Every material on this site is authentic and was extracted from the complete available project.Click to GET IT NOW
MS-WORD DOC || CHAPTERS: 1-5 || PAGES: 93 || PRICE: ₦3000
TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE PROCEDURES IN EDEMAYA: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE
1.1 Background of the Study
Marriage has been an important Institution and ceremony in Edemaya and had existed from the earliest times. Marriage can also be called matrimony or wedlock and it is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between a couple, their parents, and in-laws. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which inter-personal relationship (usually sex) is formally acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity1. Therefore, wedding is a formal ceremony through which sub activity is recognized in the society.
The wedding ceremony is an official way through which relationship between a man and woman is recognized and established in the eyes of the society to which they belong. Wedding ceremony as introduced by the European can be seen as today’s modern marriage popularly called white wedding. Despite the fact that wedding ceremonies have been embraced in Africa, traditional Marriage still holds ground as mandatory ceremony in Edemaya2.
Marriage exists in various forms, and there are two major types of marriage practices in Nigerian namely; Monogamy, and Polygamy. It is pertinent to understand that before the coming of the missionaries, marriage of many wives determined how wealthy a man was, but after the missionaries left, this ideology changed and people started marrying just one wife3. In essence, with the introduction of Christianity, the generally accepted form of marriage in Edemaya was replaced with monogamy, a type of marriage in which both partners have just one spouse. This is the most common form of marriage worldwide, especially among Christians4.
Despite the long term existence of marriage, there have been some changes that occurred in the course of time. For example, before the advent of bicycle, the suitor and his family made use of their foots as a means of transportation, those who were staying around the riverine area used canoes, while some suitors used animals like donkey to convey items like, clothes, food, drinks and cowries as a form of bride price to the girl’s parent, yet some of the patterns that was accepted during the pre-colonial era have changed in due time. For example, the marrying of many women to just a man, change from the use of calabash cups to glasses, and preference to the more exorbitant the outdoor ceremony instead of indoor ceremony. However, all those changes have not distorted some continuities that long existed and still exist even after the missionaries have come and gone5.
The way in which marriage is practiced, its rules and customs have changed over time. Those changes have also affected the procedures in which traditional marriage is being carried out in Edemaya. Marriage is an interesting institution that has left many to pray for their turns. One must understand that people of the same neighborhood could inter-marry if approved. However, restrictions are given in a case involving blood relatives, hence, members of the same family are bound from entering into marriage6.
Edemaya is one of the clans of Ikot-Abasi local government Area in Akwa Ibom State8,Ikot-Abasi Local Government is located in the South-West corner of Akwa-Ibom and It is bounded by Oruk Anam Local Government Area in the north, Mkpat Enin in the East and the Atlantic Ocean in the South. The people of Ikot-Abasi are made of the Ibibio nationality group with diverse cultural heritage and tradition. The local government consists of five clans of with Edemaya as one of them. Edemaya clan consists of twenty-three villages, given the sizes of such sprawling communities as Ikot Usoide, Ikot Ndien, Ikot Ubo Akama and Ikot Akpabio7. We can conclude that Edemaya is a vast land that is composed of a cluster of villages which have the same culture, customs, language, tradition and heritage.
In Edemaya, family is the original cell of social life. It is a natural society that sees a man and his wife as the most important instruments in forming a family. In other words, Edemaya people believe that the community we see today, started from the family. However, before a man and woman started to live together, and produced off- springs formally, there must have been some procedures, acceptable to both families to enable their children to officially live together. This legal and formal way is called marriage, a practice profoundly operated in the tradition of Edemaya. Edemaya people respect the norms because it has been in existence right from the earliest times. It is also a commandment that was given by the Creator to human-kind to leave their parents and cleave to their spouse. Based on this commandment, marriage norms have come to stay in the world, and Edemaya clan is not an exception.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
This research is based on “Continuity and Change of the Traditional Marriage Procedures in Edemaya”.The traditional marriage procedures have had changes. However, it has been observed that the sudden changes in Edemaya traditional marriage norms have threatened the cultural growth of the clan. For example, the use of foreign drinks has jettisoned the value of palm wine and local Ufo-fop which were highly valued in the traditional norms. The norms of traditional marriage in Edemaya is also threatened by the influence of Christian faith. In fact our tradition is vulnerable to the concept of “holiness” and Christianity. With respect to marriage, this concept has largely affected the traditional bride price rite. Most churches have come up with the policy “make all in cash” rather than collecting the traditional marriage list and implementing according to its contents.
1.2 Objectives of Study
The general objectives of this research are:
i. to find out on the continuity and change of the traditional marriage procedure in Edemaya, that is, how traditional marriage procedure that had occurred before the advent of Christianity and westernization,
ii. to ascertain the extent it has affected the community of Edemaya society both positively and negatively.
iii. to assess the extent of changes and Continuities of the traditional marriage in Edemaya over the years, based on the roles played by westernization is continued or dis-continue with the practice.
iv. to assess if continuity impacted on Edemaya culture.
1.3 Significance of Study
Basically, this study outlines the following as significance of study of traditional marriage procedures in Edemaya.
i. serves the student as their research on marriage procedures in Edemaya.
ii. It will also helps historians to identify Continuities and Changes in the traditional marriage procedures Edemaya.
iii. The proposed study will help scholars and reading to have a deeper understanding of the historical significance of traditional marriage and its procedures in Edemaya.
iv. Shall contribute to extant literatures on the subject under study.
1.4 Scope and Limitation of the Study.
This research work covers Edemaya clan as a whole. The work is limited to Edemaya clan in geographic terms. That is to say that the changes and conditions observable in traditional marriage procedures elsewhere, even though they may be some semblances, are not the concern of this study. In the course of this research work, the researcher experienced difficulties in convincing some informants regarding the nature of this work, that it was strictly a research work rather than political issues. Time postponement on the part of the interviewee (Village Council) was also a militating factor against this project work, lastly, high cost of transportation was a major problem for the research.1.5 Research and Methodology
The methods used in gathering facts for this research are, primary and secondary sources. Under the primary source, oral interviews and eye witness account were used in the course of the research. According to Uya, oral interview is the collection and study of historical information about the past orally while an eye witness account is an account kept by people who participated in or observed a historical process8. On the other hand, the secondary sources used in this research are mainly from textbooks and other written source such as Journals, institutional reports, documents, among others.
1.7 Definition of Key words
1.7.1 Marriage: Amponsah defines marriage as a union between two people, a man and a woman such that the children born to the woman are the recognized legitimate off-spring of both parents9. Agha in his definition sees marriage as a close partnership of two different people of opposite sex who have concerted to live and work together as one entity10. According to Murdock, marriage exists when a sexual union extends into some form of economic cooperaton11. Anyebe on the other defined marriage as a voluntary relationship of one man and a woman (or group of women) to the exclusion of all others12. To Radcliffe marriage is a social arrangement by which a child is given a legitimate position in the society, determined by parenthood in the social sense13.
From this definitions, it is clear that marriage involves at least two people (most commonly of the opposite sex) who agreed to live together (or sometimes apart) in a relationship capable of producing children who are recognized as legitimate constituents of the society.
1.7.2 Tradition: According to Horner, tradition is the process of handing down customs and culture from generation to generation, which have been passed on overtime14. Thomas defined tradition as a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past15. David in his own words defined tradition as an old system, archaic or naive16. To the researcher, tradition can be seen as a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical.
1.7.3 Change: According to kantar, change involves the crystallization of new policies, new behaviors, new patterns, new methodologies, new products or new market ideas, based on the reconceptualized patterns in the institution17. Stein defined change to be the shift in behavior of the whole organization. In other words, most organizations or institutions are influenced by changes in the environment that require adaptation of internal processes18. To De Jager , change is a simple procees that occurs whenever we replace the old with the new. Change, according to him, is about travelling from the old to the new, leaving yesterday behind in exchange for the new tomorrow19. In other words, change can be seen to alter; to make difference; to cause to pass from one state to another, as to change the position, character, or appearance of a thing; to change the countenance, the process of passing from one phase to another, making substitute for another. It can also be seen as to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution.
1.7.4 Continuity: Peirce defined continuity as the passage from one form to another by insensible degrees, to him, continuity can also be seen as the quality of something that does not stop or change as time passes20. To the researcher, continuity can also be seen as the lack of interruption or disconnection; the quality of being continuous in space or time.
1.8 Organization of Chapters
This research covers five chapters. The first chapter has to do with the background of the study, statement of research problem, aims and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, research methodology, definition of key words, organization of contents and review of related literatures.
Chapter two covers the land and people of Edemaya, history and culture of Edemaya people, pre-colonial political institutions and practices, economic activities and political activities in the pre-colonial times, and social organization of Edemaya.
Chapter three deals with pre-colonial beliefs and social values in Edemaya, marriage institutions, the significance of marriage in Edemaya, the bride price and bride family list, performance in Edemaya, the final handover ceremony, the status of women in marriage in Edemaya and dissolution of marraiage.
Chapter four is concerned with the changes and continuity in Edemaya in marriage procedures, the economic dimension of western civilization in Edemaya marriage procedures, impact of the changes in marriage practice in Edemaya, and the assessment of continuity and its impact on Edemaya culture.
Chapter five deals with summary, conclusions and recommendations bibliography and appendix
1.9 Literature Review
According to Finnis, marriage is the union of a man and woman who made a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally inherently fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together. The spouses seal and renew their union by conjugal acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction, thus, uniting them as a reproductive unit21.
Paul explains marriage as a covenant of undivided affection between a man and woman, ordained by God for the purpose of increase of human family and the education of children. He posits that, marriage is a revocation consent which each partner freely bestows on and accepts from the other, and that the unity and fruitful live which exists between them imposes total fidelity on partners and argues for unbreakable oneness22.
The above view shows that marriage is the first school of social virtue, which is the animating principles of the existence and development of the human family or the society. Thus, in Nigeria, marriage is the most encompassing reality of life, it is something of sacred obligation and any adult that refuses to marry is seen by the society as either cursed or abnormal. Marriage being a social institution has societal values, most of which are the socio-economic and religious-political values23.
The word “traditional” is a part of ordinary linguistic usage. According to Yune, traditional means something that is old system, archaic or naive24. Igala sees traditional marriage as the union between a man and woman to live as husband and wife based on cultural laws and practices. This commandment makes people to comprehend human maturity and the need to continue the work of procreating human family25. Based on this reason, in Nigeria, traditional marriage is an instrument of human development and effective institution upon which marriage system is viewed. In the Nigeria society, the rational marriage system is viewed as natural and a duty every individual has to perform in the society. It is in this context that the social and moral values of marriage are viewed in relation to the society26.
There are two major type of marriage practices in Edemaya, these include Monogamy and y. Polygamy. According to Marius in, the word “monogamy” comes from the Greek word “mono” which means one or alone, and “gamo” which means marriage or union27. Monogamy is the practice of marriage or sexual partnering with one spouse. It is the custom or condition of having only one mate. Marriage is the institution through which a man and woman typically expect to share their lives intimately in a monogamous relationship, usually referred to in the vows stated at their wedding ceremony. Raising children in a family, holding property, sexual behavior, relationship to society, inheritance, emotional intimacy, health care and love are a few examples of the rights and obligations often shared by a married couple28.
Engels, a colleague of Karl Marx and pioneer in communist philosophy, explains polygamy as the practice of marriage to more than one spouse simultaneously as opposed to monogamy where each person has only one spouse at a time29. Polygamy is condemned or restricted by the majority of the world’s religions. Anthropologists have observed that while many societies have permitted polygamy, the majority of human partnership, are in fact monogamous. Human polygamy exists in three specific forms, including polygyny (one man having multiple wives), polyandry (one woman having multiple husbands), and group marriage (some combination of polygyny and polyandry). Historically, all three practices have been found but polygyny is by far the most common30.
In Nigeria, Marriage practices are tied to continuities that have long existed and are more or less seen as customary. It varies according to diverse ethnic groups, for example, in the Hausa culture, their typical marriage practice starts mainly from the close family friends of the groom, not necessarily including the groom’s parents. Here, the to-be-groom’s guardian goes to visit the family of the bride, to confirm availability of the lady for the to-be-groom. Also, it is part of the Hausa culture for the groom to provide a house for the couple while the bride’s family has full responsibility of furnishing the house, especially the rooms, living room and the kitchen. All these are done before the wedding proper31.
In Igbo land, Basden posits that it has always been a custom for the bride to proceed to her future spouse’s village, accompanied by her mother, many girls of her own age and her mother’s female friends, the bride’s dowry, kitchen utensils, mortars, palm oil, cassava, locust beans and other another condiments to the husband’s house before the proper traditional wedding. It is also a custom for the parents of the groom to make findings about the bride’s attitude, and to be sure, she would be able to produce children in her husband’s house, since their main focus is to have children.
According to Downes, in Tiv ethnic nationality in Benue state, in addition to the bride price, the groom must pay dowry first to the bride’s mother and to the bride’s father. This involves a significant amount of bargaining. Also, every member of the bride’s mother’s family must be given money by the groom’s family determining the amount. It is believed that the money given to every member of the bride’s mother’s family amounted to the varying level of the bride’s education and productivity that the bride’s family have made her to achieve before the groom met her32.
In Ibibio state, as part of continuity in marriage practice, it is pertinent to note that before the date of the ceremony, the items on the list ought to have been presented prior to that day to ensure that everything requested for has been provided. Also, upon the arrival of the groom and his family, the women and children of the village barricade the entrance with road blocks, making their requests known to groom’s family and it is the duty of the groom and his people to provide whatever they request on the spot. It is said that this is done because the women cut off the grasses on the road side and children sweep the road, so they must be paid for their services. This continuity has no difference from what it used to be in the ancient times, colonial era and now33. However, the marriage tradition that has been explained about the different states is seen as part of continuity from time perspective.
As said earlier, despite the long term existence of marriage, changes have always been occurring over time. For example, before the advent of bicycles, the suitor gave cowries, food, clothes and drinks to the girl’s parent as a form of bride price, this changed during the bicycles days, when the means of exchanged was now through money. In terms of clothing, the bride was meant to tie wrapper across her breast and on the waist, in order to truly expose her beauty to the admiration of the proposed suitor. In this era also, the bride during this process is designed all over with the body with (Ndom that is native clay) for further artistic beautification and beads Nkwa was placed round her legs and waist to add to the beauty of the bride. Also, before the day of the wedding ceremony, the bride to be was kept in a fattening room Mbobo, where she would be properly taken care of, fed, massaged by special women, and then served by others since they would not be allowed to do anything till formal marriage ceremony.