This special project deals thoroughly with the traditional marriage ceremonies in Nnewi.  Chapter one gives an introduction to the topic while the rest of the chapters deals with literature review, research problems, approaches, objectives and limitation of the study. Chapter two gives a detailed account of marriage in Nnewi.  It discusses Bride price in Nnewi and types of marriages obtainable. Chapter two gives a picturesque description of the processes and ritual involves in marriage ceremonies and then deals with the functions of marriages. Chapter four deals with the steps taken in executing the practical aspect of the project which is screen printing. It also deals with the materials used. The conclusion and prospects collabs the findings of the chapters and suggests areas of further inquiry and interest. The entire above make up the body of this special project.



Among the Igbo’s of Nigeria marriage is a sacred institution A man or woman is to be regarded to have finally landed when he or she marries. Marriage institution is held with a high respect and infant, it dominates most of the Igbo art and custom, hence it is regarded as the foundation of the whole social structure. Nnewi in Anambra state is a town that best illustrated this believes of Igbos. In Nnewi, there are six main stages in the sanctification of traditional marriage. The first stage is “Iju Ase”ie making Engines. It is followed by “Inyo Uno” and then “Ika Igba nkwu”. Then the most important event which is “Igba Nkwu proper. This involves a lot of celebration and marry making. Igba- Nkwu” is followed by “Ika Idu- Uno” and then “Idu- Uno”proper. “Idu-uno is another important event in the stage of traditional marriage celebration.

The final stage is “Onodu Apuilo, This is a remarkable period of confinement of the bride in a fathering room called “Ulo Mgbde”. She is giving all sorts of delicacies so that she will be fatten up. The body then richly treated regularly with local cosmetics, Uhie”. These designs are meant to beautify then newly married woman. As already stated Igbo- Nkwo” is the most important ceremony in the traditional marriage celebration and it is usually travel from different parts of the country in other to grace the occasion and rejoice with the marring couple. Care of children, the main tarriance of the household and the cultural imposed needs of the family.

An topologists commonly distinguish three form of marriage: polygamy, the marriage of one man to two or more woman, monogamy, the marriage of one man to one woman and polygamy, the marriage o one woman to two or more men. Most cultures provide means for the dissolution of marriage. It is ordinary expected that those who may intend the union to be Life long and not just a ternary affair to be broken off at the whim of one or the other partner. Among the Igbo’s of Nigeria marriage is a sacred institution. A man or a woman is to be regarded as to have finally landed when he or She marries. In the Igbo traditional society, a man’s wealth is in the number of wives he has. Nnewi in Anambra state is a town that best illustrates this believes of the Igbo’s.

1.1       SETTING:

(i)   ORIGIN OF NNEWI According to oral tradition the Nnewi people migrated from Nri and settled in the present area they now occupy. This lead to the establishment of four villages in Nnewi, namely Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim and Ichi. (ii)  LOCATION: Nnewi is located in both Nnewi south and North local government area of Anambra State.  Nnewi is bounded by Ihiala, Oba, Nnobi and Amaichi.  It is located in the Guinea Savana area, hence the heavy rainfalls and thick forest.

(iii)  COSMOLOGY This means the people’s belief system.  Traditionally most Nnewi people are subsistent farmers and livestock rearers.   They farm solely to cater for their immediate and extended families.


There is no direct reference to traditional marriages in Nnewi from available literature.  Since direct evidence for studies on traditional marriages in Nnewi is not available only indirect evidence will be used. Gladstone (1993), discussed the functions, types and the social rules of marriages in Onitsha as well s the processes involved.  The same is also true of Ikechukwu (1990) who analyzed the family in the Igbo system.  Emenike (1982) discusses the Igba Nkwu in the marriage tradition of the Igbos.   These Igbo speaking areas share basically the same traditional system as the ‘Nnewi people.  Others have treated generally, the marriage celebration in their locality.

Alan Beals (1985) discusses aspects of African view on marriage pointing out the function, types and social views.  He views marriages as a contract between kin groups.  Yonina Talmon (1985) discusses mate selection in collective settlement.  He pointed out factors influencing mate selection and values.  Ottanberg (1978) exams cultures and societies of Africa pointing out the social values of marriage. Basden (1921) discusses aspects of Igbo marriages.  Ifeoma focusses on the family as a social institution in the Igbo traditional society, including a discussion on the functions of the family, types and formation of the family.  Cole and Aniakor (1934) did a broad survey of arts of the individual to that of the family, to the family and the cosmos. From the above, one can come to the conclusion that functions, types and victuals involved kin the marriages in Nnewi is still untapped in terms of available literature and from these, research problems can be stated.


Traditional marriage in Nnewi as well as in the whole Igbo land is seriously affected by the introduction of European system of marriage namely court marriage and church wedding.  This has resulted to the extent that some just go to the court and sign the marriage register and are regarded as being married. There is also a factor like poor orientation of our people atomization of the faint and differences in what the people regarded as being the tradition.


The approach used in this research includes functional and historical approaches.  The rational is to analyze the different ceremonies/rituals involved in marriages and then examine the functions and it’s social value. Marriages ceremonies in different parts of Nnewi were at tended in order to have first hand information. Lastly, primary sources contributed greatly to this work because a lot of oral interviews were carried out.


The whole research was aimed at bringing to light the value which the Nnewi people in particular and the Igbo people in general attach to the Igba-nkwu ceremony.

As one of the most important stage in the traditional marriages it is therefore very important that it should be recorded and preserved for posterity.

Textile printing is one of the media through which an event of this nature could be permanently preserved and this is why the printing of a suitable cloth for the couples celebrating the :Igba-nkwu” was under taken.

This written aspect of the project is intended to clarify the practical aspect.