IAAJAH - IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities
Vol. 8 No. 2, 2022
BRIDE PRICE: SECURITY FOR WOMEN IN MARRIAGE AMONG IKWERRE PEOPLE OF NIGER DELTA
Grace Lawrence-Hart, PhD

ABSTRACT

Women whose bride price are not paid are not traditionally recognized in families among the Ikwerre people of Niger Delta, irrespective of the number of biological children they have with their assumed husbands. Hence, they and their children are treated with disregard, denied communal privileges and can be asked to leave the family at any time especially on the demise of the perceived husband. Thus, bride price which is believed to be an appreciation of the parents of the bride by the groom for properly guarding their daughter up to the age of marriage as well as an open recognition and acceptance of the bride by both families is highly revered. This appreciation is not just limited to the immediate family but to the extended family too, due to the communal nature of the people. Bride price therefore, provides security for the young maid who is going to a completely new home where she is not familiar with the people. Being a novice in her new home, she can be exposed to undue danger of denial of what she traditionally deserves if security measures such as the bride price is not paid on her behalf to protect her from undue harassment and intimidations among her mates in the new environment she finds herself by reason of marriage. Using the African Cultural Perspective and Ethnographic approach, the paper made use of qualitative analysis to establish the fact that despite the ravaging economy; the Ikwerre people are bent on fulfilling the traditional rituals of bride price in order to earn the benefits therein.

Keywords: Bride Price, Security, Women, Marriage
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