In Nigeria, the bride price is a set sum of money that a groom pays to the prospective bride’s family in exchange for their approval and blessings. Bride costs in Nigeria can range from N15 ($0.041) to as much as a million Naira ($275,000) or more, depending on a number of circumstances. The act itself is founded in tradition and is required to take place during customary weddings and any other subsequent customary rites.
Nigerians are well known for their love of weddings. Regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or tribal affiliation, it is extremely important to the people of Nigeria. The bride price, which is unheard of in the West, is where things go out of hand. In conclusion, although bride prices may appear amusing, they are not, especially if you choose a lady from an incredibly privileged Nigerian family.
It’s interesting to note that getting married in Nigeria will always be a hot topic among Nigerians for a variety of reasons. One of the main causes why some ethnic groups and tribes are perceived as being greedy when it comes to weddings is the connection between the site of love and the location of money.
The fact that bride prices take numerous shapes is another intriguing aspect worth mentioning. While the majority of bride prices in Nigeria are monetary, some tribes may require lands, other properties, or other types of payments. In Nigeria, paying the bride price is so significant that a guy is seen to as a robber if he marries a lady for whom he did not pay the bridal price, as couples would, and such women are viewed as without any feeling of self-worth.
This is the reason we considered highlighting the tribes, ethnic groups, and locations of Nigeria with the highest prices for brides, as well as wedding lists and accessories. Please take note that the purpose of this article is not to disparage any tribe or ethnic group. So, shall we get started?
Most Expensive Bride Price In Nigeria
1. Okrika (Rivers State)
Similar to the Kalabaris, who make up a bigger portion of the Ijaw nation, the Okrika people reside in Rivers State. As with the other clans that make up the Ijaw ethnic group, Okrika is regarded as a clan. The Okrika clan is made up of nine towns: Okrika, Ogoloma, Ibaka, Ogbogbo, Ogu, Abuloma, Isaka, Bolo, and Ele. Their primary industries are farming and fishing.
The bride price custom is equally significant and elevated to a different degree among the Okrika people as it is in other regions of Nigeria. A groom who accepts an Okrika woman as his bride should expect to pay at least N400,000 on the father and N250,000 to N300,000 on the mother, bringing the total sum to be spent on the bride’s parents to roughly N700,000. Be aware that this excludes other family members including children, single girls the bride’s age, the grandmother and uncles, as well as the mother’s relatives. A typical Okrika bride price and marriage list would be N1.5 million or more.
2. Kalabari (Rivers State)
The Kalabari people live in 33 towns and communities on 23 islands in the coastal region of Rivers State. They are a subgroup of the broader Ijaw people.
The principal cities are Bakana, Abonnema, and Buguma (or Bukuma). The way the society is organized into Houses or Groups of Houses, combined with the European and Asian style from the 14th and 15th centuries, indicates that they were the first group of people to contact with the Europeans, Indians, and numerous other foreign groups that berthed in Nigeria.
The Kalabari people in Nigeria have some of the most incredible bride prices and marriage lists, which is something to be noted. Typically, a potential groom is subjected to several monetary payments, including “buying the bride’s mouth”. In the end, most of the payments and the eventual bride price run into over N1 million.
3. Ibibio (Akwa Ibom State)
In the oil-rich South-South region of Akwa Ibom, the Ibibios and the Annangs are sister tribes. The Ibibio make up a bigger portion of the Akwa Ibom population and are distinguished by traits like light skin, small stature (ibio means short), and, in certain cases, gap teeth. The prerequisites for getting married to an Akwa Ibom bride might be difficult and expensive.
The first daughter of an Ibibio family, known as “Adiaha,” involves various traditional procedures, including bearing a sacrifice and a ritual rite, and demands the groom to purchase a cow. Marrying her is not only difficult and expensive financially (we shall discuss this in a later post).
Although the nature of traditional marriages in the Niger Delta is somewhat similar to those in other regions of the South-South, in Ibibio land, the first daughter’s traditional marriage rites (Adiaha) and the special rites (Awa Oduongo) must be performed in a solemn manner in order for the woman to be regarded as having been properly married by the man.
4. Mbaise (Imo State)
Mbaise, one of the most infamous individuals renowned for “milking” men in the guise of traditional marriages, has always been at the center of the exorbitant bride price list scandal.
Without a doubt, selecting a Mbaise bride is pricey. The bride’s level of education and the program she is enrolled in at a university, among a host of other things, are two important determinants of bride prices and marriage lists in Mbaise.
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According to rumors, the Mbaise people have an unwritten law that women and brides are valued as possessions by their husbands and families. A typical Mbaise bride can cost over N100,000, while marriage lists can cost up to N800,000, for a total cost of almost N1 million.
The widespread perception is that Mbaise bride prices and marriage lists are exceedingly expensive for a man and his family, despite reports that certain Mbaise families “are not greedy” and may accept less.
5. Bororo (Adamawa State)
The Fulbe, who make up 60% of the Adamawa population, are members of the Bororo tribe in Adamawa State. The Bororo people, who are primarily nomads, do not really have as many expectations as most people in this group, but that does not mean that their customary marriage procedures are not expensive.
The family of the bride requests that the prospective groom offer 10 to 15 live cows in order to marry a Bororo girl. This is far more than N1 million on its alone and in no way the cost of the wedding.
The depth and wealth of the prospective groom are among the considerations made by the bride’s family while paying the bride price of a Bororo girl. This enables the bride’s family to assess the groom’s size and determine how much to “bill” him.
6. Ikwerre (Rivers State)
Ikwerre is one of the sub-Igbo ethnic groupings of Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta. Despite being regarded as a branch of the Igbo people, some Ikwerre people have in the past disputed being Igbos and even asserted that their language, Ikwerre, is distinct from Igbo.
The bride’s family creates the Ikwerres’ marriage lists, which are rather horrifying bride costs. The bride price and marriage list are so pricey that it can cost up to N1,000,000 (one million Naira) or more to wed his bride.
The Ikwerre people believe that because their daughters are raised with such devotion and care, a man who deserves to marry one of them must lavishly pay for the privilege.
7. Efik (Cross River State)
Think Efik, think Calabar; a larger portion of the Calabar population are members of the south-south ethnic group, which is present in Cross River. The language of the Efik people is called “Efik,” and their famous soup is called “Edikang Ikong.”
The traditional marriage of the Efik people is not only expensive, but a prospective groom is also required to host a carnival-style event, especially if his wife comes from a powerful family.
An Efik bride is valued in euros rather than the legal currency of the Nigerian people, the naira. This is due to the Efiks having been heavily influenced by colonial activity.
8. Nkpa (Abia State)
In Nigeria, the Nkpa people of Abia State have one of the highest bride costs. In Abia State’s Bende local government, there are Nkpa people.
The bride price, wedding list, and other traditional Nkpa marriage procedures are expensive since the system has been rigged to favor intra-marriages and make it impossible for a groom who is not a native Nkpa.
According to legend, an outside groom planning to wed a Nkpa woman must be ready to plan a fitting traditional wedding ceremony that would not only accommodate the bride’s family but also her entire Nkpa community! The Nkpa list requires a man to purchase specific items not just for the bride’s parents but also for the bride’s kinsmen, known in Igbo as Umu nna, and their daughters (Umu Ada).
Although the Nkpa people ‘discourage’ outsiders from marrying among themselves by giving the groom a lot of work, it’s possible that they do so because they prefer it when their women stay in the tribe rather than marry men from outside of it.
9. Ogoja (Cross River State)
Today’s Cross River State is home to the Ogoja people, primarily in the Ogoja local government, which bears their name. Ekpogrinya, Nwang, Esham, Nnang, Egbong, Ewinimba, and Banasara are the principal communities in Ogoja. It takes a lot of work to get married among the Ogoja people since there are numerous items on the wedding list that must be completed, purchased, and checked off before the bride is turned over to the groom and his family.
The bride price is supposedly returned to the groom in full in Ogoja after the ceremony, but the extensive list of materials needed for the ceremonies is kept by the bride’s family as their property.
10. Annang (Akwa Ibom State)
One of the ethnic groups in the Niger-Delta, more notably in Akwa Ibom State, is the Annang tribe. After the Ibibio ethnic group, the ethnic group is the second-largest in the state. Eight of Akwa Ibom’s 31 local government areas—namely, Abak, Essien Udim, Etim Ekpo, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Obot Akara, Oruk Anam, Ukanafun in Akwa Ibom State, and a portion of Obi Ngwa—and a portion of Obi Ngwa—are covered by their lands.
Any prospective groom who plans to marry a member of the Annang ethnic group must be prepared to carry out the traditional wedding ceremonies, which are quite pricey due to the numerous items and costs that the prospective groom must acquire.