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Date: October 14, 2019, 09:52:41 PM

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What Happens To A Married Woman In Nnewi Upon The Death Of Her Husband (Traditionally): Culture : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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What Happens To A Married Woman In Nnewi Upon The Death Of Her Husband (Traditionally)

By: dayan (M) |Time : September 14, 2019, 07:22:49 PM
By Anayo M. Nwosu

Typically, Igbo daughters, in reality, are leased to the families of their husbands. They are said to have gone on a long journey of marriage (ije di). Bride price and other payments in cash and kind are the first rental payments.

Before the fall of this century, Igbo daughters were usually returned to their fathers' home for burial upon death. But this has changed with time as only ngịga (i.e. container hung above the fireplace in the dead woman's kitchen which contains a woman's condiments) is returned to his father's house with a live cow. With change in lifestyle, a woman's enlarged picture is used in place of ngịga.

While still alive, a mere death of the husband is not enough for her to return home even if she is yet to bear children.

Our daughters, during marriage are given to a family, not to a single man.

But our daughters are at liberty to return home if maltreated.

WHEN THE HUSBAND DIES

For a widow that decides to stay; after the funeral ceremony of the husband, the senior married daughters who are also known as Ụmụada or the sisters of the late husband, and ndị inyom di or the older women married in the family, shall gather to shave the widow's head as a sign of respect for the dead husband.

Once the head shaving is completed, the barbers would hand over the shaving instrument called "agụba" to the widow to hold and all the men of the family which consist of brothers of the deceased and his paternal cousins are summoned to appear before the shaved widow.

The widow is now told to hand the agụba to any man of his choice. Any man that she gives the agụba automatically takes her as a concubine and is expected to play a fatherly role to the woman's children. This known as mmachi nwanyị.

However, the new husband is not allowed to trespass into the deceased's estates or property which belong to the male children of the dead man.

Any children begotten from this arrangement still belong to dead husband even though the biological father would be expected settle them from his own estate if he so wishes.

To ensure that a widow doesn't choose their husbands, many wives in the family decide to seriously antagonize a widow before her husband is buried as a way to serve her an appetizer of a hell she would face if she dares give agụba to their husbands.

Over time, some widows have devised a means of circumventing this tradition by giving the agụba to their first sons or a toddler in the extended family hence avoiding acrimony from fellow women and randy brothers-in-laws.

This is not without a backlash as the disappointed men would make her life miserable or a living hell.

As I got older, I now know why my father's only brother was very annoyed with my mum who at 42 as a widow gave the aguba to my teenage elder brother instead of her brother-in-law. We the children saw hell growing up.

SPECIAL CASES

Some wise families hold elders meetings to resolve the fate of the widow.
If the widow is very young and well behaved, a younger member of the family is encouraged to marry his brother's wife and also inherit his business and other assets. But he must perform the ị tụgharị nkwụ rite that is to take a keg of wine to the widow's family and be introduced as the new husband.

Whereas the widow is seen as a bad seed in the family, she is asked to go back to his father's house after the mourning period and she is at liberty to remarry.

THE IMPORT OF THIS CUSTOM

1. This custom helps to keep everything within the family.
2. It prevents the intrusion of bad elements who in pursuit of the widow's love could scatter the family rhythm.
3. It provides a platform to raise the children of the deceased in security and provision.
4. It provides a legal sex for the widow.

Unfortunately, the new religion of my people has condemned what we have and dubbed it sinful without providing alternatives even though what we practise is exactly same as what ndị Israel, the people of God, practise.

With our tradition in mind, I know that some of my male relations who would at any given opportunity, strive to give Uche my wife breast-depressing hugs, humming "our wife, you too fine" or "nwunye anyị amaka" are positioning themselves to be chosen when I die.

Re: What Happens To A Married Woman In Nnewi Upon The Death Of Her Husband (Traditionally)

By: dayan (M) |Time : September 14, 2019, 07:36:57 PM
Quote
THE IMPORT OF THIS CUSTOM

1. This custom helps to keep everything within the family.
2. It prevents the intrusion of bad elements who in pursuit of the widow's love could scatter the family rhythm.
3. It provides a platform to raise the children of the deceased in security and provision.
4. It provides a legal sex for the widow.

Unfortunately, the new religion of my people has condemned what we have and dubbed it sinful without providing alternatives even though what we practise is exactly same as what ndị Israel, the people of God, practise.


Like I often say in this forum, the Igbo of the old where SAGES.

They were not given to trifles and useless sentiments, and often had thorough reasons for everything.

The Igbo of today are mere shadows of their ancestors: the Igbo of today are distracted, effeminate, weak, clueless, greedy, and self-centered. Igbo ancestors were fearless, strong, selfless, and WISE.

Marriage and sex had COMPLETE institutions in Igboland before the colonialists came.

The colonialists brought chaos with them, and left the place in more chaos when they left.

Today, we are trying our best to rediscover the wise paths of our ancestors.

Re: What Happens To A Married Woman In Nnewi Upon The Death Of Her Husband (Traditionally)

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : September 16, 2019, 06:31:04 PM
The practise is similar to what the Isrealites do, case study (Ruth And Boaz). Although it needs some ammendments.

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