Ebira Culture

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Ebira people, mostly living along the River Benue plain down and beyond the River Niger, are a tribe found in Kogi state in Okene, Okehi, Adavi and Ajaokuta local government areas and in some parts of Nassarawa and Edo states.

The word Ebira means behaviour when translated literally with ethics and hospitality as compliments. The unique features of the Ebira culture with its ethnic aestheticism, are appreciated most in the event of traditional marriages.

Victoria Mayaki sheds more light on this. When a man sees a lady he intends to marry, he discusses his intentions with her, who, if interested, tells him to bring his people to express his intentions to her parents.

In respect to the Ebira tradition, the man does not walk to the parents
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This is with a view to deciding whether or not to give their daughter’s hand in marriage to a family with a tainted reputation in the society.

After the research, if their findings are appreciable, an approval is given to the man to visit the bride-to- be from time to time to further get to know themselves properly.

A date is later picked for the formal introduction of both families and this is called “Ise Ewere” which literally means what has been in secret is now in the open. During the celebration, there is usually the presentation of gift items made by the family of the groom to the family of the bride.

The gift items usually include; about 42 tubers of yam, dried fish or bush meat, 10 liters of palm oil, a bag of salt, assorted wines and kola nut. The groom may also decide to present two wrappers to his would-be bride but this is optional.

On the day of introduction, it is not necessary that the man attends the occasion as his family members do the necessary things on his behalf. The bride’s family in turn, entertains the groom’s with food and drinks. The families interact with one another and formally introduce every member of both
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Apart from the bride price, there are other things like “ozemeiyi” that is “I am attracted to her” which a certain amount of money is attached to, and “otanuvogei” that is “joining hands together”. There is also “idoza” that is “farming price” paid to the bride’s family because Ebira people are predominantly farmers. In the olden days when every young man had to farm, the groom and his friends appoint a day to farm for the father of the bride but these days because most young men don’t farm any longer, they pay money

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