Folk-Lore/Volume 27/Marriage Customs in Cromarty
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Marriage Customs in Cromarty
by L. E. Ashton-Rigby
|The Worship of the God Obalufou: Cursing to Obtain a Blessing→|
Marriage Customs in Cromarty.
All friends of the bride give her presents of bedclothes, it being an honour or mark of superiority to have many pairs of blankets. All those bidden to the "Bedding," as it is called, have to heap their gifts on the bed, and in the end there is quite an erection. Most of it however is removed the night of the wedding.
The bridegroom has to supply the bride's boots and shoes for her trousseau, and all clothes, save underwear.
The bride has to have her feet washed the day before, money put in the water in which this is done, and when the bride sits with her feet in the basin or tub, her girl friends scramble for the coin, with which they buy sweets.
The top portion of the wedding cake is kept for the christening of the first-born child.
Collected neighbourhood of Cromarty, N.B., 1914.
The Worship of the God Obalufon: Cursing to Obtain a Blessing.
The eve of the annual celebration of Obalufon (deity) known as Gbolodo came off on the night of Saturday, the 16th instant. Great importance is attached to the worship of this deity, being the only Orisa in Egbaland, upon whose altar human life was formerly sacrificed annually. Its worship is confined to the township of Ikereku, and is regarded by them as of national importance. Thanks to the influence of the British Government, the barbarous custom of offering human life has long since become a thing of the past. The most curious part of the ceremonies is, that before this Orisa, every worshipper must curse instead of blessing himself; for it is their belief that it gives the opposite of what a man asks. Thus a man who wants wealth will ask for poverty, etc., etc.—Nigeria Pioneer, 22nd September 1916.
The above extract has been kindly forwarded by Sir James Frazer, who remarks: "The custom of cursing as a mode of securing a blessing is so comparatively rare that this instance from West Africa deserves a record in Folk-Lore."