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African engagement

The Best Finger to Wear an Engagement Ring: What's the Tradition in Nigeria?

The Best Finger to Wear an Engagement Ring: What's the Tradition in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, tradition dictates that the woman wear a ring on her right hand. According to this tradition, the left hand is reserved for only one purpose: to wipe away sweat from your brow. In fact, I've been told by my wife that she will not take off her engagement ring until we have our first child together. That's why it's important to ask yourself before proposing if you're really ready for marriage and all of its complexities!



What's the Tradition in Nigeria

Despite the fact that the custom is not as widespread as you would think, I've heard many women around the world strongly support the tradition of the right-handed ring. So, I thought it would be worthwhile to delve a bit deeper.


It all started way back in the days of colonization. Thanks to colonialists, many African people got their hands on European-designed rings and started using them, even though they were never supposed to. But as they got more and more rings on their right hands, women's traditional hairstyles (which were on the left hand in their culture) often were tied together.


Eventually, even though African people stopped wearing their traditional hairstyles on the left hand, many women kept wearing rings on their right hands, believing that the tradition was sacred.


Why do Nigerians wear engagement rings on their right hand?

Since the Civil War (1967-1970), when the left hand was traditionally associated with prostitution, the tradition was reversed and engagement rings were worn on the right hand. Of course, this hasn't really stopped people from wearing the ring on the left. For the less traditional, you can request a left hand engagement ring!


Is there an old African origin behind this tradition?


My guess is no, as this tradition is mainly African in origin. It's interesting that the South Africans tend to wear the engagement ring on the left hand, while the North Africans tend to wear it on the right.


Is the ring size a reflection of the person's body?


A diamond (penny) is in the shape of a diamond and it's the same way with the size of the ring.


How to Have a Happy Marriage with the Right Ring

Ring compatibility is really important when you're about to get married. Many people buy the first ring that catches their eye. And while it can be tempting to not get to know the person wearing the ring, it is important to take the time to get to know each other before making such a major life decision.


As a guy, I know what it's like to feel pressured to "keep the ring on." When you're proposing to someone, it's best to give them the chance to take the ring off without too much of a fight. You don't want them to feel like you've forced a ring onto their finger that they're uncomfortable with.


What's the Best Ring to Wear a Long Engagement?


The best ring to wear if you're engaged for a long engagement is a plain gold band.



Many men in Nigeria will not marry a woman without an engagement ring. However, this is not the only tradition. You should try to bring awareness to the traditions that may not be as important to you as they are to others.


If your partner agrees to a proposal with no ring on her finger, be sure to still propose. Your proposal should be a marriage proposal and not just a way to get your partner to say yes!


How would you feel about a marriage proposal without the engagement ring? Leave your comments below!




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