Traditional food and dressing of Tiv people

Traditional food and dressing of Tiv people

Tiv food and dressing is a prominent feature of their unique culture, like in any other. Tiv nation. cuisine and attire can astonish you with its ability to combine simple ingredients or patterns with delicious taste and gorgeous look.

Traditional food and dressing of Tiv people

Best of Tiv traditional food

Food is an indispensable part of any culture. And Tiv culture is of no exception, because their food customs perfectly reflects how warm welcoming they are. There is a custom Tiv people have when they finish their meal. Instead of regular "thank you", they say such a phrase as "u yôô", which can be translated as "you have cooked". This phrase describes the prominent Tiv people's set of mind which is about not stopping short of grabbing a bite to eat in so doing to honor the women's work done to prepare the meals.

Traditional food of Tiv people


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Since Tiv’s main occupation is farming, namely growing yams, sorghum, cassava, millet, sweet potatoes, and some commercial crops such as soybeans, rice, and cotton, correspondingly they eat plant food. Most often it is porridge, soup, boiled and baked tuber crops.

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Livestock breeding is not very common among these people, and hunting and fishing are rather auxiliary.

Food and dressing of Tiv people


Given the yams is the most wide-spread product in Nigeria, meals prepared with it are of high demand and diversity in Tiv people as well. Ruam, or simply pounded yams, is the most common dish for Tiv. And there are as many as three different ways to cook it.

They are:

  • Ruam Kumen;
  • Ruam Nahaan;
  • Akpu.
Tiv yams


First, peel off the yam, slice it and wash thoroughly with water. Pour some water into a saucepan and put the slices of yams inside. You need as much water as to keep the yams under its surface. The duration of cooking is approximately 10-15 minutes. When the yams is soft enough to be pounded, you can start the process.

Also, you will need a little bit of water on the bottom during pounding so that the cooking will be smooth. Water left after cooking is the best for this objective. You need to pound yams until it gets the uniform texture. Ruam Kumen is usually served with some traditional Tiv soup.

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Pounded yams


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Also, Tiv people are big fans of fried yams. The well-loved fried dish is Dun Dun. It is also easy to cook. You just need to cut it in thin slices, season them with pepper and salt and fry with sunflower oil until golden brown.

Fried yams


Speaking of soup, the most popular one is Pawpaw soup. It is that rare dish, cooked with meat. The meat used in recipe is beef. The detailed list of ingredients is:

  • beef;
  • medium-sized dry fish - 3 pcs;
  • grounded melon seeds - 200 g;
  • dry pawpaw flakes - 200 g;
Tiv Pawpaw soup
  • palm oil - 2 tablespoons;
  • medium-sized chili peppers - 5 pcs;
  • Knorr seasoning cubes - 4 pcs;
  • salt;
  • locust beans - 1 tablespoon;

Now let's get to the preparation. First, wash the beef, and put it into a saucepan with one seasoning cube. Then slice the onions, add it to the meat and salt for the taste. Pour some water into the saucepan and cook until boiling. Then you need to pour pawpaw flakes with cold water and let them swell. Do the same with the fish, but in warm water. Leave it for three minutes, and then remove the bones.

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Cooking Tiv soup


Make a rich mixture of grounded melon seeds and water, and leave it to puff up. When the beef is ready, take the saucepan from the stove and let it cool. Then, mix beef, beef stock, some water, chopped chili pepper, 3 Knorr cubes, palm oil, and locust beans. Boil the mixture for about 10 minutes and add the paste of melon seeds. Then finally add fish and leave on fire for another 10 minutes. After time passes, add pawpaw flakes and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Tiv traditional attire

Traditional dressing is another way to show the peculiarities of a particular culture. And when you see the prominent white and black stripes, you know that is it, that is a Tiv man. What also defines the Tiv traditional dressing is a special material called A'nger. Aside from A'nger fabric, there are some different materials used for making traditional dressings.

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A'ngera dressing of Tiv people


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  • Ivvavtyo;
  • Lishi;
  • Gbev-whaa;
  • Godo;
  • Gurugu;
  • Chado;
  • Deremen;
  • Gbagir.

This matching of pattern and fabric has been identifying Tiv people for a very long time. Black and white color combination is entirely elegant. And for this reason, even everyday Tiv attire will be appropriate for a solemn event clothing. There are a lot of A'nger combinations for women to wear, ranging from skirt to a headband. In the meantime, men's options is mainly Agbada, a loose wide-sleeved garment. Other traditional variations of clothing are also possible.

National dressing


There is also a big deal of version of children traditional dressing. These incredibly charming looks are perfect for different events such as weddings when it is necessary to resemble the spirit of the nation and its culture.

To be more specific about the wedding, it is worth noticing, that such events are the best opportunity to show all the beauty and gorgeousness of the traditional dressing of particular nation.

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Tiv wedding


The usual wedding outfit components of Tiv culture are striped white and black A'nger fabric, which can be complemented with some other materials. And such color combination is joint for all the guests.

There is also diversity of accessories, which complete the whole look. One of the most popular is beading, and of course, it is black and white as well. This beading can be used as a necklace, headband or anklet. Also, we can see men wearing A'nger hats or even using walking canes, which are also completing the traditional look and pays homage to the culture.

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