In Nigeria, there are a lot of amazing cultures but Tiv culture stands out not just because of their language but the fact that you will always find their names and food fascinating. In this guide you will learn fascinating facts about Tiv culture.

Tiv users are majorly located at the North-central (Benue and Plateau state) part of Nigeria. One fascinating fact about Tiv culture is their language Nyanza; it is unique because it doesn’t have dialects despite its number of users. The setting of Tiv villages comprises village huts, farms, livestock and cattle. Most Tiv practice their traditional religion, a few Islam while others are Christians.

Tiv Political System

In the early administration, there are selection of District heads which are influential people in the society chosen by colonialists. In the early 30s the administration selected few people to master the Tiv language and also learn more about their fascinating culture, these people stayed longer in the administration than any other colonial officers, their responsibility is to teach other their language and culture better.

Tiv Indigenous Practices

Tiv Culture

The following will make you see reasons why the fascinating facts about Tiv culture can’t the ignored.

  • Tribal Marks: They initiated this to easily identify each other when they’ve separated. There are different patterns, names, and meanings.
  •  Ear piercing: In the past, Boys pierce their ears when they attain puberty.
  • Cutting the teeth: In the early 1800s and 1900s, boys who have attained the age of puberty have a part of their teeth cut off after doing a certain task assigned to them, the wound will be healed with hot water or baked yam.
  • Cicatrization: This is a mark given after circumcision and any male who does not go through these processes will be teased as a small boy.
  •  Kusa: This is nail marking that is admired by females and that’s why cicatrization lost its popularization but they began to give marks to different parts of the body.

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Tiv Dressing

Tiv Dressing

The preferred dressing material of the Tiv is black and white A’nger. Their native dressing is fabric wrapped around the waist reaching the knees while the men wear a kind of turban wrapper and Kpaabor bag. Casual wears are also made of the A’nger, accessories like black and white beads. The black color means they have their roots from Africa while the white colour means peace and love which depicts how fascinating Tiv culture is.

Tiv Proverbs

  •  Ka agba ape u nyia pupur yo, wea ma gber u mkure kpa u nyia pupur
    Translation: If you are fated to pass whitish faeces, whether you consume a whole drum of palm oil, it will not change anything
  • Ka afa amaa inumun nga kera numun ga
    Translation: When the act that would disrupt a dance (party) is fore-known such an act is avoided
  • Genga wou ka una kaa ga kpa u gberen(kuhman) u dorugh
    Translation: Even if your talking drum has a faint sound however, you zealously continue playing and dancing (to its tune)
  • Zee gbem hemba ikpagher
    Translation: The use of magic is not as good as persistency

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Tiv Food

Tiv Food

Yam is food loved by the Tivs so they prepare it in several ways; pounded yam, seasoned fried yam, paw-paw, Akpu soup, etc.

Tiv Occupation

Tiv Occupation

They are mostly subsistence farmers and cattle rearers and this is why we find their culture fascinating. Their farm produce has brought a lot of income.

Tiv Names

  • Angbiandoo: A brother/sister is good
  • Aondosoo: God loves
  • Doose: The child pleases us
  • Dooshima: Love or beautiful
  • Erdoo: He’s done well
  • Iember: Joy
  • kator: He’s king
  • Kwasedoo: A woman is good
  • Ngoundu: Mother has left
  • Yuwa: Gift

See more fascinating facts about Nigerian cultures.



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