According to Neyt (1985: 161), the "Tiv played a predominant role in the history of the Benue State, and in that of Nigeria itself [...]. When they arrived at the end of the XVIIth and early XVIIIth century, they deeply affected the life and relationship among the peoples living on both sides of the Benue [River]."
Tiv statuary has an underlying magic meaning. The figures are not representations of ancestors but of tutelary guardians. The largest statues, the lhambe figures, have been categorized into two styles: the "naturalistic style" and the "post style". See Neyt (1985: 178 et seq.) for further discussion.
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