IndexAfricaNigeria→ Rukuba


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, Tuareg



Among the Nigerian Rukuba, one type of marriage consists of ritual marriage of males before initiation, sometimes before puberty. The boy spends a night with a married, pregnant woman, who instructs him in sexual behaviour, and whom he is to avoid sexually in the future (Muller, 1972:p293-4)[1]. The experience may be awkward:


“The ritual marriage teaches a boy what he can and cannot do although being so small at the time of the initiation, many Rukuba men later recall with laughter the one night spent with the pregnant woman. They insist on their bewilderment and inability to cope with the situation, the initiative resting with the woman who, apparently, means business however small the initiand might be”.















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] Muller, J. C. (1972) Ritual marriage, symbolic fatherhood and initiation among the Rukuba, Plateau-Benue State, Nigeria, Man 7,2:283-95