Traditional Marriage Rites in Yoruba Land, Bridal List and All Should know

Everything you need to know about traditional marriage rites in Yoruba land. This information very useful if you are planning to marry a Yoruba lady.

Traditional Marriage Rites in Yoruba Land


Traditional marriages in Nigeria show the diversity and richness of the Nigerian culture and style. Beautifully and lavishly planned, This event comes with beautiful attires, mouthwatering dishes, loud music and sophisticated accessories.

Traditional marriage in clear essence may be described as the joining together of two opposite sex (Man and woman) as husband and wife according to the norms, value and culture of the particular society which they originate from.

In Nigeria,  it is often said that traditional marriages are done according to the norms, value and culture of the bride. It encompasses introduction, bride price payment and many more according to the tradition of the particular society.

Traditional marriage provides the opportunity for both families to meet and interact with each other.

See Also: Top 10 Nigerian National Symbols and Their Meaning

How is marriage introduction done in Yoruba land?

Basically, wedding introduction is a simple formal ceremony where the groom’s and bride’s family members officially get to know one another. … According to the Yoruba culture, the groom’s family will send in seniors in his extended family and a few close family members to ask the bride to marry him.


The modern Yoruba bridal list consists of:

  1. 42 tubers of yam
  2. Vegetable oil
  3. Palm oil (25 litres)
  4. 1 big bottle of honey
  5. Bitter kola
  6. 4 kola-nuts
  7. 42 pieces of alligator pepper
  8. Fruits
  9. Cow or goat
  10. Sugar cane
  11. Salt
  12. Bride price (Owo ori)
  13. Dried fish
  14. 1 plate of adun (Corn meal)
  15. Alcoholic drinks
  16. Four crates or packs of soft drinks
  17. Four crates of malt
  18. Two non-alcoholic wine
  19. One bag of rice
  20. One Umbrella
  21. Two carton of fruit juice
  22. One big suit case containing different fabrics like aso oke or lace including gele, complete jewelry set, matching shoes and bag
  23. A bible or quaran


  • Bride price – Varies
  • Money for the elder’s consent (Owo Ijoko Agba) – N,1000
  • Money for the bride’s father’s consent (Owo Baba Gbo) – N,1000
  • Money for the bride’s mother’s consent (Owo Iya Gbo)- N1,000
  • Door knocking fee (Owo Ikanlekun) – N1000
  • Fee for unveiling the bride (Owo Isiju Iyawo) – N1,000
  • Bride transportation fee (Owo Aeroplane) – N1,000
  • Money for the Housewives (Owo Iyawo Ile) – N500
  • Money for the Children of the household (Owo Omo Ile) – N500
  • Letter reading fee (Owo letter kika) – N500
  • The fee to call the bride out (Owo Telephone) – N500
  • Engagement gifts unveiling fee (Owo Isigba) – N500
  • Master of Ceremonies fee (Owo Alaga Ijoko) – N500



The occasion is anchored two women Alaga Ijoko (representing the brides family) and Alaga Iduro (groom’s family). The Yoruba Traditional marriage usually begin with the arrival of the groom’s family. The groom’s family will have to come early or pay a fine.

The groom will then dance in with his friends and proceed to prostrate twice with his friends and once alone. The families will then stretch forth their hands to pray for the groom who will prostrate once more with his friends before heading to his seat.

A proposal ‘letter’ is presented by the groom’s family and is read by the youngest member of the bride’s family. An acceptance letter is given by the bride’s family. The bride is then cover with a veil and dances into the hall with her friends (Asoebi Ladies).

She kneels before her parents then the groom’s parents for prayers. She proceeds to put the groom’s cap on his head demonstrating her acceptance of his proposal.

The bride when instructed by the Alaga Ijoko, picks a gift of Bible or Quran with a ring attached to it. The engagement cake symbolizes joy due to its rich and sweet ingredients.

The bride’s outfit include:  Gele (head gear ), Buba (blouse), Iro (wrapper) usually ankle length as well as other accessories.


  1. Amala
  2. Jollof rice and meat
  3. Ewedu and gbegiri
  4. Asaro etc.

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