How Bride Price saves Marriages

It seems there is still more to be said about Bride Price. A close associate read my post A Pregnant Nigerian Woman and her Bride Price and thought it was a great piece. He went further to tell me  how right i was about payment of bride price being an important rite in contraction of marriages traditionally. Something he said while explaining how this works in his culture caught my attention which is what i would like to share in this short piece:

My friend who is from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria revealed that in parts of South Eastern Nigeria, Bride price is said to be responsible for low rate of divorce. How is this even possible? I am told that payment of bride price has a high value tag placed on it (not in the amount of money but in terms of importance) . When a girl’s bride price had been paid; if either party want a divorce then the bride price must be returned. Not many people want to go through the process of returning the bride price i am told.  This can be quite embarrassing and shameful for the family. And unless the bride price is returned, traditionally as far as the families are concerned the couple are still married to each other even if one of them moves out of their home.

In the end both sides of the family wade into the dispute and the matter is settled amicably. Interesting that Bride Price can make it difficult for couples to divorce. So if you want your marriage to last, plan to have your Bride Price paid first…hahaha… (just kidding)

Adebisi Adetunji

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “How Bride Price saves Marriages

  1. Bisi, I am Igbo you know and I think the young man is a bit off with the concept of the bride price being expensive thus the family are unable to pay it back. The reasoning behind bride price according to what my parents told me (when I asked them how much they collected as my bride price, they laughed it off and said nothing; the lady is never ever made privy to this information by the way) that the ladies direct senior menfolk (the elders) gather together with the grooms family to negotiate on the different things that the groom should do; the bride price being one of them. This bride price is now broken into bits and shared amongst the uncles/guardians “the Umunna”. Thus, by the time the man wakes up years later to seek divorce, the beneficiaries are probably dead and buried and in no position to return the portion of the pride price and perform the attendant rituals which ensues (and it can be a bit tedious), mind you before this process, family interventions might have taken place to broker peace between the couples. It is not that divorce is unattainable in Ibo land, but due to some cultural strictures, marriages somehow last longer.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Glad to read your contribution to this thought line. The young man didn’t say anything about the bride price been too expensive as a reason for the inability to return the bride price. In fact he told me that the actual bride price aside the listed items could actually go for as low as N10 which i didn’t include in the post. What i was trying to communicate here is that bride price is highly valued in Igbo land and also to show that marriages in Ibo land do last longer. And i appreciate this information: “Thus, by the time the man wakes up years later to seek divorce, the beneficiaries are probably dead and buried and in no position to return the portion of the pride price and perform the attendant rituals which ensues (and it can be a bit tedious), mind you before this process, family interventions might have taken place to broker peace between the couples”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Woa Lynz, you must have had your hands full with 9 kids! My mother had 6 children and i knew what it was like growing up in a large family. My parents worked so hard to give us everything, we just had fun having siblings to play with, yell at and show case to our friends. Hats off to a great mum like you. I did visit your blog and will be doing so again, forgive my slow motion! Love to read from you.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s