(Appeasing the dead parents of a bride to be)
Iku Okuko Obi is an age long traditional practice of thr igbo soceity .This traditonal practice dates back as long as the marriage institution . It is done in almost all the Igbo enclaves and territories and even among the Igbos in diaspora. This traditional practice is usually observed ”only” during the marriage of a bride whose parents or parents are dead. That’s a bride whose father and mother are gone to meet their creator.
REASONS BEHIND THIS TRADITIONAL PRACTICE
This ritual is done to percify the soul or souls of the dead parents, not to harm or be an obstacle to the successful marriage of their living daughter.
To console them for the sacrifices and pains they went through when they were alive to make sure that their daughter was raised according to their own strenghts and resources available to them before their demise.
It is the joy of every parents both living or dead to see their daughter get married at the right time. If the parents are alive, there would be gifts giving to them according to their customs and traditons but in the case of dead parents they are also recognized as the people who has the rare privilege of bringing the bride to the world.
MYSTERY BEHIND IKU OKUKO OBI
It is believed to attract grave consequences to people who ignored this ritual and went ahed with their marital engagements. A whole lot of misfortunes and calamities have been attributed to have befallen couples who rejected to appreciate the sacrifices their dead parents made to their lives .
ITEMS NEEDED FOR IKU OKUKO OBI RITUAL
DESEASED PARENT (MALE)
1 big Native Cock
4 Native kolanuts
1 Bottle of Schnapp
4 tubers of yam
1 Big Native hen
4 tubers of yam.
PROCEDURES FOR THE RITUAL
It is the duty of the suitor to provide these items after he must have made his intentions known to the Umunna (Kinsmen) of the bride. These items will be handed over to the Di- Okpara ( First son) of the family in the presence of his kinsmen. In the absence of a male child the uncle of the bride will perform the ritual on their behalf. The Di-Okpara or any male representative of the family will go to grave where the dead parents are buried to inform them of why he brought those gift to them , thats to let them be aware of their daughters marriage and also to plead with them not to harm their in-laws or be an obstacle to the marital union of their daughter.
After the incantations, the Di-okpara will break the kolanut and throw it on the graves of the dead parents to calm their spirit down and also for them to extend their marital blessings to their daughter. The bottle of Schnapp will also be Poured on their grave to also neautralise their spirit. When this is done the cock or hen will then be slaughtered and prepared with yams for the Umunna (Kinsmen) to eat.
No member of the bride’s family is expected to partake in the feast. This is the first traditional duty of the suitor after which they would proceed to other marriage rites