Religious Beliefs. The Tiv recognize an otiose god called Aondo (Sky) who created the universe, but they do not postulate that he has any current interest in them. They acknowledge ancestral spirits and, sometimes, make offerings to them—but do not pray to them or regard them as either good or evil. Evil is to be found in the hearts of human beings—it is called tsav. Tsav, set in motion by evil men using forces that the Tiv call akombo, caused misfortune. Each akombo is a disease or symptom, as well as being a set of special symbols. The ritual task is, by sacrifice and medicines, to keep the akombo repaired.
Religious Practitioners. The Tiv utilize diviners. Most Tiv men also come to be masters of at least some akombo, a few of many akombo. A man who has mastered an akombo carries out rites when that akombo is implicated in a curing ceremony.
Ceremonies. Akombo ceremonies are performed in order that individual people (and, very occasionally, communities) can recover from illness already manifest or else may prosper in general.
Arts. The Tiv decorate almost everything. They produce some sculpture, little of it of the high quality that is known in much West African art.
Medicine. Herbal medicines are known to most Tiv elders. The masters of specific akombo specialize in the medicines associated with that akombo. Only after the akombo ceremony is carried out can the medicine be effective.
Death and Afterlife. The Tiv say that they do not know whether there is an afterlife and that a funeral ceremony is like calling down the path to a person who is departing—one cannot be sure how much of the message the person heard.