Emmanuel Echeczolochi Amadi (PhD), Uwom Kenoye Ophangharanan Igoniko (PhD)


This paper examined the significance of traditional marriage rites in Etche South-South Nigeria. The paper contends that in Etche marriage rites such as  iju-ajuju (to enquire or to investigate) into the would-be wife family history, iku-akanamgbo (knocking at the door to which Etche people often refer to as opening talks with the family of the wife to be), ishi-onyeukwunwanyi (the handing over of the middleman to the husband to be),ijeabaliano (four days visit undertaken by the wife to be to her would-be husband family), to study him and to familiarize herself with the family, ibungwo-umunna (the carrying of the family male relations wine and that of the kinsmen, and finally, ikwu-ugwonwanyi) (the payment of the bride - price to the girl’s parents) must be performed by the husband before the woman finally comes into  his house as his wife. The paper posits that these rites are intended not only to confer full traditional rights on the husband over his wife and children born into the marriage, but also to enhance the status of the girl in the society. The methodology adopted was oral interviews (report of the custodians of Etche customs and traditions and Handed down tradition) and secondary sources (Published materials). The study also adopts phenomenological approach to describe and interpret the rituals associated with marriage rites. Findings from the study reveal that marriage rites as an essential aspect of Etche customs and tradition still remains sacrosanct and that it has helped for the sustainability of indigenous Etche cultural practices.


Significance, Traditional Marriage, Rites, Etche People, Etche Culture.

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Primary sources

Amadi Alfred, ofo-holder, oral interview at Akpoku Etche on 05/05/2023.

Akanwa John, Traditional ruler, oral interview at Okehi Etche on 10/05/2023.

Nwankwo Hilary, Traditionalist, oral interview at Odufor Etche on 15/05/2023.

Njoku Kenneth, Traditionalist, oral interview at Obite Etche on 20/05/2023.

Secondary sources

Amele, E. (2000). Socio-Political History of Etche. Port Harcourt: Osia International Publishers.

Amadi, E.E. (2019). “Cultism and the Rise of Militancy in Etche: Its Implications for African Traditional Religion”, South-South Journal of Humanities and International Studies, (2).1. P.104.

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Nwiyi, G. (2012). “The Origin, Problems and Prospects of Apostolic Christian Faith Mission, Akwa-Abour Etche National Headquarters, Studies in Etche”, A Journal of Contemporary Studies in Etche, (2), P. 68.

Ofurum, C.H. (2008). “Traditional Marriage Rites in Elele-Alimini”, Journal of Religion and Culture, 181.1.P.33.

Oguejiofo, C.P. (2009). “Traditional Igbo Marriage Symbol: A call for Teleological Family Orientation”, Nsukka Journal of Religion and Cultural Studies,(4),1.P.15.


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Copyright (c) 2023 Emmanuel Echeczolochi Amadi (PhD), Uwom Kenoye Ophangharanan Igoniko (PhD)

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 ISSN (Print):   2695-2319

ISSN (Online): 2695-2327





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.