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Who are Tiv people?

Have you heard of the Tiv people? Do you want to know more about them? Then this article is for you! Learn a lot of interesting facts!

Tiv culture

Nigeria is the country where a lot of ethnic groups and tribes are combined together. It’s very interesting to explore their origin and one of the most exciting aspects to learn is Tiv culture.

Tiv (sometimes referred as Tivi) people are situated in West Africa. Most of them live in Nigeria but there are also those who reside in Cameroon. This ethnic group makes a living of the agriculture.

Tiv traditional marriage

Wedding has always played a huge part in the lives of the Tiv people. They still have a special ceremony for this solemn event. There are several kinds of traditional dances. 

The dance №1 is supposed to be held when the girl comes to the house of her future husband. The name for this dance is kwasekuhan or kwasegeren.

The point of this dance is to welcome the bride and to show her that she is well-respected and loved in the house of the groom.

This dance isn’t very common in Nigeria but there are still some groups of people who follow these traditions. But the other dance can’t be seen anywhere nowadays.

It is a special ceremony for the rich grooms to show off their wealth. The dance was like another ceremony and it was done only by those whose fortune was very big.

But the men wouldn’t perform the dance if their future wife wasn’t quite rich too.

It is a very complicated way how this marriage worked. It was called Ivom or Dam. There was only a definite amount of people who were allowed to do the special dance.

Therefore, it’s not that popular and it never was. In the culture of Tiv people only the first dance is considered important. It was done in almost every Tiv family.

Tiv culture

Kwasekuhan is respected by all the guests in the house.

The reason why this Tiv traditional dance is an integral part of their society is that they want to let the bride know that she is very important not only for her future husband himself but for his whole family too.

In case a family didn’t do this dance when the bride came in, the Tiv society would despise them and if they got married their marriage would be considered disgraceful.

This is how necessary it was to perform the first dance of the groom. What is more, another reason to do this dance was for the girl to know the guy better.

It was also the way for her to meet the groom’s relatives and see if she likes them. This was a really creative way to get acquainted.

READ ALSO: Fulani culture: What is Sharo festival?

In case something went wrong and the dance wasn’t successful it was the girl who had to face the consequences. The society wouldn’t have accepted her.

The other girls in the community would also despise her. This way the tradition represents itself a complex way to understand if the marriage was going to work.

No Tiv person could imagine a successful marriage without this ceremony.

There were two stages how this dance was performed. The first one took place in the house of the friend of a groom. They would have a ceremony there and they would dance and sing till late at night.

Tiv culture

Therefore, the girl had to spend the night there. However, she didn’t get to have enough sleep because of the celebrating. But the next day was even more important for the couple.

The groom would take the girl to his own house this time. They would also sing, dance and eat. But the bride didn’t stay for the night. She would be taken home in the evening.

After that all the guests and the couple themselves had to take rest after the celebration. They would just relax and spend the evening without doing anything specific.

But there was still the angwe proclamation which was also important for them to hear.

The purpose of this proclamation was to see if the groom and the bride really loved each other and were ready for anything. But the way it was done was quite entertaining.

The person who would say the speech would talk about the different situations that can occur during the marriage. He would claim the names of the couple.

There was a special person who would announce everything during this proclamation.

Tiv culture

This is when the fun started. Some people would join the groom and the bride and spend time with them dancing and singing. The others would get into groups and do something fun together.

There were also people who would just gather in the groom’s house to greet him when he is back. It was very important to let the entire village know that there are people who just got married.

This way the residents were able to stop by and wish the couple all the best.

The Tiv history is also pretty exciting as it goes back to many centuries ago. It would be fair to state that their entire culture is very interesting to explore.

It has some very unique features which no other African culture can offer. Even though not all their traditions are still in use, it’s important to remember them not to lose the identity.

The Tiv traditional attire would also attract anyone – it is different from all the other Nigerian ethnic groups’.

Moreover, if you ever visit the place of their residence, you should definitely try the Tiv food as you might find it quite exotic but delicious!

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