CULTURE: Kwase U Nyoron In Tiv Land

By Henry Kwaghkule
Marriage is a union between a man and woman who come together and form a family. Under Tiv culture, the man looks for the woman and brings her to his house if he is capable. The man is not allowed to pack into the woman’s house otherwise he would be looked down upon in the society.
According to Vershima Terzungwe and Aondona Solomon, kwase u Nyoron, marriage by self-imposition is regarded as shameful and abominable in Tiv land. Where it occurred during pre- colonial times it was looked upon as a ‘marriage’ engaged in by people lacking in morals.
However, in contemporary times in Tiv land you find persons of whatever age are moving into the woman they intend to spend the rest of their lives with and abandoning their immediate families in spite of the odium with which it is viewed.
According to Terry Mbajoor, a traditional poet in his song, he cries bitterly that ” A man who did not pack into woman’s house is better than a man who abandoned his families and entered a woman’s house. He cries that this form of marriage is not sweet as the man is always under the control of the woman. When she serves you a small quantity of meal you can’t complain. You become the tractor for the woman. She uses you in all her farming activities because she feels superior to you on the ground that she is providing your shelter, meal and some bed magic activities at night.
obaseki and shuaibu
This form of marriage is not paramount in the contemporary Tiv society as people look at it completely useless as conceived in precolonial Tiv society. Many entered into this form of marriage to sustained a better status in life, enjoy the woman in the night through sex, and help the woman in every means.
This mostly finds expression when the woman in question is a widow or when she becomes estranged from her husband and she moves back to her village. That when some men take advantage of this, “pack” into the house of the woman on ‘self-imposition’ (kwase u Nyoron.) Men in this position sometimes completely avoid his family.
In Contemporary times some Tiv people see this form of marriage as a good one. While some people see it as a taboo for a man to move into a woman’s house.In a nutshell, my impression is that this form of marriage by self- imposition (kwase u Nyoron) is not accepted. Tiv people frowns at it and those who impose themselves on women in the name of this form of marriage are simply considered to be unvalued, senseless and incapable people in the society.tiv-people

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