Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, today is a very important and special day for all of us as we gather here to celebrate God’s faithfulness, mercies, love and grace. It is the traditional wedding ceremony between our wonderful daughter- Itunuoluwa and amiable son – Oluwatosin, who are both from two great royal families.
The Yoruba culture has evolved over the last 2,000 years into a beautiful and rich heritage. The Yoruba culture of Western Nigeria is full of folklore, color, glamour and pageantry. The Yoruba people are easy going, friendly, and very cosmopolitan and contemporary, evolving clever ways to synergize old traditions with more modern themes and these features will be in full display today in this ceremony.
The Marriage Laws and Customs have undergone changes brought about by intercourse with other people, but what you are about to see here today are the chief features as done way back in time and handed over to the coming generations. It is a re enactment of the ancient Yoruba traditional wedding ceremony in its full paraphernalia.
We will be taking you on a journey, as we capture the rich African traditional heritage in music, dance, norms, values and traditions of the Yoruba people as accentuated in a traditional wedding ceremony.
The instrument you are seeing right now is the Gbedu drum. Among the Yorubas, the Gbedu drum signifies royalty. It is played only in the King’s service. The drum most importantly will be used today to acknowledge and honour the overall supremacy of the King that is greater, bigger and most excellent of all Kings put together; The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Alpha and Omega, the Ancient of days, the Invincible, Unfathomable, the I am that I am, the Author and the Finisher of our faith…Ladies and gentlemen, let’s put our hands together for the Almighty.
As we have mentioned earlier, the groom and the bride of today are from royal families. Thus, an exchange of royal beads will be taking place between the two families to signify the acceptance of the bride into one and the groom into the other. The instrument below is called KAAKAKI. It is used to herald the King into the palace; it also an integral part of any royal ceremony.
The entrance of the bride is usually heralded by maidens, who will be carrying several symbolic items; each item having specific symbolic relationship with the home, well being and fruitfulness of the marriage.
Having duly recognized the royalties present here today, now, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, join us as we acknowledge, and honour in the Yoruba way, our great and mighty Olodumare, who alone has made this event possible.
The Bata ensemble and Gbedu play
Song: Osuba re re o /2ce
Oba ta o ri, ta n ri ise owo re…
O di teere, o dile Jesu Kristi Oba
Oba akoda aye, Oba aseda orun
Oba to ni ki bebe o maa be,Oba to ni ki wawa o wa
Aleda, Ameda, Apeda…
There is an intrinsic aspect of the Yoruba traditional ceremonies that we are also going to see. It is one of the major dances of the Yoruba people; a dance characterized by loud drumming, energetic punctuated dances and of course acrobatic displays. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome to the stage the Lifeforte Junior School pupils as they present the Bata dance.
The beautifully ladies below are known in Yoruba culture as “EMEWA IYAWO” – the Bride’s maids. As you can see, each of them is beautifully adorned in expensive beads to show that the lady they are accompanying to her husband’s house is royalty.
Song: Omo lo o fi gbe, Itunuoluwa
Omo lo o fi gbe , Oja Odun
Ti mama fun e, Omo lo o fi gbe
Owo osun, ti Baba fun e
Omo lo o fig be…
AMU is the large earthen container used to store drinking water in ancient Yorubaland. A wife is expected to keep her own AMUN at any corner in her husband’s house, with an IKEEMU (used to fetch water from the container) placed on it. The water in AMU is always cold, even hot weather. This signifies that only her husband will fetch water from her well. Indirectly, her husband will not share her with another man. It also means that their home will forever be peaceful.
So, ladies and gentlemen, this is a colourful display of the breathtaking grandeur of the Yoruba culture.