The day of the engagement is now fast approaching. Final checks are made to ensure no detail was forgotten. If one did not have a videographer at the previous events, now is the time to hire one. Invitations have to be sent out and those well connected will also invite the media including television. The weaving of the aso-oke should be completed by now and has to be taken to a tailor for sewing.
A very important part in finalizing the union is the dowry the groom’s family has to pay. In most cases nowadays money is only a token amount. But the other items can come to quite a tidy sum. The dowry will be presented on the engagement day:
50 tubers of yam (each almost 2 feet long)
50 pieces of dried smoked fish
50 pieces of kola nut
50 pieces of bitter kola nut
50 pieces alligator pepper
1 bag of salt
1 carton of cube sugar
1 bottle pure honey
2 crates each of mineral and malt drinks
1 live goat
1 basket of assorted fruit
4 gallons groundnut oil
A bowl of adun (palmoil mixed with ground corn, chili pepper and salt)
1 50kg bag of rice
1 suitcase of native clothes, shoes and bag to match
A bible or Koran and engagement ring
Envelopes of money for the mother, the father, the children in the house, the women in the larger family.
The money for the children and women will be shared equally, mother and father each keep their own. The suitcase, bible/Koran and ring are for the bride. All other items belong to the parents who will share among the larger family according to seniority. Some will also be given to the bride after she has settled in her new home.
I will keep the last and best part for next time.
Happy Valentine’s day!