Origin of the Tiv - Onyeji Nnaji
Origin of the Tivs
The March, 2022 updade of the Wikipedia history has the following staring surprise to tell us about the Origin of the Tiv.
The Tiv say they emerged into their present location from the southeast. It is claimed that the Tiv wandered through southern, south-central and west-central Africa before arriving at the savannah lands of West African Sudan via the River Congo and Cameroon Mountains and settled at Swemkaragbe the region adjoining Cameron and Nigeria in the beginning of 1500 CE. "Coming down," as they put it, was in batches, some moved southward across Obudu mountains others moved northward spreading over Mdema and Waka district, while others moved into core benue valley present day core Central Nigeria. These dispersions took place in the early 1500 CE to 1600 CE
The problem with this account is the period of the migration. Using Orkar's proposed chronology chart, the first wave of Tiv migration to Ibenda hills can be estimated to have occurred about 1630-1645. This estimation by the Orkar chronology chart, debunking the Wikipedia date, would place the Tivs migration to the Benue-Plateau to much later dates. Again, the editor failed to account for the cause of the Tiv migration. Something must prompt a migration from one place to another; otherwise what Wikipedia presents to us here is a Utopia history of the Tiv. The publication of Akiga Sai and Paul Bohannan in Africa: Journal of the International African Institute Vol. 24, No. 4 (Oct., 1954), pp. 295-310 will be of help here. Below is the story in the words of Sai himself.
Tiv say that their original home was a hill which they call' Swem ' far to the south- east of their present location;' Swem ' is usually identified with the hill marked Ngol Kedju on maps of the Nigerian Cameroons. The area is still inhabited by 'Bush Tribes' (atoatiev) who resemble Tiv in culture and in certain aspects of their language. The Tiv separated from these bush tribes and ' came down ' in search of new homes. They were met by the Fulani, who were friendly with them, and with whom they stayed for a time. However, because the Fulani wanted to marry their daughters, Tiv left them and settled among other bush tribes near the present site of Takum; they did not stay there long, however, but came to a point near Kasimbila where they made contact with the Ugenyi (Chamba), with whom they lived peacefully. About that period, Igbo speaking people lived up to Kastina Ala river.