Why We Organize Annual Mass Wedding - Kwara Monarch

Says the marriage institution is a critical aspect of community life in Shao.
Job Atolagbe, traditional ruler of Shao in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara
Job Atolagbe, traditional ruler of Shao in Moro Local Government Area of KwaraNAN

The traditional ruler of Shao in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara, Job Atolagbe, revealed that the community’s age-old mass wedding tradition is to promote unity and inclusiveness among indigenes.

Atolagbe, made this known during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN). 

According to the traditional ruler, the Awon mass wedding model provides an annual rallying point for indigenes.

Delving into the history of the mass wedding, the Ohoro said a hunter in the community in ancient times called Omo Larele had often stopped at a small stream to drink water anytime he went hunting in the forest.

 “As was his tradition, he stopped by the stream to drink water on a particular day and he saw a strange woman seated at the stream.

”She was said to be weird looking and had only one breast.

 “History tells us that the woman was a fairy and her name was Awon.

”She told the hunter that she was the owner of the stream which he normally drank from,” he said.

Atolagbe explained further that Awon told the hunter to take her to Oba Olanibo who was the first Ohoro of Shao.

“Awon was taken to Shao and she spent 18 days with the people of Shao. Before she left, she had a meeting with Oba Lanibo and his chiefs.

“When she was set to depart from Shao, she was accompanied by Oba Lanibo, his son and the chiefs of Shao, following a path that Awon chose,” he said.

Atolagbe said Awon pledged to protect the community, but stipulated that indigenes should immortalize her through the annual mass wedding for females.

He pointed out that ladies married through the Awon mass wedding festival must acquire skills and should be of marriageable age.

The traditional ruler added that the would-be grooms must be employed or engaged in vocations to cater for their spouses.

Atolagbe appealed to all tiers of government and Non-Governmental Organizations to support and promote the Awon wedding festival.

He added that brides that had acquired skills should be empowered with necessary tools to be self-employed.

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