Birth traditions

We shall examine briefly the birth celebrations of a single baby and that reserved for twins.


The birth of a child in the family is a great event in Widikum tradition. It is a moment of joy, generosity and thanksgiving. Traditional midwives took care of the pregnant women and assisted them during delivery or childbirth. Then followed the birth celebration (obuh) which consist of:

  • Providing food and palm wine to family members and other visitors who come to see the newborn child.
  • Singing and dancing in thanksgiving to the ancestors for fertility.

The food provided is generally beans prepared with a lot of palm oil and eaten with plantains or cocoyams. The mother-in-law assists her daughter for about a month before returning to her own home.


At the birth of twins into a family, the following procedure is implemented:

  • A delegation is sent to inform the parents in law. Generally, two women present the symbols of twins (two calabashes full of palm wine and peace plants or nkeng to the father-in-law). They all sing and dance songs reserved for twins.
  • The father-in-law entertains the bearers of the good news. He sends them back with acknowledgement gifts (refills the two calabashes, replaces the peace plants and gives them kola nuts).
  • The father-in-law visits the twins. He is accompanied by a powerful delegation of women taking along food, palm wine and gifts.
  • There is singing and dancing of twin songs. At the end of the visit, the son-in-law presents gifts to his father-in-law and to the delegation accompanying him.

Details of the above rich birth traditions will be published in a separate brochure.

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