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Akwa-ocha Is The Attire For Anioma Traditional Marriage - Culture - Nairaland

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Akwa-ocha Is The Attire For Anioma Traditional Marriage by Peppermaster(m): 6:46pm On Apr 05
Akwa-Ocha is the Attire for Anioma Traditional Marriage

- Emeka Esogbue

In case you are Anioma or getting married to an Anioma bride or groom, the pictures below will help your curiosity about how the Anioma people dress on the day of their traditional marriage.

Anioma is one of the ethnic groups in Delta State with the rest as Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri, and Isoko. The traditional fabric of the Anioma people is generally called Akwa-Ocha but it is also called Otogwu and Ogbeyi-Akpani in other quarters of the region. It is an indigenous hand-woven material produced by the people, especially from the Aniocha axis.

The fabric traditionally comes in Ibe-ator (three layers) for men and Ibenabor (two-layers) for women though some huge women may go with Ibe-ator to support their large body size.

In the olden days, the possession of the Akwa-Ocha used to differentiate the wealthy from the poor because it was expensive to purchase yet a cultural necessity though cheaper ones also existed. This was the derivation of the name "Ogbeyi-Akpani," literally meaning that the poor do not attempt to ask the price. Since it was difficult for the Anioma man to live fully or complete his stages of life without the use of Akwa-Ocha, the fabric was part of the way of life of the Anioma man which made it an available stock in Anioma family homes. In fact, to date, it is required in death.

Akwa-Ocha is white which is the traditional colour of the Anioma people however, it may be spotted with different designs which come in various colours to further beautify it. The white symbolizes purity, sacredness, and cleanliness in the life of the people. The Anioma descent is expected to be pure, unsullied, and free from immorality. In traveling to the world beyond, Akwa-Ocha, the cloth of purity becomes one of the sacred clothes to accompany him home either covering the prepared remains or utilized as "itu uni" rites.

Akwa-Ocha is not exactly in traditional use anywhere except in the Anioma Region (which may include Onitsha, Ogbaru, and Ndoni, three communities that are Anioma by extension but geographically lying outside Delta State).

This makes the Akwa-Ocha fabric unique to the Anioma people. It plays valuable trado-spiritual roles in the Enuani society of Anioma thus, it is also worn in times of funerals, festivals, and other socio-religious rites.

In today's world rarely would the traditional marriage of the Enuani people of Anioma in Delta State hold without the bride and groom in attired in Akwa-Ocha. This is just as there cannot be a funeral ceremony without the attire in use. Such is the attachment of the people to their cherished attire.

The Anioma bride and groom often excitingly look forward to adorning themselves in their native Akwa-Ocha attire during their traditional marriage and the parents of the celebrants may most likely also appear in the attire. The trendy beauty of the Akwa-Ocha is that it can be tailored to any style for men and women including traditional skirts for men called 'mbulukwu' and a befitting top to fashionably harmonize it. Some men may make a wrapper of it while others prefer to leave it as fashionably simple as possible to look culturally beautiful.

Whatever you choose, the day of the Anioma traditional marriage is the day of the display of Akwa-Ocha.

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