A Drummer's Testament
drummers
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Chapter I-23:  Traveling and Learning the Dances of Other Tribes   <PDF file>

Why Dagbamba learn other tribes’ drumming; the difficulty of learning the Dagbani language; the drumming styles and dancing of:  Mossis, Kotokolis and Hausas (Jɛbo, Gaabitɛ Zamanduniya, Madadaazi, Adamboli), Bassaris and Chembas and Chilinsis, Dandawas, Wangaras, Gurumas, Konkombas, Frafras, Ashantis, Yorubas; differences in the drummers from different towns

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

Supplementary material

Images

dancing Gurunsi-waa

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

Gaabitɛ Zamanduniya



Hankuri Zamanduniya



Amajiro



Gbada



Madadaazi



Yoruba-waa



Gado



Zambarima-waa



Gurunsi-waa



Sikare



Suberima Kpeeru



Wangarisi-waa



Mamprugu-waa



Guruma-waa



Yoruba-waa 2
Mohi-waa


Contents outline and links by paragraph  <top of page>

How Alhaji Ibrahim traveled to learn more

1.  dances of the tribes:  learning from experience and not from training
2.  Alhaji Ibrahim has learned many dances
3.  should beat without changing; otherwise make mistakes
4.  Alhaji Ibrahim trained in Dagbon and traveled to the South; some dances only beaten in South; guŋgɔŋ has different ways

Dagbamba drummers' knowledge compared to other tribes

5.  Dagbamba beat the dances of other tribes; other tribes cannot beat Dagbamba dances
6.  Dagbamba drumming difficult for others; examples
7.  this ability makes others wonder; another example
8.  speculate that drumming is difficult because Dagbani is difficult
9.  comes from intelligence and experience; differences among Dagbamba drummers; example:  Dakpɛma’s drummers don’t travel
10.  comes from being trained as a foundation before experience

Mossi dance and guŋgɔŋ beating

11.  example:  Mossi dance; Alhaji Ibrahim watched and learned the different drum parts; important to notice differences; Mossis and Yarisis
12.  example:  Alhaji Ibrahim can beat Mossi language clearly without understanding it
13.  have to adjust beating to the other tribe; example:  beating guŋgɔŋ to resemble Mossi drumming
14.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s learning is different from many other Dagbamba drummers; knows the differences
15.  different ways to hold guŋgɔŋ; the sound is important for correct beating
16.  example:  compare Jɛblin beating Gbada with a drummer who added Dagbamba styles; fit the sound but were not correct
17.  importance of learning work well; example:  how Alhaji Ibrahim beats Kotokoli dances

Jebo

18.  example:  in South, beating Jebo for a Kotokoli princess
19.  Alhaji Ibrahim accurately beat Jebo drum language styles; people questioned him
20.  how the Kotokoli drummer asked Alhaji Ibrahim where he learned Kotokoli beating

Zamanduniya

21.  beaten differently for Dagbamba and Kotokolis (Gaabiti), because of language
22.  Hausa form of Zamanduniya is different:  Hankuri Zamanduniya
23.  Dagbamba form is Ayiko; only some drummers know the differences in all three
24.  Zamanduniya brought to Dagbon by Alhaji Adam Mangulana; not an old dance
25.  Ayiko was there when Alhaji Ibrahim was a child; how Alhaji Mumuni and Sheni used to beat drums in the market
26.  the name of Ayiko has been absorbed into Zamanduniya; only old drummers know it
27.  many styles in Zamnaduniya; Alhaji Ibrahim knows the differences and can beat them clearly
28.  to beat it correctly, the drum and the guŋgɔŋ have to answer one another

Adamboli

29.  Dagbamba heard it from Hausas first; originally Kotokoli; Hausas beat it without guŋgɔŋ
30.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s group beatsa it the same way ass the people whose dance it is
31.  Ŋun’ da nyuli styles can fit well inside Adamboli, but a mistake that spoils Adamboli

Other tribes

32.  Bassaris are close to Kotokolis; have lunsi drummers; Alhaji Ibrahim learned in Accra; taught Tamale drummers to beat it
33.  Chilinsis use only guŋgoŋ; Alhaji heard it ansd taught Tamale drummers
34.  Zambarima dance:  Alhaji Ibrahim learned it in Kumasi and Accra; also for Dandawas, beat Gbada
35.  Wangaras and Ligbis:  Kurubi; Wangara dance at Kintampo during Ramadan for unmarried girls; young men hire drummers
36.  how the girls dress and dance; one has to travel to see it
37.  Gurunsi dance:  Alhaji Ibrahim learned it at Kumasi and Kintampo
38.  Konkomba dance:  Alhaji Ibrahim learned it in Yendi; description of the instruments and the scene
39.  how Alhaji Ibrahim brought the Konkomba dance to Tamale and showed how to beat it
40.  Frafra, Ashanti, Gurunsi dances:  watch them and learn how they beat
41.  no other tribe can beat Dagbamba dances, not even Mamprusis; Dagbamba beat their dance
42.  Kusasis don’t use drums, so Dagbamba don’t beat their dance, but beat Damba for them

Learning:  training and experience

43.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s group always knows how to beat for any dancer; from traveling and learning
44.  learning the easy parts of drumming; learn the ways of different places, know how they change; follow the local styles
45.  once you learn something so that it is easy, it is not difficult to learn other ways of doing it; need to travel
46.  learn from somebody who knows it well, then travel and use sense to add
47.  John is learning drumming like that

Conclusion

48.  transition to talk of drumming eldership and chieftaincies


Proverbs and Sayings  <top of page>

Who becomes annoyed with God?  Only a fool.

When they give food for people to come and eat, those who are first will eat more than those who come last. 

Learning is in the heart, and if your heart is bright, you will get what they have taught you,

When you stand and watch someone doing some work, and you want to do that work, if he is not going to teach you and you are only going to watch him, then you can still do the work he is doing. 

If you want to learn work, you have to try your best to learn it well.

It is good for you to travel out to towns. 

You have to have patience to sit in the world.

If you are a drummer, you don’t sit only in your town. 

It is roaming that will let you learn more.

When you learn something well, if someone says it is difficult, you will say it is not difficult. 

The eye-opening of drumming is just to be traveling all around.  If you don’t travel, your sense is only one-way.  It is in the traveling that you will see all the good ways of beating and all the bad ways of beating.

If you want to learn drumming, you have to learn it from someone who knows much about it. 

It is good, if you want to learn drumming, you should learn from someone who knows it well. 

If you want to teach somebody how to drum, you show him all the corners in the drumming so that he will also know it. 

As you are going around, you should use your sense and be adding to what you have learned.


Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Chiefs and elders
Dakpema  (Dakpɛma)
Magaazhia  (Magaaʒia)

Musical terms and dances
A nyaakuna abaabife
A yi bori ni a be duniya, ni shee suglo  (A yi bɔri ni a be duniya,  ni shee suɣlo)
Adamboli
alijeeta  (alijɛɛta)
Amajiro
Ayiko
Bangumanga  (Baŋgumaŋa)
Baamaaya
Bassari-waa
Bululu
Damba
Gaabiti  (Gaabitɛ)
Gbada
gungong  (guŋgɔŋ)
Guruma-waa
Hankuri Zamanduniya
Jebo  (Jɛbo)
Kpakpatuli Jebo  (Kpakpatuli Jɛbo)
Kpinkpan-waa  (Kpiŋkpan-waa)
lundaa
lunsi
lunsi-drummers
lunsi-drums
lunga  (luŋa)
Madadaazi
Mamprugu-waa
Mohi-waa
Nagbiegu  (Naɣbiɛɣu)
Naanigoo
Nakohi-waa  (Nakɔhi-waa)
Nyagboli  (Nyaɣboli)
Nun’ da nyuli  (Ŋun' da nyuli)
prigiti
Tohi-waa  (Tɔhi-waa)
Tora  (Tɔra)
Taachi
Takai
Tiban taba  (Tibaŋ taba)
Waachi fuusi da yiko Allah,  shee waawa
Zamanduniya
Zambarima-waa
Zhim taai kurugu  (Ʒim Taai Kurugu)

Names and people
Adambila [Adam Iddi]
Adam Ibrahim
Alhaji Adam Alhassan [Mangulana]
Fuseini Alhassan [Jeblin]
Mangulana [Alhaji Adan Alhassan]
Mumuni [Alhaji Mumuni Abdulai]
Savelugu Taha-Naa Ibrahim Awulilana
Sheni [Fuseini Alhassan]
Yisifu [Alhassan]


Towns and places
Accra
Akwatia
Asamankese
Bobo-Dioulasso
Buya
Chereponi
Dagbon
Damborno
Kintampo
Kumasi
Kumbungu
Kusasi
Mali
Nanton
Savelugu
Sokode
Sunyani
Takoradi
Togo
Tolon
Voggo
Yelizoli
Yendi

Cultural groups
Arab
Ashanti
Bassari
Chilinsi
Dagbana, Dagbamba
Dandawa
Frafra
Gonja
Guruma
Gurunsi
Hausa
Kasena
Konkomba
Kotokoli
Ligbi
Mamprusi
Mossi
Wangara
Yarisi
Zambarima

Miscellaneous terms
Alhaji
Dagbani
Kurubi
Ramadan
calabash
chieftaincy
eye-opening
fugli-fugli  (fuɣli-fuɣli)
hankuri
maalams
Moore
not-knowing
pesewas
waistband
zamanduniya
zuliya  (tribe, clan)