Nigerian Traditional Wedding: The Tiv marriage rites

Nigerian Traditional Wedding: The Tiv marriage rites

Here is a post which is going to give the full information of the Tiv traditional marriage rites in Nigeria. This post is going to focus more on the steps a groom needs to take when he wants to marry a Benue Tiv bride.

For the essence of this post, we are going to split the Tiv marriage rites to six unique stages.

Stage one of the Tiv marriage rite – Introduction

This is the first stage of the Tiv marriage rite, the groom comes with few of his family members to see the bride’s family for an official introduction.

The groom and his family members 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. It is during this traditional introduction that both families agree on a date for the traditional wedding. The list for bride price is also being discussed.

Stage two of the Tiv marriage rite – The Traditional Wedding Day

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

Stage three of the Tiv marriage rite – Presentation of list for Bride price

After the discussion and payment of the dowry payment, the next stage of the Tiv marriage rite begins. The items bought from the list given at the introduction are presented to the bride’s father.

Most items on the list can be substituted with cash. The bride price is usually a token which can be as low as N2, or even higher. But it needs to be paid, as it holds a lot of significance in the Tiv traditional marriage. Below is an example of the list;


  • Pig
  • Local Gin
  • Additional Alcoholic Drinks (which is expected in form of money)
  • Danchiki (an attire for the brides father)
  • Azenga (cowries)
  • Matches


  • Bush meat
  • Palm oil
  • Salt
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Umbrella
  • Mudu (measuring Bowl)
  • Mat (Tabruma)
  • Chair
  • Soft Drinks
  • Basin
  • Necklace
  • Clothes
  • Broom
  • Table

After that has been done, the Tiv bride is asked to come out to show her all the elderly men in the her family, who are refered to as her ‘fathers’ the man who she wishes to marry by giving him a drink.

Stage four of the Tiv marriage rite – Bride presents groom to mother

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 women in the room.

Stage Five of the Tiv marriage rite – Kwase kuhwan

If the groom is also Tiv, his family will await the arrival of the bride, who is introduced with Tiv traditional music and Tiv traditional dancers ‘Swonge’.

There you have it on this post, I hope you found this helpful and informative.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top