Women served as important links between individuals and had the power to anull marriages simply by choosing to desert the homes of their husbands. In the societies of the Igbo, marriage was the easiest way to seal treaties, form relationships, and secure business alliances. When a merchant or a farmer sought to ally himself (or make himself immune from violence) with a particular people, he would marry one of their native daughters, thus becoming apart of their extended family. If the marriage failed (meaning if the wife had decided to run back to her people, for whatever reason) it would signal the death of the man's
relationship with her people. For this reason, women became key instruments in the formation of commercial, political, and military alliances in precolonial Igboland.