Published On: Sat, Jan 22nd, 2022

Urhobo Culture As It Relates To Man And Woman

By  Ejiro Tobi

LAGOS JANUARY 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)-The relationship between the Urhobo man and woman  is well defined in Urhobo culture as explained below:


According to Urhobo culture and traditions, if husband and wife attend occasion together, the wife will sit beside her husband by his left hand side. This position also applied when snapping pictures.


When a wife  serving her husband food, the wife will place the eba, usi,plantain and yam  by the right and soup on the left. A cup of water  also by the left but in front of the soup.


It’s confirmed that  Urhobos believed that man’s two legs belongs to his parent. The left leg is for his mother and the right one belongs to his father respectively. That was the reason we say no matter how old a man is,  he’s still a child to his parent. So, if your father or mother is praying for you, you kneel down with both legs. Apart from your biological mother and father, their brothers and sisters that are your seniors are also your mothers and fathers and you will kneel down for them during prayers or whenever you offend them.  Apart from what is stated above, a man will only use his left leg to kneel down during prayers from his in-laws, friends, well wishers and others.  A woman is mandated to receive prayers by kneeling down with both legs to her parents, family members, in-laws, son/sister in-laws, friends and well wishers.


In Urhobo culture and traditions, OLOROGUN/OKAKURO remain sitting when praying for him and after the prayer, the glass containing the drink together with the kola nut will be taken to him in a soucer/plate, (OSETE) put it on the bare floor or on top of the table in front of him before he collect it by himself. He will not accept the drink or eat the kolanut unless you must support it with money.


My Okpe people called it EHO. If someone commits a crime or atrocities, he/she will kneel down with both legs with hands raised up to plead for forgiveness and mercy and if a fined such as money, goat etc was the sentence , he/she will be on his /her knee together with the family and friends except the elderly ones who will be pleading with them but will remain standing.


When a certain amount such as Fined or Bride Price is announce the method of telling them for reduction is wavwobokpenu, meaning raise the amount up and at the same time means reduce the amount is what we are pleading for.


If the family of the bride for example named their price for one million Naira, do not be disturb or panic, the groom’s family together with the entourage will move to the front of the in-laws to be, all of them will kneel down, the males with their left Legs and all the females kneeling down with both legs, elders or young ones, everybody, It’s WEBIKO WAVWOBOKPENU galore. This formality will be done three times before the real amount will be announced.


Lying down to the ground to beg for forgiveness and mercy or for the reduction of bride price is a borrowed culture, it’s not Urhobo traditions. Ours is kneeling down and raise your hands up.





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