The Tiv Area Traditional Council (TATC) in Benue State has banned the practice of holding festivities in the house of a bride’s parents during traditional marriages on the ground that such party-like activities are alien to their culture and is now abolished.
The decision was contained in a communique issued at the end of the General Assembly (Ijirtamen) of the Tiv nation held at the TATC Chambers and was chaired by the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse. Part of the comminuque reads
“The practice of holding festivities in the house of the girl’s parents popularly known as Traditional Marriage involving cutting of cake, dances, parties should be discontinued as it is alien to the Tiv way of life. Celebration of a new wife is done by the Tiv People only in the husband’s house. Love should be the primary issue between the families concerned in marriage discussion and transaction but not money. Therefore, total expenses on marriage including dowry or bride price (kem kwase) and all sundry issues (Azaan a kwase) which at the moment vary from one community or family to another should not exceed One hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000.00) in Tivland,” the communique said
The Elders added that traditional marriage ceremony where bride price is to be paid shall involve only the elders of the two families concerned and that the practice of inviting large numbers of friends and well-wishers to the occasion is henceforth abolished.
The council maintained that any Tiv girl to be given out in marriage must attain the age of 18 years and above as it stressed that the violation of the marriage tradition shall attract boycott by traditional rulers and elders and the denial of traditional marriage registration, including other traditional sanctions as the community may deem appropriate.