The institution of marriage is a sacred one to ESAN people and as such have laid down rules to guide it.
1 When a woman is married to an Esan man, it is an abomination for another man to touch her wrapper, else it is considered as though she has committed adultery unless the married woman shouts at the man or reports to her husband.
2 It is an abomination for married couples or anyone at that to have sex in the afternoon as it is believed that a certain spirit would be angered by the act.
3 When a woman commits adultery, she will loose her children and her life as repercussion for the abominable act unless she confesses and as restitution, she is stri*ped completely unclad, a part of her head is shaved, a part of her private part is shaved, one of her armpits is shaved and both of her hands are tied behind her, while a basket full of trash is placed on her head. She is then paraded around the community by other women.
4 If this is not done and the woman goes ahead to cook for her children, her children will die one after the other including her. If she also confesses to her husband and out of love or pity her husband conceals the confession, he will die within a week, if he eats a meal cooked by the woman.
5 It is a taboo for another man to cross an outstretched legs of a married woman else it is considered as though she already had s*x with the man.
6 A married woman can not steal her husband’s money in Esan land as it is seen as an abomination. She must tell him about it.
7 It is considered an abomination for a man to sit on the matrimonial bed of an Esan couple as it is seen as a taboo.
8 It is also an abomination for a woman to spit on her husband under any circumstance. If she does, she must sacrifice a fowl to appease him but the man can bathe his wife with his own spit.
9 It is seen as an abomination for an Esan man to use the same bathing bucket with his wife but due to widespread Christianity, this taboo has almost gone into extinction.
The husband of a woman who just gave birth must stay away from her sexually for three months as she’s considered unclean because of the after delivery blood she discharges.
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