A Drummer's Testament
drummers
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Chapter I-16:  The Praise-Name Dances and the Benefits of Music  <PDF file>

The origins of dances in chieftaincy and the drum history; examples of dances based on praise-names of former chiefs; overview:  how music helps in weddings, funerals, namings, festivals; happiness and music; happiness and dancing; music as something to give to the children

Paragraph outline and links
Proverbs and sayings
Dagbani words and other search terms

Supplementary material

List of dances discussed in chapters I-15 through I-22  <PDF>
Yaa-Naas of Dagbon:  <PDF>

Images 
(more forthcoming)
giving money to a dancer 1
giving money to a dancer 2
dancing Nantoo Nimdi

Audio 

(Use player for 192kbit/s.  For older browsers or limited bandwith, click on link to play at 64kbit/s in separate window.)

Ban Nira Yelgu



Kulnoli 



Kurugu Kpaa



Naanigoo



Nantoo Nimdi



Nayig' Naa Zan Bundan' Bini



Num Bie N-Kpan



Pohim Zheri




Zhim Taai Kurugu



Naanigoo 2



Nagbiegu



Dam' duu





Contents outline and links by paragraph  <top of page>

Introduction

1.  continuation of the talk about praise names
2.  drummers use sense to turn a name to a dance

Old dances in Dagbon

3.  Taachi:  original names, without dances; from Hausa
4.  praise-name dances are not old
5.  dances:  Zuu-waa (Tonglana Yamusah), Lua, Damba, Dikala (blacksmiths), Nakohi-waa (butchers), Gbɔŋ-waa (barbers), Baŋgumaŋa, Ʒɛm

Taachi and other dancing at former gatherings

6.  drummers beat Taachi at gathering when Alhaji Ibrahim was young; Hausa and Dagbani names; Taachi dances now part of repertoire
7.  formerly at funeral house:  Tɔra for women, Taachi for men; children and friends arrange for the dances
8.  women arrange for Tɔra; individual dance circle for the men, but women would also dance Kondalia and Zamanduniya
9.  Kondalia and Zamanduniya from Hausas
10.  some Taachi dances also from Kotokolis; guŋgɔŋ beating; drummers learned their dances
11.  many Kotokolis lived in Tamale formerly before government made them leave
12.  formerly only Tɔra and Taachi for funerals; Takai more for festivals; organized by Nachin-Naa
13.  formerly Baamaaya (Tuubaaŋkpilli) not beaten at funeral houses
14.  Jɛra only in certain towns; only at funerals of Jɛra families, or by invitation
15.  Taachi praising like at current gatherings, but different dances; no praise-name dances

Praise names formerly were not danced

16.  formerly the names were there but not the dances; started gradually during Naa Abudu’s time
17.  Nantoo Nimdi not danced during Naa Yakuba’s times

Examples of praise names that are not danced

18.  Naa Kulunku:  Kulunku laɣim kɔbga
19.  Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga:  Yuɣimpini
20.  Naa Ziblim Bandamda:  Kuɣa mini kasalli
21.  some names good for beating and singing but not good for dancing; examples:  Kuɣa mini kasalli
22.  some names are beaten for horse-riding

Learning praise-name drumming

23.  drummers learn to their extent; should not add to what they were taught
24.  the many dances in Dagbon are because of drummers; people also have many oreferences in dancing
25.  people tell drummers which dance they want; also, drummers adjust beating to fit the dancer
26.  drummers usually know a dancer’s preference; often follows the family
27.  some people can dance many dances; drummers try to limit the number; after second dance, no money
28.  some dancers change dances quickly; not a problem
29.  differences in learnedness; a lot to learn to know details of chieftaincy and history
30.  the dances show the history; adds to way of living
31.  the many dances in Dagbon also come from the dancers and what they want
32.  drummers also sing praises when beating for dancers
33.  only some dances have singing; Damba songs not danced; sometimes songs, sometimes praise singing

Example:  Naɣbiɛɣu

34.  Naa Abilaai Naɣbiɛɣu’s fighting with Bassari people
35.  how the drummers describe such events; not always clear
36.  Naa Abilaai killed the Bassari chief, Naɣbiɛɣu, and took his name
37.  different ways of the story, whether Naa Abilaai or his soldiers killed Naɣbiɛɣu; no real difference
38.  the Naɣbiɛɣu drum language and response; variations
39.  how the Dagbani is adapted to drum language
40.  the singing that accompanies Naɣbiɛɣu
41.  explanation of the singing
42.  further explanation of the metaphors in the singing
43.  drummer will add the singing of other praise-names of Naa Abilaai
44.  how the singing fits with the drumming and responses
45.  the singing is not one way; many differences depending on the drummer
46.  the dancer changes with the singing and beatingh; singing changes depending on the family of the dancer

Example:  Nantoo Nimdi

47.  Naa Yakuba’s name; poisoned meat
48.  explanation of the name
49.  singing the different praise-names of Naa Yakuba

Example:  Naanigoo

50.  Naa Andani’s name; how he called his name in the Zambarima war
51.  the singing inside Naanigoo
52.  explanation of the name
53.  further explanation of the name

Example:  Ʒim Taai Kurugu

54.  Naa Alaasani; the meaning of the name
55.  additional language inside the drumming
56.  the origin of the name in Naa Alaasani becoming Yaa-Naa

Example:  Naa Abudu

57.  how he was made Yaa-Naa by the British
58.  Setaŋ’ kuɣli; explanation of the proverb; same name as Naa Zanjina
59.  danced by horses in procession; wɔrbar’ sochɛndi
60.  no songs; sing the praise-names of Naa Abudu

Other chiefs’ names and dances

61.  Naa Mahama Kpɛma:  Bɛ yoli yɛlgu refers to how he became chief
62.  Naa Mahamam Bila:  Ʒiri laɣim kɔbga beaten for procession, not danced at gatherings
63.  Naa Abilabila Saŋmari gɔŋ explanation; other praise names
64.  Naa Mahamadu:  Kulnoli is danced; other names
65.  the names’ uses vary:  dancing, praise-singing, processional walking or riding

Other dances from praise-names

66.  Dam’ duu:  Tali-Naa Alhassan; meaning of the name
67.  explanation and story in the name Dam’ duu; Tolon-Naa Yakubu’s names
68.  Savelugu-Naa Mahami:  Ŋum Biɛ N-kpaŋ
69.  Kari-Naa Abukari:  Zambalana Tɔŋ; the history behind the name
70.  Diarilana Mahama:  Nayiɣ’ Naa Zan Bundan’ Bini
71.  commoners also have names that are danced:  Salinsaa Bili Kɔbga
72.  Ninsala M-Biɛ also a commoner’s name
73.  people who are not Dagbamba, such as Bimbila chief

Dances at the Damba Festival

74.  at Damba Festival, many dances are on display
75.  the sequence of the Damba Festival
76.  eighteenth day is final day; greetings and gatherings
77.  the eighteenth day is wonderful to see
78.  Dagbamba come from far away to celebrate Damba
79.  Damba is celebrated at chiefs’ houses
80.  Damba Festival focuses on chieftaincy
81.  people dance any dance they want at the gatherings
82.  they dance all the dances mentioned in the chapter
83.  also Gbunbil’ Lɛri:  Tugulana Iddi’s name
84.  also Jɛrgu Dari Salima:  Gushe-Naa Bukari’s name
85.  also Dɔɣim Malbo:  Savelugu-Naa Abukari Kantampara
86.  also Tibaŋ Taba:  Savelugu-Naa Mahami
87.  also Baŋ Nira Yɛlgu:  Kari-Naa Alhassan
88.  also Naawun’ Bɔr Duniya Malgu:  Nanton-Naa Sule
89.  also Ŋun Ka Yiŋa:  Vo-Naa Imoro
90.  also Zamba Kɔŋ Yani:  Gushe-Naa Bawa
91.  also Malimi So:  Nanton-Naa Alaasani
92.  also Kurugu Kpaa:  Dakpɛma Suŋna
93.  also Kookali:  Banvimlana Mahama
94.  also Pɔhim Ʒɛri:  Savelugu-Naa Ziblim

Dances from other tribes

95.  also many other dances; all these dances can be danced any time if someone wants
96.  Dagbamba dance dances from other tribes:  Yoruba, Kotokoli, Mamprusi, Gonja, and others
97.  why Dagbamba do not dance Wangara or Mossi dances
98.  drummers learn the dances because of mingling, especially in Tamale
99.  how Alhaji Ibrahim learned a Kotokoli dance at a gathering

The benefits of many dances

100.  dancing helps people become happy when there is sorrow or problems
101.  people with worries will find their worries reduced
102.  example:  a maalam dancing at his brother’s funeral
103.  dancing and drumming keep people’s names alive in memory


Proverbs and Sayings  <top of page>

Every day, when it is daybreak, knowledge increases. 

There are many praise-names that we don't beat for dancing. 

If kulunku insect gathers to be a hundred, it will still not be a cricket.  (Naa Ziblim Kulunku)

The small spiny porcupine does not fear being slapped.  (Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga)

Mahoghany and milkweed are arguing:  mahoghany should not be proud; milkweed will not play with the eyes.  (Naa Ziblim Bandamda)

Those who move the buɣla door will ask for abuses.  (Naa Ziblim Bandamda)

Asking doesn’t finish.  You will die and leave the asking.  Everybody asks to his extent.  And what you will ask and your teacher will teach you, that is what you will use to do work.

We have many, many dances, and we drummers are the ones who search for them. 

The reason why our dances are many is coming from the sense we take to do our work. 

The proverbs we beat are many, and the people we praise are many. 

Every chief has got his name, and even commoners have got names. 

As our dances are many, it is the people who dance that make our Dagbamba dances to be many. 

The people who dance are also different:  every person has got the dance he can dance, and everybody has got the dance his heart wants. 

Nobody dances the dance of another person. 

The one who dances too much does not see ululation.

If you are a drummer, if you don’t know the ways of the chiefs, you will only get yourself into tiredness.

Every human being, not only a Dagbana, if you say you are a person, it is good for you to know your tradition. 

When you come to dance, you will step on it with pride, and you will show that what has been put down for you, you are not taking it to be useless.

If you hear that the people in a house have eaten a lot of food, it is the householder who has given them the food. 

A man hasn't got his fellow man, and he's boasting.  (Mionlana Sumaani)

The truth has got a place to sit, and the liar hasn't got a place to sit.  (Naa Abilaai)

The baŋlari grass, that is what makes calabash bowls.  (Naa Abilaai)

And the kapok trees will be falling gold.  (Naa Abilaai)

A poor man's child has stepped on gold.  (Naa Abilaai)

And those who ask are more than hundred.  (Naa Abilaai)

The stepping place of the lion will gather more than hundred, it will not let a hippopotamus fall.  (Naa Abilaai)

The food storage bin is carrying foodstuffs on top again.  (Naa Abilaai)

The mouth that is nice will gather people.  (Naa Abilaai)

Stars gather up to hundred, it will not look like a moon.  (Naa Abilaai)

Meat that is not good, you cannot eat it.  (Naa Yakuba)

Anthrax meat, vultures are disturbed.  (Naa Yakuba)

Nantoo wants to kill, and vultures are disturbed.  (Naa Yakuba)

Nantoo wants to kill and the medicines are plenty.  (Naa Yakuba)

The child of the lion is still young, and however small or young it is, it will never chew grass.  Unless meat.  (Naa Yakuba)

The life that is very short, it can't share anything.  If life were something that could be shared, it would have been given to the first-born Abudu, in addition to his brother Andani.  (Naa Yakuba)

Termites tried to chop iron.  (Naa Yakuba)

The termites want to eat something that they will eat, and if the fowl eats it, it will die.  (Naa Yakuba)

And the fowl too will go and eat what will not let him die, after eating the termites.  (Naa Yakuba)

The tizzo plant will not stand on the ground; it will always hang on the tree.  (Naa Yakuba)

A bag that you hold quietly will not tear.  (Naa Yakuba)

A person by himself does not mind poverty.  (Naa Yakuba)

If mice struggle with iron, their teeth will break.  (Naa Alaasani)

What God has put down, if they don't want, it will happen; and if they want, it will happen.  (Naa Alaasani)

If you do not do bad, you will not come to meet bad.  (Naa Abudu)

An anvil stone will roll and not break.  (Naa Abudu)

A foolish man says it will happen; it is never something that will happen.  (Naa Abudu)

A hypocrite will gather hundreds, it is the will of the owner of the talk.  (Naa Abudu)

They are late in talking for something and it is no longer there.  (Naa Mahama Kpɛma)

Lies can gather to be a hundred; truth is more than all of them.  (Naa Mahamam Bila)

The star does not stand on the ground.  (Naa Abilabila)

 The dry trees will bear leaves and those who break firewood cannot get some.  (Naa Abilabila)

The river where water is good will gather water-drinkers.  (Naa Mahamadu)

The one who hasn't done any bad will not meet any bad on his way.  (Naa Mahamadu)

Noise in a room:  a mouse gets a bad name.  (Tolon-Naa Yakubu Alhassan Tali)

The talk of a hundred people, one word of God is more than it.  (Tolon-Naa Yakubu Alhassan Tali)

Wisdom is more than one person can hold.  (Tolon-Naa Yakubu Alhassan Tali)

Someone who was sick and recovered does not want someone who is also sick to be cured.  (Savelugu-Naa Yakuba)

The person who has recovered from sickness is the one who says the medicine is finished.  (Savelugu-Naa Yakuba)

A wicked man's trap has caught his own child.  (Kari-Naa Abukari)

A chief thief has taken a rich man's thing and turned around to put it at the rich man's sleeping place.  (Diarilana Mahama)

The chief thief is in a hurry, but the owner of the thing is not yet asleep.  (Diarilana Mahama)

An ant grows feathers, it is going to fly.

A human being is bad; God is not bad.

A grown chicken without feathers abuses a chick that it is badly covered, the young chick will someday grow feathers.  (Bimbila-Naa)

The place where the leopards sleep, you will find a bone there.  (Tugulana Iddi)

When a foolish person buys gold, he is buying it for a person who has sense.  (Gushe-Naa Bukari)

Repair a family.  (Savelugu-Naa Abukari Kantampara)

I will not know a person and allow him to know me again.  (Kari-Naa Alhassan)

God wants to make the world well, but human beings don't want Him to make it well.  (Nanton-Naa Sule)

If you keep something in your house and you are not there, if the thing is going to spoil, someone who fears God will keep it well for you.  (Vo-Naa Imoro)

If you are somebody who will prosper, and your enemies are trying to prevent you from getting what you are after, but the one who will prosper will prosper.  (Gushe-Naa Bawa)

If you do somebody good, somebody will do you good; if you do somebody bad, somebody will do you bad.  (Nanton-Naa Alaasambila)

Termites cannot overcome an iron spike.  (Dakpɛma Suŋna)

If a problem comes to you, you have to use your knowledge to solve it.  (Banvimlana Mahama)

Wind is blowing clay pots; calabashes should not be proud.  (Savelugu-Naa Ziblim)

As the dances are there like that, it helps us in our hearts. 

If there is a town where there is no dancing, then the town is not a town:  it is a town of sorrows.

Where there are dances, there is happiness. 

Truly, it is inside playing and dancing that laughter laughs. 

Dances are something that makes us happy.  And the dances are something that add to us. 

That is why we take the dances and put them down for those behind us, our children. 

Inside dancing, we don’t hide ourselves. 

We drummers sing the songs that let people know how to live with one another, and there will be respect, and there will be laughter, and there will be peace, and there will be happiness.

Our dancing helps us in our living. 

Our dances add to us, and we are putting them down for our children, and the dances will add to them and help them, too.


Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Chiefs and elders

Yendi chiefs
Yaa-Naa, Yaa-Naas
Abilabila
Abudu
Andani
Naa Abilaai
Naa Abilaai Nagbiegu  (Naa Abilaai Naɣbiɛɣu)
Naa Abilabila
Naa Abudu
Naa Alaasani
Naa Andani
Naa Andani Jengbarga  (Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga)
Naa Andani Naanigoo
Naa Kulunku
Naa Luro
Naa Mahama Kpema  (Naa Mahama Kpɛma)
Naa Mahama Kurli
Naa Mahamadu
Naa Mahama Bila  (Naa Mahamam Bila)
Naa Sigli  (Naa Siɣli)
Naa Yakuba
Naa Zanjina
Naa Ziblim Bandamda

Other titled persons
Banvimlana Mahama
Choggo-Naa
Dakpema, Dakpemas  (Dakpɛma)
Dakpema Sungna  (Dakpɛma Suŋna)
Diarilana Mahama
Gbonglana  (Gbɔŋlana)
Gulkpe-Naa
Gushe-Naa Bawa
Gushe-Naa Bukari
Kari-Naa Abukari
Kari-Naa Alhassan
Mionlana Sumaani
Nachim Kpema  (Nachim Kpɛma)
Nachin-Naa
Nanton-Naa Alaasani
Nanton-Naa Sule
Sanglana
Sanglana Mahama
Savelugu-Naa Abdulai
Savelugu-Naa Abukari Kantampara
Savelugu-Naa Mahamadu
Savelugu-Naa Mahami
Savelugu-Naa Yakuba
Savelugu-Naa Ziblim
Tali-Naa Alhassan
Tolon-Naa
Tolon-Naa Yakubu Alhassan
Tolon-Naa Yakubu Alhassan Tali
Tonglana Yamusah
Tugulana Iddi
Vo-Naa Imoro

Dances, proverbs and praise-names

Phonetic spellings generally appear in parentheses after the ASCII version.  This section has a three-line format for longer entries of some dances.  The dance name in ASCII characters is followed in parentheses by the drum or song proverbial text, also in ASCII.  The second line has the Dagbani version with phonetic characters.  The third line, if appropriate, has a figurative English translation from the chapter text, along with the chief or person associated in the chapter text or cited song text.

Be Yoli Yelgu (Be yoli yelgu ka sheli kani) 
Bɛ Yoli Yɛlgu (Bɛ yoli yɛlgu ka shɛli kani)
They are late in talking for something and it is no longer there.  (Naa Mahama Kpɛma)

Ban Nira Yelgu (Ban nira yelgu:  man’ ku ban nira ka nira lam bang ma)
Baŋ Nira Yɛlgu (Baŋ nira yɛlgu:  man' ku baŋ nira ka nira lam baŋ ma)
I will not know a person and allow him to know me again.  (Kari-Naa Alhassan)

Bangumanga  (Baŋgumaŋa)

Baamaaya

Bila

Bugla karo bandamdi ni kpa turi  (Buɣla karo bandamdi ni kpa turi)
Those who move the buɣla door will ask for abuses.  (Naa Ziblim Bandamda)

Dogim Malbo  (Dɔɣim Malbo)
Repair a family (Savelugu-Naa Abukari Kantampara)

Dam’ Duu  (Dam’ duu:  jengbarga deei yu’ biegu) 
Dam' Duu (Dam' duu:  jɛŋgbarga deei yu' biɛɣu)
Noise in a room:  a rat gets a bad name.  (Tali-Naa Alhassan)

Damba

Damba sochendi  (Damba sochɛndi)
Damba walking

Dikala

Dimbu

Dogu  (Doɣu)  (aka Zuu-Waa)

Gbon-waa  (Gbɔŋ-waa)

Gbingbin' turi babli bincheralana, babli pa-bili.
Gbiŋgbiŋ' turi babli binchɛralana, babli pa-bili.
A chicken without feathers abuses a chick that it is badly covered, the young chick will someday grow feathers.  (Bimbila-Naa)

Gbungbil’ Leri  (Gbungbil' Lɛri)
The place where leopards sleep, you will find a bone there.  (Tugulana Iddi)

Gonja Damba   (Zabag’ Damba )  (Zabaɣ' Damba)

Jera  (Jɛra)

Jergu Dari Salima (Jergu dari salima:  o dari la yendana bini)
Jɛrgu Dari Salima (Jɛrgu dari salima:  o dari la yɛndana bini)
If a foolish person buys gold, he is buying it for a person who has sense.  (Gushe-Naa Bukari)

Kolnoli (Kulnoli din viela ni lagim nyurba)
Kolnoli (Kulnoli din viɛla ni laɣim nyurba)
The river bank where water is good will gather water-drinkers.  (Naa Mahamadu)

Kondalia

Kookali
If a problem comes to you, you have to use your knowledge to solve it.  (Banvimlana Mahama)

Kuga mini kasalli (Kuga mini kasalli nmrri tom nangbankpeeni, kuga di mali karimbaani, kasalli ku dem nini)
Kuɣa mini kasalli (Kuɣa mini kasalli ŋmɛri tom naŋgbankpeeni, kuɣa di mali karimbaani, kasalli ku dɛm nini)
Mahoghany and milkweed are arguing:  mahoghany should not be proud; milkweed will not play with the eyes.  (Naa Ziblim Bandamda)

Kulunku kulunku, lagim kobga, ku nmani paanga 
Kulunku kulunku, laɣim kɔbga, ku ŋmani paaŋa
If kulunku insect gathers to be a hundred, it will still not be a cricket.  (Naa Ziblim Kulunku)

Kurugu Kpaa
Termites cannot overcome an iron spike.  (Dakpɛma Suŋna)

Lua

Madadazi

Malimi So
Do someone good:  if you do somebody good, somebody will do you good; if you do somebody bad, somebody will do you bad.  (Nanton-Naa Alaasambila)

Naanigoo
Promise with thorns  (Naa Andani)

Naawun' Bor Duniya Malgu (Naawun' bor duniya malgu, ka ninsal' deei duniya malgu)
Naawun' Bɔr Duniya Malgu (Naawun' bɔr duniya malgu, ka ninsal' deei duniya malgu)
God wants to make the world well, but human beings don’t want Him to make it well.  (Nanton-Naa Sule)

Nagbiegu (Naɣbiɛɣu)  (Naa Abilaai)

Nagbiegu (Doo be nye to, dapala, kumahin, Nahu Bimbiegu)
Naɣbiɛɣu (Doo bɛ nyɛ tɔ, dapala, kumahin, Nahu Bimbiɛɣu)
A man hasn’t got his fellow man, and he’s boasting.  (Mionlana Sumaani)

Nag’ biegu  (Naɣ' biɛgu)  (Naa Abilaai)
Bad Cow
Nag’ Bimbiegu (Naɣ' Bimbiɛɣu)
Cow Bad Thing 
Nagbiegu maa m-bala  (Naɣbiɛɣu maa m-bala)
Bad Cow, that is it.
Tingma tingma, Nahu Bimbiegu  (Tiŋma tiŋma, Nahu Bimbiɛɣu)
Cut off, cut off, Bad Cow

Nakohi-waa  (Nakɔhi-waa)
Butchers’ dance

Nantoo Nimdi (Nantoo nimdi, kagli sundi)
Nantoo Nimdi (Nantoo nimdi, kaɣli sundi)
Anthrax meat, vultures are disturbed.  (Naa Yakuba)

Nayig' Naa Bori Yonyom (Nayig' Naa bori yonyom, bundana bi gbihi ti gari kpugi)
Nayiɣ' Naa Bɔri Yonyom (Nayiɣ' Naa bɔri yonyom, bundana bi gbihi ti gari kpuɣi)
The chief thief is in a hurry, but the owner of the thing is not yet asleep.  (Diarilana Mahama)

Nayig' Naa San Bundan' Bini (Nayig' Naa zan bundan' bini n-nmalgi son bundan' dooshee)
Nayiɣ' Naa Saŋ Bundan' Bini (Nayiɣ' Naa zaŋ bundan' bini ŋ-ŋmalgi sɔŋ bundan' dooshee)
The chief thief took a rich man’s thing and turned around an put it back again at the rich man’s sleeping place.  (Diarilana Mahama)

Ninsal' yelgu kobga, Naawuni yelgu zag' yini gari li
Ninsal' yɛlgu kɔbga, Naawuni yɛlgu zaɣ' yini gari li
The talk of a hundred people, one word of God is more than it.  (Tolon-Naa Yakubu Alhassan Tali)

Ninsala M-Bie (Ninsala m-bie, Naawuni bi bie)
Ninsala M-Biɛ (Ninsala m-biɛ, Naawuni bi biɛ)
A human being is bad; God is not bad.  (commoner)

Niri num bi nin zamba ku chirgi bieri
Niri ŋum bi niŋ zamba ku chirgi biɛri
If you do not do bad, you will not come to meet bad.  (Naa Abudu)

Nyagboli  (Nyaɣboli)

Nyindogu  (Nyindɔɣu)

Num Bie N-kpan  (Num bie n-kpan, nuna n-yeri ni tima naaya)
Ŋum Biɛ N-kpaŋ  (Ŋum biɛ n-kpaŋ, ŋuna n-yɛri ni tima naaya)
The person who has recovered from sickness is the one who says the medicine is finished.  (Savelugu-Naa Yakuba)

Num Bie N-Kpan (Num bie n-kpan, o je n' o kpee kpan)
Ŋum Biɛ N-Kpaŋ (Ŋum biɛ n-kpaŋ, o jɛ n' o kpee kpaŋ)
Someone who was sick and recovered does not want someone who is also sick to be cured.  (Savelugu-Naa Yakuba)

Nun Ka Yinga (Nun ka yinga bini nya maana, wuntizora m-mali)
Ŋun Ka Yiŋa (Ŋun ka yiŋa bini nya maana, wuntizɔra m-mali)
If you have something in your house and you are not there, and the thing is going to spoil, someone who fears God will keep it well for you. 

Pohim Zheri (Pohim zheri yuyu, churi di mali karimbaani)
Pɔhim Ʒɛri (Pɔhim ʒɛri yuyu, churi di mali karimbaani)
Wind is blowing clay pots, calabashes should not be proud.  (Savelugu-Naa Ziblim)

Sanmari Gon (Sanmari gon ku zani tinga)
Saŋmari Gɔŋ (Saŋmari gɔŋ ku zani tiŋa)
A curved star will not stand on the ground.  (Naa Abilabila)

Salinsaa Bili Kobga (Salinsaa bili kobga, o yen yigimi)
Salinsaa Bili Kɔbga (Salinsaa bili kɔbga, o yɛn yiɣimi)
An ant grows feathers, it is going to fly.  (commoner)

Setan' Kugli (Setan' kugli, bilim kunma)
Setaŋ' Kuɣli (Setaŋ' kuɣli, bilim kuŋma)
An anvil stone doesn't mind rolling.  (Naa Abudu)

Tora  (Tɔra)

Taachi

Takai

Tiban Taba  (Tibaŋ Taba)  (Savelugu-Naa Mahami)

Tuubaankpilli  (Tuubaaŋkpilli)

Worbar' sochendi
Wɔrbar' sochɛndi
(horses walking on the way)

Yem yagi ninyino malbu
Yɛm yaɣi ninyino malbu
Wsdom is more than one person can hold.  (Tolon-Naa Yalubu Alhassan Tali)

Yugimpini bili goo n-tilga tapaga
Yuɣimpini bili goo n-tilga tapaɣa
The small spiny porcupine does not fear being slapped.  (Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga)

Zamanduniya

Zamba kon yani ka nun zoori zooi
Zamba kɔŋ yani ka nuŋ zoori zooi
Enemies will work against a person, the one who is going to propser will prosper.  (Gushe-Naa Bawa)

Zambalana Ton (Zambalana ton bari gbaag' o bia)
Zambalana Tɔŋ (Zambalana tɔŋ bari gbaag' o bia)
A wicked man’s trap has caught his own child.  (Kari-Naa Abukari)

Zhim Taai Kurugu
Ʒim Taai Kurugu
Blood touches iron.  (Naa Alaasani)

Zhim Taai Kurugu (Zhim taai kurugu, ka jengbarsi wolinje)
Ʒim Taai Kurugu (Ʒim taai kurugu, ka jɛŋgbarsi wɔlinjɛ)
Blood touches iron, mice will try and fail.  (Naa Alaasani)

Zhim Taai Kurugu (Zhim taai kurugu, ka chinchansi wolinje)
Ʒim Taai Kurugu (Ʒim taai kurugu, ka chinchansi wɔlinjɛ)
Blood touches iron, mice will try and fail.  (Naa Alaasani)

Zhiri lagim kobga, yelmanli n-gari
Ʒiri laɣim kɔbga, yɛlmaŋli n-gari
Lies can gather to be a hundred; truth is more than all of them.  (Naa Mahamam Bila)

Zuu-Waa  (aka Doɣu)
First-born’s dance


Names and people
Holy Prophet Mohammed
Maalam Issa
Mahama
Small Mahama
Sulemana
Yakuba
Yakubu

Towns and places
Accra
Banvim
Bassari
Bimbila
Bobo-Dioulasso
Chenonima
Dagbon
Diari
Fombee
Gbungbaliga
Gushee
Kamban  (Kambaŋ)
Karaga
Kumasi
Kunchimahimbaliya
Mion
Nanchemba
Nanton
Ouagadougou
Savelugu
Sechi
Tali
Togo
Tolon
Wakambaliya
Yendi

Cultural groups
Bassari
Dagbana, Dagbamba
Gonja
Gurunsi
Hausa
Konkomba
Kotokoli
Mamprusi
Mossi
Wangara
Yoruba
Zambarima

Miscellaneous terms

banglari  (baŋlari) [Tephrosia purpurea (L) Pers.]
babli
biegu  (biɛɣu)
calabash, calabashes
chieftaincy
chinchansi
cowries
Dagbani
Damba Bielikulsi  (Damba Biɛlikulsi)
gbingbing  (gbiŋgbiŋ)
goo
gungon, gungons  (guŋgɔŋ,  guŋgɔŋs [guŋgɔŋa])
Holy Prophet
Holy Qu'ran
jengbarga, jengbarsi  (jɛŋgbarga, jɛŋgbarsi)
Kaai-i  [exclamation]
kapok  [Ceiba pentandra (L) Gaertn.]
karo
kasalli [type of milkweed:  Euphorbia sp.]
kobo
kuga  (kuɣa) [African mahoghany:  Khaya senegalensis]
kugli  (kuɣli)
kulunku
kurugu
lundaa
lunsi
maalam, maalams
Naa
Naa Damba
naani
Naawuni
nahu
nantoo
nimdi
ninsala
pesewa
pito
salinsaa
setan’ kugli  (setaŋ’ kuɣli)
sochendi  (sochɛndi)
Somo Damba
tindana
tizzo  [Tapinanthus heteromorphus (A. Rich.) Danser]
townsperson
ululate, ululation
wolinje  (wɔlinjɛ)
yugimpini  (yuɣimpini)
zamba
zongo