Okrika is a kingdom in Rivers State, Southern Nigeria. It is situated in a small island, with rich culture and tradition, known for their occupation in fishing due to the mangrove swamps that surrounds them and a local Okirika language significant to them.
Marriage can be seen as a binding agreement between two living individuals but not for the Okrikas due to an ancient marriage practice. ‘Till death do us part’ seems like a mere statement. Ohurikaka binds couples even till death.
Ohurikaka is an ancient marriage rite significant to the people of Okrika in Rivers State.
Ohurikaka is derived from two words, ‘Ohuri’ and ‘kaka’ meaning ‘raffia’ and ‘tie’. Ohurikaka marriage ceremony entails the consent of the couples to be married and the consent of their parents, when that is achieved, then a confirmation of the required marriage items are checked, and most importantly the tying of raffia around the waist of a bride by her groom, signifying the totality of their marital bond till eternity. Once this is done, it is considered irreversible by anyone and the couple, even in divorce.
In an instance where she remarries due to the death of her husband and bears children for her current spouse, it is still believed that they belong to the husband who performed the Ohurikaka marital rites.