As Tribes and ethnic groups varies, so are their beliefs and norms. But the variation some times can be very outrageous because most times, another man’s believe is an abomination to some other people. Nigeria is one of those places were the variation of ethnic beliefs are so many and differs from one another. Today, I will be sharing a tribe in Nigeria were the females are forced to get fat when they are about to marry.
In Efik communities of south Calabar, there is a tradition of ‘fattening rooms’ which Involves the seclusion of young women prior to marriage to a period of almost total physical inactivity, during which they consume large amounts of food.
Calabar is the capital city of Cross River State of Nigeria. It is a cosmopolitan town with a population of about 2.5 million people. Inhabitants of calabar are mostly farmers, fishermen and civil servants. The Efik in south Calabar are a proud people with a rich cultural heritage.
After reaching puberty, the young lady is dressed in traditional clothes and jewellery, and taken to the fattening hut locally called ‘Mbobo’ by her mother. Fattening huts are situated on the outskirts of the village. Her period of seclusion might last between six months and two years. During this time, she is forced to eat huge quantities of fatty foods including pounded yam cooked and palm oil. She is also not allowed to engage in any form of physical activity or any form of exertion. She is rubbed with clay and bound with cloth by the neck, wrists and ankle (to prevent evil spirits retarding the fattening process).
Thanks for your time, please feel free to share your thoughts on what you feel about this tradition.