Eru Iyawo- The Yoruba Traditional Engagement Wedding List
Eru Iyawo, is the yoruba version of the bride’s gift list. Every bride in the world is entitled to a gift or gifts on her wedding day, be it traditional or not. Some of you may wonder what the word Eru Iyawo mean and what it signifies in any traditional wedding in Nigeria. Eru- iyawo (Bride’s gift), in the Yoruba part of Nigeria are the items that were requested by the bride’s parents from the grooms parents, and trust us this list is usually very very long (see list below).
In a typical Yoruba traditional engagement wedding, the groom’s family are given the bride’s gift list (Eru Iyawo) many months ahead of the ceremony, just to give them time to sort it out etc. Without this list been bought, the groom’s family cannot take the bride home, it is a tradition that has to be followed and kept, it has survived many generations and several decades and still have a strong hold in the Nigerian traditional wedding customs even now. Normally, in the olden days, this eru iyawo are brought just as requested with no fancy wrapping or colours etc. These days, the eru-iyawo are usually wrapped in the colour theme of the engagement ceremony, sometimes to match with the venue decoration etc. The eru-iyawo also have their own spot at every wedding you attend, most especially the Yoruba weddings, they are carefully displayed in all their glory for all eyes to see, some people go as far as saying that the more eru-iyawo gifts brought by the groom’s family, the more affluent they are. In some cases, yes but not always true.
Below is a list of items, usually found in a typical eru-iyawo list, that is given to the grooms family to buy, and they must buy them, even though some groom family do not follow the quantity, if they think is outrageous and possibly can’t afford to spend so much money on that. However, it’s very important every item on the list is bought and exhibited in all it’s glory for all eyes to see on the day of the traditional engagement ceremony.
40 Orogbo(bitter kola)
40 Yams (isu)
40 Kolanuts (Obi abata)
40 Chilli Peppers (Atare)
1 Bottle of Honey (Oyin)
1 Bottle of Seaman Shnapp Liquor
1 Pack of Sugar (St. Louis)
7 Varieties fruit variety in 2 baskets
2 Crates of canned or bottled Soft drinks
2 Canned or bottled Malt soft drinks
2 Bottles of non alcoholic wine
1 Box of fruit juice
1 Bag of salt
1 Bag of rice
42 pieces of Fish (eja osan)
1 A big box of clothes,shoes and hand bag
Authentic gold engagement rings for bride and groom
1 Gold wrist watch, gold earing and a gold chain
Bible(for Christain) Quran, praying mat, praying kettle, veil and tasbir(Muslim)
₦1,000 consent-approved dowry for the bride’s dad (Owo baba gbo)
₦1,000 consent-approved dowry for the bride’s mom (Owo iya gbo)
₦1,000 Door Knocking fee(Owo ikanlekun)
₦1,000 Children of the household fee(Owo omo ile)
₦1,000 Bride unveiling fee(Owo isiju)
₦1,000 Bride transportation fee(Owo aeroplane)
To have an idea of the different type of wrappings and colours, check out our gallery below and get some ideas. We have over 40+ ideas to inspire you, take your time and look through!
Photo credit: ATUNBI Photography