Thursday, 22 April 2010
Preference for heavy-bodies: Efik fattening rooms
I wrote an article titled 'A heavy Problem' about a month ago. Link available here
However it seems that being heavy might not be a problem, infact it might be downright desirable!
An ethnic group, located in within Calabar area of South Nigeria, have a deep appreciation for the woman with a fuller figure. An integral part of their tradition is training young women in seclusion, so they can achieve 'womanhood'
Part of this training process includes the process of keeping these women in a 'fattening room' where their handlers ensure they are fed, massaged and are well rested, for a predetermined period, (sometimes as much as 6months), so that these young women can add as much as weight as they can.
"In the Fattening Room the lady goes through domestic training of home economics (like cooking and housekeeping), childcare and how to respect and make her husband to be and his family happy. The older women give advice about their experience in marriage to ensure a successful one" states Maobong Oku article available at: http://www.maobongoku.com/maobong_mypeople_tradition_fattening.htm
At the end of the seclusion period, people all over are invited to witness the graduation ceremony to honor her success in passing through this ordeal.
A graduate from the fattening room had this say about the proces: "In the morning you eat fine," says Happiness Edem, recalling her time in the fattening room in the Nigerian city of Calabar.
"After eating you can take a bath. From there you can sleep, you sleep fine, you wake up, you eat, you sleep."
According a bbc article, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6904640.stm, Happiness attended the fattening centre for a total of six months, at the request of her husband, Morris Eyo Edem, leading up to their wedding.
By the time she had come out, her body shape had changed completely - to the delight of her husband, Mr Edem
Mr Edem on the other hand says his title as a prince, means he requires a particularly large wife, he explains:
"People will think I am not rich... If a woman is not fat and has not gone through that process she does not qualify for marriage."
His wife agrees with him: "When you are fat, it makes you look healthy," says Happiness.
"People respect you. People honour you. Wherever you go, they say, 'your husband feed you fine.
The efiks associate a woman with a fuller figure with great beauty as well as affluence.