Everything You Need To Know About Tiv Marriage Rites

By Ayo Al |

If perhaps you have been eyeing a Tiv lady, I think you should know a bit about their marriage rites in case you plan to go the next mile.


This piece is based on the traditional marriage rites of Buruku Local Government, Mbagan, Mbaityo kindred Family of Inder Atim of Benue State.  


Step 1


The groom comes with few of his family members to see the bride’s family for an official introduction. They are required to come with salt, palm oil, a bottle of wine, hot drinks (spirits e.g. gin) and optionally bush meat if requested by the brides family.


At the introduction, both families agree on a date for the traditional wedding. The grooms family is then given a list of items (see list at the bottom of this article) which they are to come back with on the traditional wedding day. 



Step 2 


The Traditional Wedding Day - male and female members of the brides family are separated in two different rooms. The groom, accompanied by his family members are asked to go into the room with the men from the brides family to discuss the dowry payment



Step 3


Presentation of the List Items and Bride Price. In the same room that the dowry payment is discussed, the items bought (from the list given at the introduction) are presented to the bride's father after the dowry payment has been made. The bride is then asked to come out to show her 'fathers' (all the elderly men in the her family) the man who she wishes to marry by giving him a drink.



Step 4


The bride then proceeds with the groom to the second room where the female members of her family are gathered. Here, she shows her mother the man she has chose and they are both given marriage advice by her mother and other present in the room.


Step 5 


Though not mandatory, the groom is expected to give money to the youth of the brides community after the ceremony. To play up the drama, he sometimes will engage them in a 'cat and mouse game' and avoid giving them money.



Step 6


If the groom is also Tiv, his family will await the arrival of the bride with Tiv traditional music and 'Swonge' dancers (Tiv traditional dancers), this process is called the ‘Kwase kuhwan”.


Most items on the list can be negotiated with the family of the bride be substituted with cash.The bride price is also just a token which can be as low as N2, this value can be lower or higher based on the wishes of the brides family.



The List




Local Gin

Additional Alcoholic Drinks (which is expected in form of money)

Danchiki (an attire for the brides father)

Azenga (cowries)






Bush meat

Palm oil




Mudu (measuring Bowl)

Mat (Tabruma)


Soft Drinks