payment of bride price is essential for the validation of any marriage regardless of the tribe.

Since there is no uniformity in the practice, here are some tribes in the Nigeria with a surprising tribe tradition.


Mbaise, Imo State:

Marrying the daughter of an Mbaise family can be very expensive. If the daughter is educated then the bride price could go even higher. According to unwritten tradition of the people, a bride/woman is an asset to the man.

As such, the Mbaise people demand a bride price sometimes reaching up to N100,000 accompanied by a marriage list of things to buy that can total up to N800,000.

 

Bororo, Adamawa State:

The Bororo people are primarily a nomadic ethnic group. Although not as financially draining as other ethnic groups, it still requires a large number of resources.

To marry a Bororo girl, you will be asked to bring live cattle which is usually between 10 to 50 live cattle. Also, the wealth of the suitor is also noted to be considered in fixing the desired bride price.

 

Ikwerre, Rivers State:

The Ikwerre people have extremely expensive bride prices and marriage lists produced by the bride's family. The bride price and marriage list can cost the suitor up to the sum of N1 million to get his bride.

To the Ikwerre people, their daughters have been raised with dedication and any man that marries them should pay handsomely for them.

 

Kalabari, Rivers State:

The Kalabari people are also known to have some of the most outrageous bride price and marriage lists in Nigeria.  For a typical wedding ceremony, the groom is subjected to many payments, one which include “buying the bride's mouth”.

A Kalabari wedding can reach the sum of N1 million and beyond.

 

Ibibio, Akwa-Ibom State:

As a result of the Ibibio people being mostly agriculturalists, they believe that their daughters are raised to be strong and self-sustaining. Hence they are seen to have been groomed to support a man and help him raise a family.

A bride price combines with the list of items demanded can result in the total of at least N700,000.

 

Efik, Cross Rivers State:

Efik people are known to have a rich cultural background and their marriage ceremonies are a clear indication of this. The marriage list is generated based on the financial ability of the suitor. Among this tribe, the bride price is estimated in Euro. This practice is attributed to the strong influence of colonial activities on the people. [Excerpts from Pulse]

 

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