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|Approx. 5 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Tiv, Tivoid languages, English, French, Hausa, Fulfulde|
|Predominantly Christian, Tiv Traditional religion, a few Muslims|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other Tivoid peoples|
Tiv (or Tiiv)are a Tivoid ethnic group. They constitute approximately 2.4% of Nigeria's total population, and number over 5 million individuals throughout Nigeria and Cameroon. The Tiv language is spoken by over 5 million people in Nigeria with a few speakers in Cameroon. Most of the language's Nigerian speakers are found in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Plateau, Cross rivers, Adamawa, Kaduna, and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. The language is a branch of Benue–Congo and ultimately of the Niger–Congo phylum. In pre-colonial times, the Fulani ethnic group referred to the Tiv. They depend on agricultural produce for commerce and sustenance.
The Tiv believe they emerged into their present location from the southeast. It is claimed [ citation needed ]that the Tiv wandered through southern, south-central and west-central Africa before arriving at the savannah lands of West African Sudan via the River Congo and Cameroon Mountains and settled at Swemkaragbe the region adjoining Cameron and Nigeria in the beginning of 1500 CE. "Coming down," as they put it, was in batches, some moved southward across Obudu mountains others moved northward spreading over Mdema and Waka district, while others moved into core benue valley present day core Central Nigeria. These dispersions took place in the early 1500 CE to 1600 CE, over time as social interactions began and new migrants came into Nigeria. The Tiv people were a free people without a king; hence every clan or kindred was administered by the eldest man called "Orya" they were amongst the first inhabitants of the Benue Valley according to Mark Cartwright record of Bantu migration before other tribes finally migrated to join them, Due to their peaceful disposition and dispersed nature of living, with no Central government nor king, they posed no threat to new migrants to the region who cohabited with them until the coming of the Europeans. The Europeans first contact with Tiv was in the 18th century. Note that the time of encounter with the European does not mean their time of migration, their late recognition was due to the lack of kingship which became a big disadvantage to Tiv in Nigeria because the colonial masters prefer working with kings, so when the Tiv were found on the banks of the Benue River and were discovered to be distinct from other ethnic minorities and were the major occupants of the Benue Valley. That was when kinship was later introduced to Tiv people by the European in the 1940s Benue. In 1879 their occupation of the riverbanks was about the same as in 1950. British forces entered Tivland from the east in 1906, when there was tension between Tiv and other minorities within the Benue valley. The Tiv said in 1950 that they had defeated this British force, then later invited the British in for negotiations. The southern area was penetrated from the south; what southern Tiv refer to as "the eruption" of the British there occurred in 1911.
The Tiv came into contact with European culture during the colonial period. During November 1907 to spring 1908, an expedition of the Southern Nigeria Regiment led by Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Trenchard came into contact with the Tiv. Trenchard brought gifts for the tribal chiefs. Subsequently, roads were built and trade links established between Europeans and the Tiv.But before construction of roads began, a missionary named Mary Slessor went throughout the region seeing to the people's needs.
Most Tiv have a highly developed sense of genealogy, with descent being reckoned patrilineally. Ancestry is traced to an ancient individual named Tiv, who had two sons; all Tiv consider themselves a member either of Ichongo(descendants of son Chongo) or of Ipusu (descendants of son Pusu). Ichongo and Ipusu are each divided into several major branches, which in turn are divided into smaller branches. The smallest branch, or minimal lineage, is the ipaven. Members of an ipaven tend to live together, the local kin-based community being called the "tar". This form of social organisation, called a segmentary lineage, is seen in various parts of the world, but it is particularly well known from African societies (Middleton and Tait 1958). The Tiv are the best-known example in West Africa of a society of segmentary lineage, as documented by Laura Bohannan (1952) and by Paul and Laura Bohannan (1953); in East Africa, the best-known example is the Nuer, documented by E.E. Evans-Pritchard (1940).
The Tiv had no administrative divisions and no chiefs nor councils. Leadership was based on age, influence and affluence. The leaders' functions were to furnish safe conduct, arbitrate disputes within their lineages, sit on moots and lead their people in all external and internal affairs.
These socio-political arrangements caused great frustration to British attempts to incorporate the population into Colonial Nigeria and establish an administration on the lower Benue. The strategy of indirect rule, which the British felt to be highly successful in regards to ruling over the Hausa and Fulani populations in Northern Nigeria, was ineffective in a segmentary society like the Tiv (Dorward 1969). Colonial officers tried various approaches to administration, such as putting the Tiv under the control of the nearby Jukun, and trying to exert control through the councils of elders ("Jir Tamen"); these met with little success. The colonial administration in 1934 categorised the Tiv into Clans, Kindreds, and Family Groups. The British appointed native heads of these divisions as well.[ citation needed ]
Members of the Tiv group are found in many areas across the globe, such as the United States and United Kingdom. In these countries, they hold unions, known as MUT(Mzough U Tiv, or Mutual Union of Tiv in English), where members can assemble and discuss issues concerning their people across the world, but especially back in Nigeria. The arm of the MUT serving the United States of America is known as MUTA (Mzough U Tiv ken Amerika, or Mutual Union of the Tiv in America), for instance.
The Tiv national attire is the black-and-white-striped anger. When the Tiv people arrived at their current location several centuries earlier, they discovered that the zebra they used to hunt for meat and skin, used for ceremonial attire, was not native to the area. When they acquired the skill of the loom, they decided to honor their heritage by weaving a cloth with black-and-white stripes, reminiscent of the zebra skin; this would then be made the preferred attire. Initially, it was a simple cloth to be draped around the torso. Nowadays, it is made into elaborate robes, such as those worn by the traditional rulers and elders – from the Tor Tiv[ clarification needed ] downwards.
The black-and-white color of the necklaces worn by the traditional rulers has been chosen to match the robes.
Other Tiv cultural clothes are
Ivavtyo, Lishi, Gbev-whaa, Godo, Tugudu, Chado, Deremen, Gbagir, Anger etc.
Locally made musical instruments were traditionally used for political, ceremonial communication and entertainment. The key instruments follow.
The Kakaki is a royal trumpet used in many West African groups in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. This is an instrument used to convey special messages to the people of the community, such as the birth of the child of the King, his naming ceremony, the crowning of a new king, or to gather people together during the marriage ceremony of the king and the king's son's marriage ceremony. This instrument was used to convey all the messages to the people to assemble at the square for the ceremony. When there is an enemy attack on the community, a warning sound of the Kakaki is blown to alert those who can defend the society and every citizen to be alert.
A light wooden instrument, it was used to pass messages to the people of the village, probably for the invitation of the people for a particular meeting of the elders at the king's palace or for the people to gather at the market square for a message from or by the king. Up until today, it is the main instrument for the celebration of newlyweds (marriage reception ceremony or Kwase-kuhan).
A heavy wooden instrument carved out of mahogany trunk through some mysterious way; myth has it that a chosen carver turns into a worm to create the large hollow in the cut trunk, leaving only a small opening (like in a medical operation). This belief is perhaps due to the fact that the carvers are reluctant to explain the technique employed for such artistic finesse. The Indyer, believed to be connected with high magico-spiritual potency, is not played for secular purposes except for special occasions as sanctioned by the elders. It is used to communicate the death of an important personality in the community or to communicate a serious happening in the community, like a call to war.
It is used together with Agbande (drums) combined with Ageda at festivals to pass a message across to the people for a call for the display of culture.
It is an instrument like a violin, used for music and dances in conjunction with Agbande (Agbande) at festivals and dance occasions, sometimes to announce the death of a leader or an elder of the community. During this period it is played sorrowfully for the mourning of the dead. It is mostly played at funerals.
Agbande (plural) are a set of crafted wooden musical instruments used to complement agbande at festivals. They are particularly large and are played by the young men of the community. Special drum beats communicate special messages and music for the festivals to come and during the festivals, for instance, royal occasions such as the coronation and funeral.
Ortindin (Ortyom) – Messenger
Usually, he is chosen by the elders of the community to do errands for the elders and the leader of the community. He is sent out to the heads of the neighbouring families for a crucial meeting at the head of all the leaders of the community.
Kolugh ku Bua – Cow Horn
This is an instrument made out of cow horns. There are farmers' associations that use this instrument when they have a job to do; for instance, when they are invited to make ridges on a piece of land, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association will use this medium to wake up the members for the work they have for that day.
Indigenous communication is not only vertical, from the rulers to the subjects, but is also horizontal. Individuals communicate with society through physical and metaphysical means. A farm owner, for example, may mount a charm conspicuously on his farm in order to stress private ownership and to scare off human intruders.
The fear of herbalists and witches influences social behaviour considerably.
Rainmakers communicate their power to disrupt events through various psychological means. Village sectors in Africa communicate mostly via the marketplace of ideas contributed by traditional religion, observances, divination, mythology, age-grades, the Chiefs courts, the elder's square, secret and title societies, the village market square, the village drum (gbande) men, indeed the total experiences of the villager in his environment.
Unlike the mass media, access to the native media is culturally determined and not economic. Only the selected group of young men or the elders can disseminate information generally. The young only disseminate general information about events and the social welfare of their communities using the media mentioned above.
The Tiv people of Benue state still practise some of this traditional system of communication, using the Kakais, Agbande, Indyer, Adiguve, Ilyu, etc. Nevertheless, the increase in the western world media is threatening the cultural communication system.
Many of the communities in Benue state still use these instruments to convey messages to the people of their community, and it is helping a great deal, since there is a language barrier between people with the introduction of the western world's means of communication, using a western language (English) to convey information.
The common Tiv food are mostly solid, cooked, pounded or prepared with hot water. They are mostly carbohydrates or byproducts of yams, cocoa-yam, cassava, beans, corn, etc. The Tiv are known to be the food basket of Nigeria.
Tiv have been identified by the British with the sesame seed as the British named it Beni-seed because it was the major cash crop exported to Europe and other colonies from the Benue valley.
Some common Tiv foods are ruam kumen (pounded yam), ruam nahan (turned food), akuto (sweet potato pottage), choko (dafa), akpukpa, etc.
pocho, ager, genger[ check spelling ], atyever, tur, vambe, igyo, agbende a ashwe, mngishim, ashwe, Atuur, vegetables, ijôv, aninge, furum[ check spelling ], adenger, gbungu, angahar a ikyuna, gbande.
roasted yams, ahuma, rice and beans (chingapa sha alev)
peanuts and sesame (beni-seed), asondo (dried sweet potatoes), igbough ahi (roasted or boiled bambara nuts), mzembe (roasted pears), huu (roasted termites), alie and nyata, kuese (beans cake), N'gyata (groundnut paste)
The Tiv use a style of performing arts called Kwagh-hir.It's a storytelling method which uses carved masks and puppetry as a form of masquerade. Masquerade is used as a way for individuals of Tiv culture to express themselves. The Tiv use this style as a way to hide their identity and take the role of a spiritual being known as an adzov. The performers hide their identity, only to be revealed by their individual styles and at the end of the performance.
The Tiv used their plays as a way to tell traditional legends, recent events, and politics.A few popular plays in Tiv culture include:
Tarkaa, Makurdi, Gwer East, Gwer west, Ukum, Logo, Konshisha, Gboko, Kwande, Vandeikya, Katsina Ala, Guma, Buruku, and Ushongo Local Government Areas.
Doma, Nasarawa, Lafia, Obi, Keana, and Awe Local Government Areas
Qua’an Pan and Shendam Local Government Areas
Bali, Donga, Ibi, Gassol, Takum, Gashaka, Kurmi and Wukari Local Government Areas
Yala, Bekwara, Obudu, and Obanliku Local Government Areas.
There are 1700 Tiv households with approximately 11,000 people at the south-western border of Cameroon, Manyu division, north east of Akwaya on the Nigerian border, and bordering the Iyom tribes of Cameroon. Their paramount ruler is Zaki Abaajul, who has the Tiv and Ulitsi as his subjects. The Cameronian Tiv are well educated and live in anglophone [ citation needed ]Cameroon as their ancestral land, while a few others live in the francophone region. They are mostly farmers but others work in the government.
Benue State is one of the North Central states in Nigeria with a population of about 4,253,641 in 2006 census. The state was created in 1976 among the seven states created at that time. The state derives its name from the Benue River which is the second largest river in Nigeria after the River Niger. The state borders Nasarawa State to the North; Taraba State to the East; Kogi State to the West; Enugu State to the South-West; Ebonyi and Cross-Rivers States to the South; and has an international border with Cameroon to the South-East. It is inhabited predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma, Orring and Igede. Minority ethnic groups in Benue are Etulo, Igbo, Jukun peoples etc. Its capital is Makurdi. Benue is a rich agricultural region; popularly grown crops include: oranges, mangoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, soya bean, guinea corn, flax, yams, sesame, rice, groundnuts, and Palm tree.
The culture of Nigeria is shaped by Nigeria's multiple ethnic groups. The country has 527 languages, seven of which are extinct. Nigeria also has over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausas that are predominantly in the north, the Yorubas who predominate in the southwest, and the Igbos in the southeast. There are many other ethnic groups with sizeable populations across the different parts of the country. The Kanuri people are located in the northeast part of Nigeria, the Tiv people of north central and the Efik-Ibibio are in the south south. The Bini people are most frequent in the region between Yorubaland and Igboland.
Tiv is a Tivoid language spoken in some states in North Central Nigeria, with some speakers in Cameroon. It had over 4.6 million speakers in 2020. The largest population of Tiv speakers are found in Benue state in Nigeria. The language is also widely spoken in the Nigerian states of Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Cross River, Adamawa, Kaduna, and Abuja. It is by far the largest of the Tivoid languages, a group of languages belonging to the Southern Bantoid languages
Taraba State is a state in North Eastern Nigeria, named after the Taraba River, which traverses the Southern part of the state. Taraba State capital is Jalingo. Its slogan is Nature's Gift to the Nation. The main ethnic groups are the Fulbe or Fulani, Mumuye, Mambilla, Jukun, Tiv, Kuteb, Wurkun, Yandang, Ndola, Itchen, Jenjo, Tigun, Jibu. The northern part is mainly dominated by the Fulbe or Fulani Mumuye, Wurkuns, Yandang, Jenjo, and Kona. The southern parts are dominated by the Jukun, Chamba, Tiv, Kuteb and Ichen.The central region is mainly occupied by Fulbe or Fulani Mambilla, Ndola, Tigun, Jibu, Wurbo and Daka peoples. There are 77 distinct ethnic groups, and their languages in the State.
A House of Chiefs is a post-colonial assembly, either legislative or advisory, that is recognised by either a national or regional government as consisting of and providing a collective, public voice for an ethnic group's pre-colonial authorities. Although often influential within the indigenous culture, its members do not usually function as a modern nation's primary law-making body, being neither representative nor consisting of members appointed individually by the government in power, whether democratic or not. It consists of all or some of the "traditional leaders", historically known in English as chiefs, of a country or a sub-division thereof.
The Idomas are people that primarily inhabit the lower western areas of Benue State, Nigeria, and some of them can be found in Taraba State, Cross Rivers State, Enugu State, Kogi State and Nasarawa State in Nigeria. The Idoma language is classified in the Akweya subgroup of the Idomoid languages of the Volta–Niger family, which include Igede, Alago, Agatu, Etulo, Ete, Akweya (Akpa) and Yala languages of Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, and Northern Cross River states. The Akweya subgroup is closely related to the Yatye-Akpa sub-group. The bulk of the territory is inland, south of river Benue, some seventy-two kilometres east of its confluence with River Niger. The Idoma tribe are known to be 'warriors' and 'hunters' of class, but hospitable and peace-loving. The greater part of Idoma land remained largely unknown to the West until the 1920s, leaving much of the colourful traditional culture of the Idoma intact. The population of the Idomas is estimated to be about 3.5 million. The Idoma people have a traditional ruler called the Och'Idoma who is the head of the Idoma Area Traditional Council. This was introduced by the British. Each community has its own traditional chief such as the former Ad'Ogbadibo of Orokam, Late Chief D.E Enenche. The Palace of the Och'Idoma is located at Otukpo, Benue State. The present Och'Idoma, HRM, Elaigwu Odogbo John, the 5th Och'Idoma of the Idoma People was installed on the 30th of June, 2022 following the passing of his Predecessor HRH Agabaidu Elias Ikoyi Obekpa who ruled from 1996 to October 2021. Past Och'Idomas also include: HRH, Agabaidu Edwin Ogbu, who reigned from 1996 to 1997, HRH, Abraham Ajene Okpabi of Igede descent who ruled from 1960 to 1995 and HRH, Agabaidu Ogiri Oko whose reign took place between 1948 and 1959.
The Ebira people are an ethnic-linguistic group of central Nigeria.
Jukun are an ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in West Africa. The Jukun are traditionally located in Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe States in Nigeria and parts of northwestern Cameroon. They are descendants of the people of Kwararafa. Most of the tribes in the north central of Nigeria trace their origin to the Jukun people and are related in one way or the other to the Jukuns. Until the coming of both Christianity and Islam, the Jukun people were followers of their own traditional religions. Most of the tribes, Alago, Agatu, Rendere, Goemai in Shendam, and others left Kwararafa when it disintegrated as a result of a power tussle. The Jukuns are divided into two major groups; the Jukun Wanu and Jukun Wapa. The Jukun Wanu are fishermen residing along the banks of the river Benue and Niger where they run through Taraba State, Benue State and Nasarawa State. The Wukari Federation, headed by the Aku Uka of Wukari, is now the main centre of the Jukun people.
Nigerians or the Nigerian people are citizens of Nigeria or people with ancestry from Nigeria. The name Nigeria was derived from the Niger River running through the country. This name was allegedly coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Baron Frederick Lugard, a British colonial administrator. Nigeria is composed of various ethnic groups and cultures and the term Nigerian refers to a citizenship-based civic nationality. Nigerians derive from over 250 ethno-linguistic groups. Though there are multiple ethnic groups in Nigeria, economic factors result in significant mobility of Nigerians of multiple ethnic and religious backgrounds to reside in territories in Nigeria that are outside their ethnic or religious background, resulting in the mixing of the various ethnic and religious groups, especially in Nigeria's cities. The English language is the lingua franca of Nigerians. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Muslims, who live mostly in the north, and Christians, who live mostly in the south; indigenous religions, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities, are in the minority.
Katsina-Ala is a Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Katsina-Ala where the A344 highway starts. It is also the location of an important archeological site where artifacts of the Nok culture have been found.
Spheres of exchange is a heuristic tool for analyzing trading restrictions within societies that are communally governed and where resources are communally available. Goods and services of specific types are relegated to distinct value categories, and moral sanctions are invoked to prevent exchange between spheres. It is a classic topic in economic anthropology.
Aper Aku (1938–1988) was elected governor of Benue State, Nigeria in October 1979 and reelected in October 1983, leaving office after the military coup in December 1983 which General Mohammadu Buhari came to power.
Lt. Colonel Joseph Iorshagher Akaagerger was the Military Administrator of Katsina State, Nigeria from August 1998 to 29 May 1999. After the return to democracy, in April 2007 he was elected to the Senate representing Benue North East.
Nigerian traditional rulers often derive their titles from the rulers of independent states or communities that existed before the formation of modern Nigeria. Although they do not have formal political power, in many cases they continue to command respect from their people and have considerable influence in their community.
The Wukari Federation is a traditional state in Nigeria, a successor to the Kwararafa state of the Jukun people. The state is based in the town of Wukari in Taraba State, in the south of the Benue River basin. The ruler takes the title "Aku Uka".
The Kuteb people are an ethno-linguistic group in West Africa, who speak Kuteb, a Jukunoid language. Most of the Kuteb people reside in Taraba State, Nigeria.
Gbagbongom is the biggest settlement in Mbajor in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, North-Central Nigeria. It is located between latitude 7°5' and 7°15' north of the Equator and Longitude 9° and 9°6' east of Greenwich. The population is around 5,000, mostly Tiv people who are predominantly farmers. Common agricultural produce from here include: ground-nuts, citrus, yam, cassava, sweet potatoes, maize, guinea corn, tomatoes and pepper.
Kwagh-hir is a multipart culturally edifying art form of the Tiv people of central Nigeria which became popular in the 1960s. It is a dramatic public performance telling moral stories of past and current events, and incorporates puppetry, masquerading, poetry, music, dance and animated narratives to portray its moral themes. It is used by the Tiv people to reinforce traditional beliefs and convey other worldly tales to educate, socialize, provide secular entertainment and address societal issues.
Iyorwuese Harry Hagher, is a Nigerian professor of theatre for development, playwright, poet, politician administrator and activist for social justice. He was a senator, cabinet minister, envoy and pro-chancellor of Afe Babalola University. He is renowned for his groundbreaking research on Kwagh-Hir theatre, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2019. Hagher is passionate about the issue of leadership. His plays are preoccupied with the search for true leadership and other solutions to Africa's socio-political problems. He is known to have engaged cultural diplomacy as a tool for foreign relations while serving as Nigeria's Ambassador to Mexico, and later High Commissioner to Canada. In 2019, he was a presidential aspirant, under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He is currently the president, African Leadership Institute, Dayton, Ohio, United States.
22. https://books.google.com/books?id=uMv0CAAAQBAJ&q=tiv+chongo+pusu&pg=PT915 reviewed 2023-7-5 by shamiga Dominic