What do they mean? [KOLA NUT]

Temitope Akoh
Sociology (Term Project)
• For the Yoruba people, weddings are
social affairs, which must consist of
traditional rituals, and the
ceremonies must meet social
approval by both sides of the family.
Marriage is an important institution
in the Yoruba history and culture.
The introduction ceremony is part of
the traditional marriage whereby
the grooms family introduces
themselves to the brides family by
laying on the floor or kneeling down
and also to make their intentions
known of asking the hand of their
daughters hand in marriage to their
• The ceremony takes place in the
brides house and they are
responsible for all preparations and
costs. A proposal letter is presented
to the brides family and in return
an acceptance letter is given to the
grooms family and then a date is
fixed for the engagement
ceremony. The engagement or
traditional marriage also takes
place in the brides house or a
venue, here the grooms family are
expected to bring the items listed in
the marriage list given to them,
items collected depends on each
family and these include yam, goat,
box of clothes, sugar cane, drinks,
wine, a Holy Bible or Quran,
plantains, kola nuts. ETC..
• The bride and groom
exchange rings and vows and
hence are pronounced
husband and wife. Also
instead of the bride wearing a
big white dress and instead of
the groom wearing a tux they
both wear an attire called
Also at Yoruba weddings or any Nigerian
Wedding they are known for spraying
money on each other while dancing to
show wealth.
Structures (Groups of People) : Maid of Honor ( ore iyawo) and Best man (ore oko)
How do they work? They both are there to help the bride and groom with mostly
everything such as the bridal shower and bachelor party.
How do they work together as a whole? Their jobs are not different from each other,
but rather the same. Both their jobs is to basically be there for both the bride
and the groom and take care of their necessary needs.
What is the function of the whole social interaction for society as a whole? The
Bridesmaid job is to accompany the bride to most of the meeting and helping her make
planning decisions toward the wedding, also she is the brides emotionally support, she
is also held responsible for planning the bridal shower and getting the bride dressed in
her [IRO & BUBA]. The Best Man job is to plan and host the bachelor party, It is the
best man who must get the groom dressed in his [ AGBADA] and to the church or
mosque on time. Both the maid of honor and the best man have very similar jobs.
Manifest Structure – Both the groups are to be there for both the bride and
the groom, they are to be their number one confidante and helper.
Latent Structure – They can both also play the role of brotherhood and
sisterhood to the bride and groom
Dysfunctions Structure – Both the made of honor and best man not being
there for the bride and groom, not showing up for any of the meetings or
being late to the meetings, always having disagreements about the wedding
with the bride and groom.
How do the structures adapt? - They both adapt because they help both the
bride and groom have an enjoyable wedding that they will remember forever
Symbols - Kola nut and Palm Wine
What do they mean? [KOLA NUT] is traditionally a scared nut that’s used to
communicate with the Gods. As a mark of respect kola nut HAVE to be broken with a
knife. Once kola nut is broken, it is shared and eaten then the ceremony starts but
before that the elders must check each kola nut and interpret their meanings before
they are finally broken for the bride and groom to eat to receive good blessings and
ask the Gods to guide and protect them throughout their marriage life.
[PALM WINE - Oguro] is a sweet alcoholic beverage created from palm trees. It is a
token of respect to the deceased ancestors and it has to be served in a calabash for
the groom and bride to drink out off so they can get blessings from the ancestors..
Does everyone agree on the meaning? Yes everyone in the Yoruba community agrees
with the meaning. Although they are two different substances they both serve the
same purposes. They’re the same by giving off blessings to the couple and also paying
respects to the Gods and all the deceased ancestors. They are different in which one is
a fruit and red in color while the other one is in liquid form and white in color.
How does the interpretation of symbols shape the way people interact with each
other? All Nigerians relate to the interpretation of these symbols because its serves
the same purpose all throughout the different tribes in Nigeria and it shapes how they
all interact with each other by bringing them all together, although all the tribes in
Nigeria are different but a few of the things that makes them same in a way are the
purpose of Kola nuts and Palm wine because it serves them all the same purpose. Both
the symbols changes people behavior by having the guest feel as if they are welcomed
to the event as well. The symbols also shapes the guest behavior by having them
partake in certain chanting's such as.
Won ma gbo (they will ripen)
Won ma to (they will eat and not go hungry)
Won ma d'agba (they will grow old)
These are the chanting's everyone at the wedding takes part of the followed by a
Are interactions changing on this same issue? No they are not because if the
kola nut or palm wine aren’t presented at the Wedding then the ceremony
wouldn’t start, because they wouldn’t be able to talk to the Gods or ancestor
and ask for their blessings. If the kola nut or palm wine wasn't presented at
the wedding the couples marriage life might be doomed and not last.
Also another Yoruba ritual is that, the bride
and groom taste four flavors that represent
different emotions within a relationship. The
four flavors typically used are sour (lemon),
bitter (vinegar), hot (cayenne), and sweet
(honey). By tasting each of the flavors, the
couple symbolically demonstrates that they
will be able to get through the hard times in
life, and, in the end, enjoy the sweetness of
What is the ultimate goal in this situation? struggles for control
over the wedding
Power Resource– Money
Who has them – The Brides parent
Who wants them? (who is in peer competition for it) why? The bride and
groom are in competition for it , because since it is their wedding and with
money they can control everything that involves with the wedding including
the amount of guest they can have at the wedding, but if their parents were
to be the ones paying for the wedding their might be some conflict, because
their parent will give them an exact budget on how much they are willing to
spend on the big day so therefore they have somewhat absolute control over
the wedding.
Who is winning? The parents are because they are the ones who has the
money to spend
Yoruba Weddings VS American Weddings
Sociologically differences– Yoruba weddings and American weddings are different
because of the certain rituals that takes place in a Yoruba wedding that they don’t do
at an American weddings such as the breaking of a kola nut and the drinking of the
palm wine. Also another Yoruba ritual is that, the bride and groom taste four flavors
that represent different emotions within a relationship. The four flavors typically used
are sour (lemon), bitter (vinegar), hot (cayenne), and sweet (honey). By tasting each of
the flavors, the couple symbolically demonstrates that they will be able to get through
the hard times in life, and, in the end, enjoy the sweetness of marriage. Also at Yoruba
wedding the guest and as well as the groom and bride are in outfits called ASO OKE
whereas in an American wedding people are in a more formal wear. Also the food that
are being served at the wedding differentiates from each other. For example in Yoruba
wedding you will eat foods such as Jollof rice, friend rice, fufu with egusi, pounded
yam with okra soup, meat pie, puff puff etc., where as in the American wedding
people are more likely to eat foods such as lasagna, steak with mashed potatoes,
collard greens, shrimp cocktails etc,.
This is a dish of jollof rice,
served with mio mio and salad,
as well as king prawn shrimps
and fresh fish.
A Plate of egusi soup and
assorted meat and fresh fish.
Another great Nigerian soup
This is Fried Ripe Plantain, the Nigerian
way, also called dodo. It is a common
accompaniment to a dish of rice.
Another thing that differentiates Yoruba wedding from American weddings is
that the Yoruba bride doesn’t wear a white dress but instead wears
something called IRO & BUBA. Also the cakes are different from each other. A
typical Yoruba wedding cake will either be in a shape of a Bible, Quran,
calabash, fruit basket, or a drum, where as in an American wedding the
wedding cakes is using in a square shape or a circular shape but they are
always in layers of each other.
Sociologically Similar. Although there are many differences from both a
Yoruba wedding and an American wedding, they also have some similarities.
One similarities they have with each other is the jumping of broom. Another
similarity is that in both of the cultures the bride face has to be covered while
walking down the aisle or dancing down the aisle and another similarity is
that the introduction part of the wedding are both held in a Church or a
Mosque where the couples are pronounced husband and wife.
• "African Wedding Traditions and Culture - WeddingDetails.com." Wedding
planning and free wedding checklists, bridal information,
WeddingDetails.com - Plan your wedding ceremony and reception with
checklists and planning guides. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
• "African Wedding Traditions and Wedding Customs." Cultural Wedding
Favors & Gifts - Cultural Wedding Customs & Traditions. N.p., n.d. Web. 21
Nov. 2011. <http://www.worldlyweddings.com/african-traditionsa/121.htm>.
• Classycut. "Kola nut and Tradition." Classycut on HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web.
21 Nov. 2011. <http://classycut.hubpages.com/hub/Kola-nut-andTradition>.
MOTHERLAND NIGERIA (By Boomie O.). N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.

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