Introduction / History
The Tal people live in villages of up to 4,000 people in a very mountainous region of Nigeria. Until recently, they have had no electricity and poor educational and medical facilities. Although they live harmoniously with neighboring groups, others look down on them because of their language and culture. However, for the most part, they have maintained identity as a people and not assimilated to the dominant culture around them.
Known for their skill and bravery as hunters, the Tal live off what they hunt and what they raise in their fields. Parents often give their babies names that reflect places and events such as names of villages, wars, famine, and even market days which refer to the situation, place or time when the baby was born.
What Are Their Beliefs?
A Nigerian man first introduced Christianity to the Tal people in the early 1960s. However, most Tal, especially the older people, practice traditional religion. Even many of those who are nominally Christian mix animistic beliefs and practices with their faith. Although a major world religion in the area has not yet made inroads into among the Tal people, it appears that traditional religious beliefs and practices are gaining ground.
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