Ibibio - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Betrothal before the age of 14 was common. Marriage payments were made to the prospective bride's parents. The marriage payment was shared among the bride's kin, with the father keeping the largest share. The marriage payment traditionally had to be completed before the marriage could be consummated; it was supplemented by services rendered by the husband to the bride's father.

Domestic Unit. Men and women had separate houses grouped in compounds usually composed of the houses of a single household (i.e., a man, his wives, and other dependent relatives). Several of these made up a family ( nnung), whereas many such families made up a compound ( ekpuk).

Inheritance. As with the Igbo, personal property is inherited by the deceased father's eldest son.

Socialization. Ibibio men and women are formally grouped into age sets, the status of which increases with seniority. They are informally established for youths around the age of 10, and are formally recognized when its members are about 12 years of age. Members of the young sets are given instruction in morality and native laws. To this end, age sets function as self-disciplinary institutions and guardians of public morality.

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