TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE AMONG IBIAKU CLAN IN MKPAT ENIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE 1900-2000.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Marriage is an important institution worldwide particularly in Africa. For its importance, marriage has been categorized differently; we have the traditional marriage which takes into consideration customs and norms, followed by Islamic and Christian marriages which are regarded as modern marriages. In this present dispensation the three marriages have borrowed a lot of things from one another that one hardly distinguished each one. Traditional marriage being the oldest though not abolished but is relegated to the background so much that in most places it remains a shadow of itself. So when people perform traditional marriage one finds out that it is only the name that remains.
This therefore raises the question of whether people still know what traditional marriage is. It is against this background that the researcher wish to study traditional marriage among Ibiaku clan in Mkpatenin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state to bring back into lime light the lost memory of the people’s traditional marriage.
1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to make an in-depth study of the traditional marriage system among Ibiaku clan and the importance that is hitherto attached to it. The second objective is to examine the various processes that were involved in traditional marriage like the fattening institution and the visit of Ekpo (masquerade) to the fattened girl.
1.3 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is traditional marriageamong Ibiaku clan in Mkpatenin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Although the researcher is going to be referring to traditional marriage elsewhere, but this work is limited to Ibiaku clan. In other words, this research will only focus on the traditional marriage system in Ibiaku clan within the period of 1900 to 2000. The researcher have chosen this period (1900-2000) as a reference point for the essay to be able to establish how the traditional marriage institutions in Ibiaku clan has evolved over the past century focusing on continuity and change in tradition.
In this work, primary and secondary sources were consulted. I interviewed Mr. Edet Onyong who is a son to the priest that performs traditional marriage. Mr. Bassey Umoren a participant in traditional marriage, Mrs. Nene James Eiong an eye witness to traditional marriage. The researcher interviewed them because they were relevant to this work based on the fact that they all did traditional marriage, which means they have the experience and are eye witness to traditional marriage in the clan. Secondary sourced that are relevant to this work were also used which were found in the University of Uyo library