Technological Change and Its Effect on Traditional Religious Beliefs : Current School News

Technological Change and Its Effect on Traditional Religious Beliefs: The Tiv Experience


The research was motivated by the need to review traditional beliefs of the Tiv currently undermined by the significant impact of technological change. The Tiv now put more emphasis on technology and its benefits, resulting in an erosion of traditional values within family and clan structures.

The work is based on primary sources, including oral interviews with Tiv in positions of leadership, retired elders and chiefs, as well as average citizens.

Secondary sources include materials from available literature, from both methods will emerge historical method. While the phenomenological method of study is employed. Research has uncovered a new religion among the Tiv;

having abandoned traditional beliefs connected with witchcraft and sacrifice, the Tiv have enthusiastically embraced new means of production in agriculture, new methods of health care, educational change, developments in transportation, the media, and industry.

Hospitals and other public facilities have greatly improved through technology. Abundant harvest has brought new wealth. However, social structures have suffered from increased mobility of people, urbanization and similar new opportunities given with the introduction of technology.

The Tiv are now more materialistic and greedy. It is now much easier to approach the Christian God, compared with the traditional high god, Aondo.

People know they are created in the image of God. The new Tiv religion is more man-centred, although on the basis of technological change, women and children are as valuable as men, and have the same rights.

But the Christian God is not thought to be as demanding as traditional gods and their human representatives. Moral standards are lower; pornography and divorce are now more common. 


This study begins with a brief review of the pre-colonial era of the Tiv people. Like most tribes in Nigeria today, they are experiencing a dynamic wave of change. Its cause is traced back to colonialism, which brought changes in political life of the people.

Rulers were imposed on the populace; the use of money and taxation were introduced. Socially, there were changes also. The marriage custom of exchange of bride was replaced by payment of dowry, which contributed to materialism.

Greed and materialism became the order of the day. The changes in Tiv land today can also be traced to westernization, which brought Christianity with it. This new religion permeated the traditional culture, introducing both western medicine and education.

Industrialization can be traced as the offshoot of the technological changes in the land, and its attendant pluralism encourage the rise of cities.

Technology is the means by which man extends his power over his surroundings and our knowledge of doing this constitutes the rule of technology, because it not only involves tools, but everything that extends our power over the environment,

like the use of arts, making use of the gift of nature, and so on. Of all the agents of change, Christianity was the main spring board for the technological changes. It affected the traditional religion of the people to a great extent.

The impact of this technology eroded the value system of the Tiv. The people became less religious even in times of trouble.

With the advancement in technology, there was an equal decline in the awareness of God – (Aondo). People seem not to appeal to God for solutions to their problems any more. The aim of this study therefore, is to throw light on the belief of the Tiv about the Omnipresence of God as reflected in their lives. 


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CSN Team.

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