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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Udiaye ceremony among the Emevo-Isoko of southwestern Nigeria: determinant or prelude to marriage identity?
Author:Onibere, S.G. Azuwou
Periodical:Africana Marburgensia: Sonderheft
Geographic term:Nigeria
marriage rites
Abstract:The author examines marriage among the Emevo-Isoko of southwestern Nigeria with a view to establishing whether or not the 'udiaye' ritual is a determinant of marriage identity. A survey of the marriage continuum indicates four phases: 1) 'esahoto' (engagement), 2) 'udiaye' (wife's drink), 3) 'esukpo' (escortion), and 4) 'ewa' (initiation). The author reproduces proceedings of an 'udiaye' ritual ceremony in which he was a participant and uses these as a basis for interpretation. The completion of all marriage payments paves the way for the 'pouring of the wife's drink'. As opposed to other Isoko subgroups, where 'udiaye' is seen to confer marriage identity on the boy and the girl, in Emevo community this identity appears controversial in view of the fact that they are not permitted to have sex or live together while awaiting the escortion ceremonies. This creates a tension between 'udiaye' and 'esukpo', since the latter allows sex and procreation. The author concludes, however, that the ban on sex and procreation before 'esukpo' is only temporary and a matter of social convenience. This leaves 'udiaye' as the determinant of marriage identity and 'esukpo' as an embellishment of the identity already conferred. Notes, ref.