The eggon people are from Nasarawa State in central Nigeria. They are an indegenous tribe who are mainly found in Lafia, Akwanga, Keffi and Nasarawa eggon local government area of Nasarawa state.
The Eggon people received their name from the hill where the people lived before coming down to the plain. The word, ‘Eggon’ refers to that hill where they first settled, and it means “a good sense of hearing".
These people were one time residents of plateau state when it was just one state called Benue-Plateau. The then Benue-Plateau was a combination of the present Benue state, Nasarawa state and Plateau State. No wonder a good number of them are still found in plateau state.
About Eggon marriage rights
The Eggon people have very beautiful cultures and cultural activities which are unique. From their yearly eggon carnivals where all the citizens of the Eggon land returns home. Whether far or near, they gather on that hill where their four father's once lived, Pray eat and merry because it is the end of another year.
One thing that is unique about the Eggon people is their marriage rights. If you are a man and must marry from this tribe, you would be convinced that the Igbo wedding or that from the Niger-Delta isn't the most expensive wedding in Nigeria.
Although these marriage rights varies from one family to another. Some families might not be willing to make you go through all the stress and lower the number of items, while others cannot wait to test your financial capabilities.
The traditional marriage food
There is a specific food in that wedding processes that cannot be skipped for anything. Once you can't provide that, there is no wedding unless if you decide to steal the woman and runaway with her. This traditional food have the power to end every preparations if it cannot be provided.
This food is called "Ebekma" in Eggon language. It is prepared with buttered beans mainly mixed with black sesame (grinded baniseed) and allot of oil is added.
Now the buttered beans is a treasure and very expensive not to talk of the black beniseed, before considering palm oil. This traditional food is not forfeited for anything by these people.
Although it depends and varies from one family to another, some families would ask you to bring seven big bowls of already prepared beans and a well prepared goat inside every bowl. Others might be considerate to ask for just three big bowls of that beans. Some go as far as requiring ten bowls (These are usually for the men who run the society).
A completely prepared bowl of "Ebekma" ( traditional beans mixed with beniseed, oil and goat) can cost you one hundred thousand Naira. Think about what happens if you have to bring ten big bowls with goat meat in each bowl.
This very important food serves as an open door for the groom to come into the brides family's house. It is only with this that he is allowed in to explain his intensions. Without it, there is no listening ears whatsoever.
Doing this doesn't mean he wouldn't do other things like collection of list of other items required by the bride. This is just part of what is necessary for him to do.
How to prepare the traditional wedding food;
Ingredients you will need are;
1. Butter beans; This is not the regular beans we know. It is milk in color and bigger in size. It is not easily gotten as it is not cultivated in large quantity in Nigeria. This explains why it is very expensive to buy in the market.
2. The Sesame ( black beniseed); we know this as beniseed locally but it is called Sesame. It has very high nutritional value and it is used to prepare soup in some Nigerian cultures. The Eggon people fry,grind and mix with palm oil to sometimes to eat roasted or boiled yam.
3. Palm oil; This is our normal oil which is gotten from Palm fronds. It is used in cooking meals ranging from soups to various delicacies.
The processes involved in preparing the traditional food;
1. The butter beans is boiled until it is soft enough.
2. It is dropped from the fire and water is drained.
3. It is then poured on a flat surface to allow air to cool it down.
4. The sesame (black beniseed) is then grinded and mixed salt. This mixture is then poured into the boiled butter beans.
Note; The beniseed should be seen everywhere in the food not in scarce quantity.
5. Fresh palm oil is then poured in large quantity. The oil is usually very much to the point that it overflows.
6. Everything is mixed together until you have a fine blend of every ingredient together.
7. Lastly, our completely roasted goat is dropped in every bowl of the food.
Watch video of this below; please click on the link below to watch the video.
Although this traditional food seem very expensive, but what is even more expensive is the fact that if you don't do this before taking the wife, rumours has it that your children would not last until this is done. It is believed that the ancestors are not happy so they take away the children until you have settled them.
People come back to do this after many years of marriage if they initially skipped it no matter how long it would take them. It is a very important aspect of the Eggon people.
Nigeria is blessed with allot of beautiful people and cultures, this is one of them. Let us know in the comment section if you have anything similar from where you're from. Please like and share to enlighten others as you comment below, thanks.
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