IndexAfricaNigeria → Badjju


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



McKinney (1987; 1992)[1] details the following three of five marriage arrangement patterns:


“a. Infant betrothal. If a man happened to visit a compound when a daughter was born or where the mother was expectant, he could give the infant's parents a ring, string of beads, or other token gift as a sign of the betrothal of the baby girl to his son. He could also place a penny in the hand of the infant, and state, "You are my daughter-in-law" (Asake 1991:14)[[2]]. Alternatively, if the father of a boy heard of the birth of a baby girl, he could send a token gift, such as two hens and a cock, through an intermediary to the father of the infant in order to betroth her to his son. This was termed "setting the girl apart" (hwun kaneyang)[note: a represents a achwa in Jju] and this commitment was never broken by either the parents or the individuals promised in marriage.

b. Child betrothal. This arrangement between the respective families could occur anytime during a girl's childhood. A token gift such as three chickens given to the girl's parents served to seal the agreement (Kunhiyop 1984:34-35)[[3]]. As the children matured, their parents informed them of the betrothal and encouraged visitation. The future son-in-law might also help his prospective in-laws in farming.

c. Betrothal of youths before or soon after puberty. This occurred when the young people themselves made their choice and informed their parents, who then completed the necessary marital negotiations. The young man would visit the girl together with a friend, and the friend did all of the talking. Continued visits could follow, though the couple was not allowed to be alone together as premarital sex was forbidden. The brideprice consisted of money, a hoe, and some chickens or a goat (Asake 1991:15)[op.cit.]. The gifts and especially the hoe, a valuable item in farming, as part of the brideprice helped give stability to the marriage” (McK., 1992).











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

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] McKinney, C. (Nov., 1987) Wives and Sisters, Bajju Marital Patterns. Paper presented at the meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL; McKinney, C. (1992) Wives and Sisters, Bajju Marital Patterns, Ethnology 31,1:75-87

[2] Asake, M. N. (1991) An Evaluation of the Historical Development of Christianity Among the Bajju of Northern Nigeria with Special Emphasis on Selected Ethical-Doctrinal Tensions. MA. thesis Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas

[3] Kunhiyop, S. W. (1984) An Analysis of the Continuity of Traditional Values in Christian Life and Practice Among Kaje (Bajju) Christians. BA thesis, Evangelical Churches of West Africa Theological Seminary, Jos