IndexAfricaNigeriaIbibioAnang Ibibio


Featured: Badjju, Nupe, Hausa, Kadara, Kagoro, Efik, Tiv, Kanuri, Ijaw/ Ijo, Bini, Marghi, Jekri, Lala, Kofjar, Ibibio, Woodabe Fulani, Borroro Fulani, Ibo [ Afikpo Igbo, Asaba Ibo], Rukuba, Irigwe, Yakoe, Igbira, Igala, Orri, Dakarkaki


According to Messenger and Messenger[1],


“Libido […] is thought to flourish only after marriage, and any manifestations of sexual behaviour – masturbation, mututal exploration of bodies, voyeurism, coitus – by children are severely punished through word and deed. But a double standard does exist, in that boys are less reprimanded than girls for sexual acts, and virginity at marriage is less stressed among men then women. On moonlit nights during the dry season, boys and girls congregate to sing and dance in the village square, and sometimes, when adult supervision is lax, petting occurs which in some cases in some cases is foreplay to eventual coitus in the nearby bush. […] Village or patrilineage courts, given adequate evidence, adjudicate males who are accused of impregnating unmarried females, and large fines are levied against those found guilty. / Early betrothal is common; indeed, blood-brothers commonly pledge betrothal of their first born of opposite sex, even before either man has married. When betrothal occurs in infancy or childhood, it is customary for the girl to spend several weeks each year during the dry season living in the compound of her future spouse. […] During this period, sexual relations between the betrothed pair are strictly forbidden. The purpose of this cutom is to build the foundations for later marital congeniality and to ensure the stability of the bride wealth or service commitment. / Clothing is worn by neither sex until puberty, at which time a short loin cloth is the dress for boys and girls until the male is 15 to 18 years of age and the female marries […] After puberty, a betrothed woman enters the “fattening house” for three months (three years at the turn of the [19th] century) to promote health, longevity, and successful childbearing and, though becoming obese, to gain beauty in the eyes of her future husband. […] Parental sanctions against pre-marital sexual relations are the subject of several proverbs”.


See further Ibibio







Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Feb 2006


[1]Messenger, John C. & Messenger, Betty T. (1981) Sexuality in Folklore in a Nigerian Society, Central Issues in Anthropology 3,1: 29-50