Eggon cultureEbiekpemre

Ebiekpemre Unveiled: The Irresistible Charm of Butter Beans in Eggon Traditional Marriages

The Eggon tribe, nestled in Nasarawa State, Nigeria, holds a unique tradition that distinguishes their marriages from others—the ceremonial presentation of butter beans, known locally as Ebiekpemre.

In this vibrant culture, any Eggon lady who embarks on the journey of marriage without this ceremonial presentation is considered unmarried or, in essence, illegally married. The butter beans, more than just a culinary delight, play a central role in sealing the bond of a traditional marriage among the Eggon people.

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Unlike many other cultures where bride price takes center stage, the Eggon tribe relegates it to the background, giving precedence to the significance of butter beans. Celebrated as the most cherished food in the Eggon community, these beans carry immense cultural weight during marriage ceremonies.

However, not everyone partakes in the consumption of these beans at the marriage event. Only close family relatives have the honor of indulging in this cultural feast, as the entire bride’s clan gathers to accept or reject the Ebiekpemre during the presentation ceremonies.

The acceptance or rejection of the beans holds substantial weight, reflecting the family’s stance on the suitability of the daughter’s suitor. If there are unanswered questions or concerns, the family reserves the right to reject the presentation. It is expected that any issues be resolved by the groom before the day of the presentation, ensuring a smooth and joyous occasion.

The quantity of beans presented is no trivial matter—it should consist of five basins or more, depending on the negotiating power of the groom and his family. Accounts from individuals like Godwin Joseph, a civil servant from Abuja, highlight the importance of this cultural exchange.

Joseph shared that when he got married, he chose to present ten basins of beans voluntarily, considering the size of his wife’s family.

Tina Oche, an outsider who witnessed an Eggon traditional wedding, marveled at the abundance of palm oil and black sesame seed used in cooking the beans. The richness and generosity of these ingredients reflect the deep cultural roots embedded in the tradition.

Senen Antyev, an engineer from Benue who recently married into the Eggon community, shared his unique experience. In Eggon marriages, the first night involves dowry payment and the presentation of various items.

However, the second day, marked by the marriage ceremony itself, is distinguished by the cooking and presentation of the Eggon traditional beans—a moment almost more significant to the people than the exchange of cash.

Antyev’s narrative unveils the intricacies of the marriage process, highlighting that the beans symbolize the legitimacy of the union.

The cooked beans are transported from the cook’s home to the bride’s home amidst music, dances, and stops where the groom’s family pays for bike refueling. The elder from the bride’s family then hands over the bride to the groom, formalizing the Eggon marriage.

In contrast to many cultures, bride price in Eggon land is negotiable, as shared by Antyev. Despite being initially asked for N200,000, he ended up giving N50,000, with the family reciprocating by returning N10,000 as a sign of love and peace.

Antyev emphasized that the process is family-dependent, reflecting the conservative nature of his wife’s family, influenced by his father-in-law’s Jehovah’s Witness beliefs.

In essence, Ebiekpemre, the ceremonial presentation of butter beans, stands as the cornerstone of Eggon traditional marriages, weaving together cultural, familial, and culinary elements to create a unique and meaningful celebration of union.

Credit: 21stcenturychronicle


Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of and He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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