• The groom's family would have a bride price, given to the bride's family.
  • Marriages were often arranged.
  • Weddings took place at the wives house, often without choice on how the wedding was conducted.

Although men would have several wives, most actually liked it because they could easily split up the often heavy housework that was to be done. However, the first wife was the most important. She would wear titles of the husband, often worn as beaded anklets, which no other wife would be allowed to.

Gender Roles

Before colonialism, the men were seen as the main caretaker. He would attend tribal business, but most of the work he would do would be conducted at home, planting crops and attending to them, along with some occasional housework of patching up walls. Women would attend to their children, including everything between cooking and cleaning them, and would do most housework involving cleaning.


After the British arrived, weddings were changed to be more European.

positives -

  • Weddings could be held without a bridal price.
  • The bride was allowed to choose her husband, and men were allowed to choose how many wives they had. Arranged marriages were no more.
  • The bride and groom had complete free reign on how they were run, giving a bit more freedom to the Ibo.
  • Women were now more powerful, and not seen as a lesser counterpart.

negatives -

  • Women were now in charge of the crops on top of their other responsibilities.
  • Men now had to fully participate in politics.
  • The British had ripped the culture apart, now resulting in a less colorful cultural community.
  • Weddings were soon reduced to three choices.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. Print.

"History of Nigeria." History World. History World, n.d. Web.

"Gender & Power." Women & Religion in Africa. UVM Blogs, n.d. Web.


Created with images by Dan Culleton - "MetAug 111" • knottyboy - "Tribal necklace - detail"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.