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          This study had to be done because the continued pervasions and even clamor for the abolition of marriage institution in our time has reached a stage that necessitates its ardent defense that hinges o the categorical imperative. It is obvious that marriage institution in Utit Obio clan actually experiencing challenges of the revival and not becoming moribund. As it is the case with many other civilized communities in the world, Utit Obio clan has experienced tremendous changes overtime in her marriage practices and other aspects of life.

          Marriage as an institution is described as an important phenomenon among the Utit Obio people. Chastity and purity were considered the choice of bride. The brides were not allowed to meet or see the man not until after the marital rites. The girl had to voicelessly accept whomever she was married to.

          In Utit Obio clan, if a girl was found not to be chaste, she was disgracefully returned to her parent, and then the bride price returned. It was the duty of the parent especially the mother to see to it that her girl children were not loose. It was a thing of pride for parents when the chastity and purity of their daughters were proven.

          With the advent of Europeans, the indigenous practices in marriage and other indigenous practices faded away. In Utit Obio Clan most people even prefer to do the westernize marriage (white wedding abandoning the traditional marriage. Other will first wed in the church and later do the indigenous marriage.

          Barely does a year passes without the social condition of life, mode of dressing, social norms etc. not changed. Most of these indigenous practices were beneficial and inexpensive.

          More research needs to be done on marriage institution in our time. The changes brought about due to the coming of the Europeans have received little or no oversight by scholars and researchers. People needs help to properly understand the institution of marriage.

          Thus, this research project seeks to provide an understanding of Utit Obio cultural values as related to  marriage and the changes connected with it.


Marital practices in a particular area varies from another. Some people are known due to ignorance to have advocated for the abolition of marriage institution (as was done centuries ago). The Utit Obio indigenous are faced with these challenges of the changing face of marriage.

          Marriage, like other cultural themes has attracted wide study, such study have underlined, among other, the nature, forms types, process and even the place of marriage in the clan. What have not received much attention is the many traditional rites in the clan which most people have tried to stop. Such practices can result in death if care is not taken.


This work has the following objectives:

       i.            To examine the different marriage rite in Utit Obio clan overtime.

    ii.            To establish the place of marriage in Utit Obio clan

 iii.            The examine thechanges in the marriage system overtime

 iv.            To interconnector relate marriage with political socio-cultural  and the economic institution


This study adopts the descriptive and analytical methods of research and presentation. In this study both the primary and secondary source have been used to gather information.

The primary sources include oral interviews which were conducted o persons who were acquitted with the history and traditions of the Utit Obio people .

Secondary source include various information from published works, Journals, Monographs, articles and in published works.


This study is point referenceon the central role marriage plays in Utit Obio culture How marriage enables individuals to express their individual and collective identities. It also helps to acknowledge the concept of marriage as the hub for culture, political, economic and social stratification.

It is hoped that this findings will play a role in influencing families, religious bodies and the nation to see marriage as the beginning of the formation of social system that embody beliefs and values that build a good society.


          This work is limited and designed to center on the marriage institution in Utit Obio clan from it covers the origin, migration and settlement of the Utit Obio peoples their economic political and socio-cultural institution of the people. This finding cannot be used to represent the view of all Utit Obio people. Though most of those interviewed were literate, their information were not enough to reconstruct the history of Utit Obio clan, but the grossing gaps were filled as more people were interviewed.

          The limitation of this work is the avoidance of few people to be interviewed, so as not to be interviewed. Some of the old men and women were suffering from structural amnesia.


In nearly all cases, marriage forms the basis upon which a family is built. Marriages are a social affair and so entail rituals and ceremonies, representing social approval.

          The dictionary defines marriage as, the social institution by which a man and woman are legally united and establish a new family unit wedlock; the state of being married, the relation between husband and wife the action or act of marrying the ceremony of marrying, a wedding any intimate union.

          Some scholars said marriage started in the 14th century. But the bible made it known that marriage started as at the time God created Adam.

          In Genesis chapter 2 verse 22 to 23, God found out that all other animals had their partner exception of Adam, God knew that Adam needed a help mate.In verse 24, Adam said, therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh (the Old Testament).In the New Testament, was the one at Cana of Galilee. In John chapter 2 verse 1 to 10. Where there was a marriage ceremony, the wine at the occasion finished. Jesus turned water to wine and this wine was sweeter than the previous wine.

          Winnie, defines marriage as the established institution for starting a family.

Beyond Winnies definition Gloria Marshall, defines marriage as a valid, socially and publicly recognized assumption of the kinship roles of husband and wife.

          Another writer Eboh and Ukpong defines marriage as a union of male and female or husband and wife in a common residence for procreation.

          Nse-Abasi, S. Akpan defines marriage by saying that marriage and family institution of people the world over, has been a sources of concern to scholars and all people down through the ages. That marriage institution embraces the political, economic and social aspect of life.

          E. Ekong Ekong says that marriage among the Ibibio transcends the mutual affection of the individuals concerned and includes the union of families, hence. The parents of the prospective couple are usually actively involved.

          B. Abasiattai Monday sees marriage institution as a complete of social, economic and religious systems and therefore affected all spheres of life in the society. Marriage involve sex and reproduction and marriage is also contracted from birth.

          D. Joseph Esema, gave a descriptive analysis of traditional marriage ceremonies using the Ibibio people as a case study. Marriage institution is as old as man and among the Ibibio speaking people of  Akwa Ibom State, it was accepted as a permanent bond between families. That the basis reason for marriage is for having children.

          A. Udo Edet asserts that marriage is the complex of social norms that define and control the relations of a mated pair to each other, their kinsmen, their offspring and society at large. It also defines all institutional demand rights, duties, immunities etc. of the pair as husband and wife. Also that marriage is the institution that shapes the form and activities of the association known as the family.

          Edet A. Ukpong, view marriage and family institution emphasize by different scholars. He opines that they have been different type of marriage in different parts of the world, down through the ages. Sometimes different types of marriage exist in the same society side by side.


          This research work is divided into five chapters Chapter one introduces the work, gives a background study of the work, and states the objectives research methodology, significance of the study, Scope and limitation of the study, literature review and organizationof work.

          Chapter two focuses on the origin migration and settlement of the Utit Obio people. Economic and socio-cultural institutions.

          Chapter three examines marriage rituals! Awa adwono awa adia, marriage consultation, marriage introduction, marriage proper, parlour marriage and full marriage.

          Chapter four deals with the changes in marital practices.

Chapter five summarizes and concludes the study