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Did Tiv People give visitors their Wives?

I have heard people talk of this issue almost everywhere I have been to. When somebody gets to know you are a Tiv person, the first question that comes to their lips is “is it true that Tiv people give their wives to visitors” ? Today, I am going to give a detailed description of my investigation concerning
this issue as this question affects me and all other people who have been blessed by God to be Tiv people. I travelled home in December 2010 where I asked a very old man to tell me whether what I heard was true. I have interpreted the explanation given to me into English language.

In generations past, the Tiv people were a very strong warrior tribe. Through war conquests they acquired many slaves from different places among which were women. When a Tiv man had a visitor, he would sometimes send one of the female slaves to him to keep him company. The visitor who was not resident there would think that the woman was the Tiv man's wife. If the woman got pregnant and gave birth, the child became a slave by birth, this meant more hands at the farm. Most of the slaves were later sold off to the White man.

The Tiv people were very careful about polluting their blood lines and that is why when a man wants to contest elections in any place in Tiv land, this question will be asked “Ka han ya u terna a lu ?” meaning “where is his father’s house ?”
To this day you can rob a Tiv man of everything he has, but if you touch his wife !!! The consequences will be fatal. When slave trade was finally abolished, the practice of giving women also stopped, since there were no more slaves to give. So when next you come across someone asking such a question, please educate the person well or direct him/her to read this post on this blog.

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  1. Other tribes too used to give out slaves to rich and powerful men. It was one of the ways in which people gained favours in those inglorious days. Thank God those practices are no longer in vogue now.

    1. It is a good one there dude. You can write on many other topical issues that people often miscontrue. Welldone!

  2. Great thing you are doing proud of you
    -Harry Gwar

  3. Wow! this is really a liberating info.

  4. Nice write up dude, i think you just educate a lot of people about this misconception. You are doing a nice job man


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