A Drummer's Testament:   chapter outlines and links

Volume I Part 1:  Alhaji Ibrahim's Introduction to the Dagbamba Way of Living

I-1:  The Benefits of Friendship and Why We Should Do the Work as a Group

The story of the man and the dwarf

1.            introductory proverb
2-5.        the man and the dwarf meet in the bush
6-9.        their elders ask to meet the new friend
10-13.   they decide that the dwarf will go home with the man
14-16.   they discuss whether people will laugh at the dwarf
17.         a hunchback man laughs at the dwarf
18.         the dwarf treats the sickness of a blind man but adds to the sickness of the hunchback

Parallels to the friendship of John Chernoff and Alhaji Ibrahim

19.    the relation of the story and the project
20.    laughter and gossip about the friendship between John and the Dagbamba who work with him
21.    John in the position of the dwarf in the story
22.    how Dagbamba may be viewed by white people
23.    if the work fails, people will laugh at both friends

Intentions and foolishness

24.    what you wish shows your foolishness
25.    foolishness that has a purpose
26.    the importance of one’s intentions
27.    John’s intention to learn drumming; Alhaji Ibrahim’s intention to teach him

The responsibility of those who teach John

28.    story of the thief and the basket; the thief’s proverb
29.    explanation of the proverb with regard to the story
30.    explanation of the proverb with regard to how John’s work will be understood
31.    explanation of the proverb with regard to those who teach John

Recollection of John’s first training and Alhaji Ibrahim’s advice

32.    John’s frustration and Alhaji Ibrahim’s advice about patience
33.    advice about the intentions in one’s heart
34.    the heart knows whether the mouth is saying truth or lies
35.    Alhaji Ibrahim’s advice that John should never be annoyed; Alhaji Ibrahim’s awareness of John’s seriousness about learning
36.    advice that John should make himself small and make himself a fool
37.    the friendship of the Dagbamba toward John is promised and steady

Namo-Naa’s message and advice to John through Alhaji Ibrahim

38.    Namo-Naa’s question about the two important meats:  the heart and the tongue
39.    the heart and the tongue are the human being
40.    the heart and tongue let someone get something from another
41.    the heart is more important than the eyes
42.    the heart does everything

Drumming and living together will extend the friendship

43.    Alhaji Ibrahim could have refused John; but he gave John respect
44.    people know about the friendship of Alhaji Ibrahim and John;  friendship should be based on truth in order to last
45.    future history:  John’s children meet Alhaji Ibrahim’s children; how friendship expands
46.    Alhaji Ibrahim and John should respect their friendship
47.    the friendship is known to people in Dagbon; John’s lodging place
48.    many Dagbamba know about the friendship and are happy about how John is learning drumming
49.    Alhaji Ibrahim’s wish that the work will go forward well
50.    Alhaji Ibrahim’s happiness with the work and the extension of the work into these lectures
51.    the lectures will extend the drumming that is Alhaji Ibrahim’s work

The seriousness of the lectures about drumming to Dagbamba

52.    John should help with the lectures to make sure the work will be good
53.    the work will require planning, togetherness, and patience
54.    drummers talk about tradition; serious; some parts are hidden
55.    chiefs give gifts to a drummer who sings about tradition; sometimes sacrifices necessary for some drumming talks
56.    drumming's importance to the respect of chieftaincy; drumming's relationship to chieftaincy from it's starting
57.    drumming adds respect to everyone in Dagbon and every type of activity
58.    some people believe that talk about Dagbamba custom should not be shared; they would blame Alhaji Ibrahim
59.    Alhaji Ibrahim remains focused on respect and friendship
60.    the talks will present challenges to the friendship

Proverbs about the work

61.    how Alhaji Ibrahim will plan to do the talks; has started well
62.    proverbs have an important roles in the talks
63.    proverb examples
64.    explanation of the relation of the proverbs to the work and the group

The importance of friendship

65.    proverbs about friendship
66.    friendship is senior to family
67.    if you die, your knowledge can pass from your friend to your child
68.    the strongest friendship:  a husband and wife
69.    friendship is stronger than family in doing work

The importance of good intentions

70.    how good intentions will help the work
71.    John’s patience shows good heart
72.    drumming has helped Alhaji Ibrahim; wives and friends
73.    drumming like a lion; hold onto it and see its benefits

The importance of learning in a group

74.    John should add people to himself in learning drumming
75.    easier to learn in a group; a group will remember things
76.    John should bring others; witchfire proverb
77.    followers will extend the work John has done
78.    drummers enter everywhere in Dagbon; people like drummers, especially women and children
79.    how the children in Dagbon know John
80.    John should learn in a group and share knowledge, not hide it
81.    do the work with happiness and laughter; be attractive to people
82.    a bad person who follows into the work will not spoil it

The importance of good character

83.    John has shown good character and patience in learning; does not get annoyed
84.    good character helps get what one wants
85.    good character is recognized by people; one’s goos reputation will spread to other places
86.    good character brings people into a group
87.    leave behind those who do not have good character

Conclusion:  the fundamental proverbs of drumming

88.    the proverbs drummers first beat; Dakoli n-nyɛ bia
89.    conclusion:  the elders should be there for the children to learn from

I-2:  The Dagbamba Way of Living in the Villages and in the Towns

Wisdom:  asking and showing

1.      introduction; Tolon-Naa Yakubu’s name:  one person does not hold wisdom
2.      the one who asks has more sense (wisdom: yɛm) than the one who knows
3.      importance of showing sense to others
4.      holding sense without showing it is a fault to God

Education is not knowledge of tradition

5.      educated Dagbamba and teachers do not know the tradition well; limited in their knowledge and add mistakes
6.      benefits of writing down the tradition; importance of knowing one’s tradition

Village evening discussions:  model for Alhaji Ibrahim’s talks

7.      villagers hold on to the tradition more than townspeople
8.      evening discussions in the village are the same as how Alhaji Ibrahim is talking; older people gather outside house and talk

How village children learn customs

9.      village children respect old people; how a village child sits with his father and presses his legs while the father talks
10.    how the villagers gather and the old men talk
11.    examples of the types of topics; learn about customs; Alhaji Ibrahim grew up in a village, and even older people from the town ask him questions

Village children know Dagbani better than town children

12.    villagers speak Dagbani correctly; town children who don’t know Dagbani words
13.    older people listen to town children and don’t know if they are speaking Dagbani; village children pronounce words correctly
14.    town child who did not know numbers in Dagbani; used English
15.    Kissmal and Ben might not know Dagbani words used in idioms; tafirli
16.    main lesson for village children is to respect old people; town children don’t hold to that custom; villagers have sense and respect

Training of Alhaji Ibrahim and Alhaji Mumuni

17.    Alhaji Ibrahim born and raised in a village; trained by fathers the same way their fathers were trained; taught to fear
18.    how Alhaji Mumuni trains his children and talks to them

Differences between town children and village children

19.    town children don’t sit with elders; roam and go to cinema, Simpa dancing; do not want to suffer like village children
20.    how village children do work farming and as messengers; town children are not as reliable

Comparing town life and village life

21.    comparing town life and village life; village children trained to suffer; limited food for children
22.    villages don’t spend money much; don’t dress up
23.    town person can cheat another; villagers are afraid to cheat
24.    villagers fear being taken to the chief; if village child does bad, the father will be taken to the chief
25.    Alhaji Ibrahim prefers town; maalams say towns are better; villagers have suffering and difficulties and fears, but they have sense
26.    villagers with large families are bolder, can even challenge the chief
27.    villagers don’t travel, rarely come to town; old people just go to the farm and relax under a tree
28.    village children also don’t come to town; follow fathers to farm; tend animals; village children don’t trust town people

The character of villagers

29.    villagers avoid town because they don’t want to be involved in trouble; some old people pride themselves on never going to town; difficulties of villagers to get good food
30.    villagers do not talk about their problems; keep secrets; avoid entanglements
31.    villagers don’t like to borrow money; prefer gifts
32.    villagers freedom is different from town; free from troubles
33.    villagers are happy with village life; eat the food from the farm; don’t use money; peace of mind
34.    peace of mind of the villagers; clarity; town people get farming land from villagers; good relations

Modern times have reduced differences

35.    modern times:  town people and villagers are the same; villages are absorbed into the towns; the differences Alhaji Ibrahim talked about were more in the past
36.    less fear of the chief; village chiefs more empowered
37.    town people go to villagers for help; not the same distrust as previously
38.    village children have similar life to town children; mosque, football, films
39.    the differences Alhaji Ibrahim showed are from the starting of Dagbon; villages are modernizing

Some differences remain

40.    but many villages still holding strongly to custom; village children still more knowledgeable than town children
41.    Tamale children don’t know Dagbamba customs
42.    town children should learn their customs in addition to school education; the way Alhaji Ibrahim’s generation was is no longer there

I-3:  The Sense of Dagbamba and Their Living in the Olden Days

Knowledge of the past

1.      Alhaji Ibrahim’s age; he has seen many things he talks about from the olden days
2.      example:  when cowries were money
3.      knowledge of past also comes from asking older people
4.      example:  Alhaji Ibrahim’s father told him about hunger and how people ate taaŋkoro

Big differences from Alhaji Ibrahim’s childhood

5.      not everyone asks; those who don’t ask may doubt stories about hunger
6.      Gurunsi people traded children for food
7.      animals used to catch people; children had to be careful outside house at night

Money and the cost of living

8.      Alahji Ibrahim used cowries to buy food
9.      introduction of coins; coin names from cowries:  laɣ’pia, kobo, pihinu, etc.
10.    the amount of food one pesewa could buy
11.    the costs of things for Alhaji Ibrahim as a young man; the prices for animals

Foods and animals

12.    where people sold food on roadsides; costs of living during colonial time
13.    how Gurunsis carried chickens to Dagbon
14.    the uses of guinea fowls were in Alhaji Ibrahim’s early days
15.    the uses of goats for sacrifices to house shrines; compared to sheep
16.    the uses of sheep among Muslims
17.    how plentiful yams were
18.    how butchers slaughtered a cow and why they would give meat to children
19.    how butchers shared meat to the chief and elders

Benefits of knowing about one’s tradition

20.    many changes in Dagbon; children should know how their forefathers lived; a time will come when they will need to use traditional ways of doing things; examples:  fertilizer, grinding stone
21.    Alhaji Ibrahim’s generation was in between the white-man’s time and their forefather’s time; differences in the generations
22.    children should know about customs and about their forefathers’ lives; current generation thinks it has more sense
23.    not knowing custom leaves a child standing alone in the world
24.    the talks:  what future generations should know to call themselves Dagbamba; the talks are for those who will want them

Sense work and family lines

25.    the sense Dagbamba have learned is more than other tribes in Ghana; drumming and calling of names
26.    Dagbamba sense-work moves inside families:  drummers, blacksmiths, barbers, butchers; also weavers, leather-workers


27.    blacksmiths:  people from outside the family sometimes can learn it
28.    the work of blacksmiths; tools for farming, shaving and cutting; bracelets like baŋa and baŋgari
29.    blacksmith’s work for drummers and drum-makers:  adzes, knives, chaɣla, feeŋa, luŋ-bansi
30.    blacksmith’s work for chiefs:  weapons
31.    blacksmiths have respect from everyone because of the sense they have to make things people use

Weavers and other work

32.    weavers have sense; types of baskets and storage:  gamli, pɔŋ, kpanjɔɣu, pibirgu; puɣnai, zana mats
33.    sense of making different types of pots:  luŋli, kɔbaŋa, duɣu, yuli, kɔduɣu
34.    sense to make tandi for building blocks; putting roofs on rooms; weaving grasses onto roofs

Reflection on the work so far

35.    sequencing and pacing the talks; how Alhaji Ibrahim prepares for the talks
36.    transition to next talk:  the importance and strength of giving respect to others as part of custom

I-4:  Respect and the Dagbamba Way of Living Together


1.      Dagbamba character and way of living; complement to drumming talks; importance of respect in Dagbon


2.      relation of respect to continuity of custom
3.      give respect to people with position, older people; give respect to outside same as to your family
4.      respect to in-laws; both husband and wife
5.      essence of respect based on women; must give respect to get a wife and get children
6.      respect starts from respect to get a woman; true for all cultures; respect of women is inside all types of respect, including respect for strangers

Respect for people you live with

7.      story about family, friendship, and mingling; seniority or eldership of friendship to family and of mingling to friendship
8.      giving respect and living together with people:  bitter and sweet, quarreling and talking together again; importance of old people to show patience
9.      friendship can spoil and end; Dagbamba don’t let quarrels go far
10.    Dagbamba share the problems of people they stay together with in an area, whoever they are
11.    the strength of living together in an area; sitting together can bring family

Respect and eating together

12.    how Dagbamba gather and eat; blame a person who eats alone as someone who doesn’t want to share
13.    gathering and eating is strong in Dagbamba custom; how people group themselves to eat in a house or in within a nearby area
14.    gathering and eating together creates trust among people
15.    kpatabɔ; how children go from house to house to eat; how their fathers would gather outside the eldest’s house
16.    if someone has no friends to eat with, he will call a grandchildren or even a small child to eat with him; doesn’t want to eat alone
17.    women in the house also divide themselves into groups and eat together
18.    how a chief eats; eats alone but only eats a little then shares with those who are with him
19.    how someone eating medicine will gather and eat with others but will separate the food with the medicine

Respect and bluffing, or “showing oneself”

20.    Dagbamba do not like people who bluff others; princes who show too much price don’t get chieftaincy
21.    people who show themselves often from families of slaves
22.    drummers use drums to show people’s family standing
23.    respect to learning; Dagbamba don’t bluff about having or seeking knowledge

Respect for strangers and visitors

24.    giving respect to all types of strangers
25.    how Dagbamba receive a stranger
26.    the happiness of receiving a stranger
27.    Dagbamba are distinguished among tribes of Ghana for the extent they respect strangers
28.    comparison of Dagbon and the South
29.    trying to get whatever the stranger wants
30.    finding out what the stranger wants; taking the stranger to those who will help
31.    differences of a stranger you don’t know

How villagers receive strangers

32.    villagers keep fowls to feed a stranger
33.    if stranger will not stay in the village, the villager will give the fowl to the stranger to take away
34.    how the village children catch the guinea fowls from the napɔɣu
35.    how the villager gives the guinea fowl to the stranger
36.    how the women in the house and how the neighbors will share part of the stranger’s food
37.    importance of sharing the meat properly
38.    takubsi:  a gift to the child who takes the food to the stranger; its blessings
39.    greeting the stranger with water; how Dagbamba without fowls keep dried fish in case a stranger comes

The blessings of strangers

40.    strangers bring good luck; money or wife
41.    special blessings if a birth in the house when a stranger visits; a baby girl may be promised to the stranger or stranger’s child
42.    why people pray to receive strangers; stranger will speak well of them when he goes home; stranger will also receive them well
43.    how the blessings will extend to one’s children if they travel
44.    relation of talk of strangers to talk of mingling and living together; both good and bad

Transition to further talk of strangers

45.    transition to talk of how a stranger should behave in Dagbon

I-5:  The Way of a Stranger and How a Stranger Should Live in Dagbon


1.    Benefits of traveling:  experience
2.    traveling is good; traveler gains experience and knowledge, knows more than someone who hasn’t traveled
3.    traveling shows you your standard

Traveling and death; traveling and life

4.    traveling compared to death
5.    explanation of the comparison
6.    a traveler has no identity; a traveler can die
7.    living and dying compared to traveling in the world
8.    the good traveling is to where you know people; not like death
9.    newborn babies have the name “stranger”; everyone is a stranger or traveler in the world

How being a stranger is bad

10.  traveler should not have expectations
11.  traveler can unknowingly stay in a house with bad people
12.  strangers are warned about dangerous places or things in a town, but not about which people are bad
13.  strangers and townspeople do not talk about other people to one another
14.  a stranger and townspeople will be watching one another
15.  stranger will learn about a town before leaning about the house where he stays
16.  a stranger does not know the town he visits
17.  a stranger can lose his wife to a townsperson
18.  a stranger can stay in a bad person’s house
19.  a stranger should watch his householder’s character or will face difficulties
20.  a good stranger can defend a bad householder
21.  a bad stranger’s acts can cause a problem for a householder
22.  a stranger needs to be watchful; importance of luck

How strangers are good

23.  it is good to stay some days in a town; the townspeople will not know him
24.  if stay some days, stranger will get to know the town
25.  a person cannot hide his character
26.  townspeople who see that a stranger is good can give a wife
27.  a good stranger receives unexpected gifts and benefits
28.  a stranger can get respect he does not get in his home
29.  a learned stranger can give benefits to a town
30.  a stranger can come to know more about a town
31.  how John has come to Dagbon to learn

How a stranger should live with the townspeople

32.  how a stranger should try to fit in with the ways of a town
33.  the stranger should eat the local food
34.  the stranger should know that people will be studying him
35.  a stranger should not be proud; should have patience and respect
36.  a stranger should greet people
37.  if a stranger does not greet people, people will not look after him
38.  if a stranger greets the townspeople, they will help him
39.  a stranger should accompany the townspeople, but should not enter their quarrels
40.  a stranger should bring gifts and greet
41.  how John gives gifts to old people
42.  give gifts to children, or food
43.  a good  stranger will get benefit in return


44.  end of talk on strangers

I-6:  Greetings and Respect in Dagbon

Importance of greetings in Dagbon

1.  talk of greetings fits into many different talks
2.  greetings express good intentions and respect

Morning greetings in the house and neighborhood

3.  morning greetings between husbands and wives
4.  morning greetings to mother and wives
5.  wives greet one another and elders; kneel to greet senior person; give respect
6.  children in their own houses will come and greet their parents
7.  lengthy greetings with senior people in the area:  are we sleeping?
8.  if sickness or a problem, the area people will also come and greet; send messengers if serious

Festival day greetings

9.  happiness and good wishes; people go around and greet
10.  send children to greet people in other towns; greet people you don’t usually greet
11.  giving gifts on festival day
12.  eating better food and being satisfied also part of the festival day
13.  send children to greet at all your in-laws’ houses, with gifts
14.  send children because the householder should remain to look after the house

Eldership and greetings

15.  later, those you have greeted will also return greetings to you
16.  greeting example:  “leave you in front”; Alhaji Ibrahim’s eldership from sharing drumming money
17.  send the messenger back with a gift
18.  as people go to live in different towns, send greetings to their elders in other towns

Greetings to friends

19.  take a gift that the friend likes; the whole house will respond
20.  the friend will take you to greet the people in his town; old people will bless the friendship
21.  the people in your friend’s house will be happy with your gifts
22.  the townspeople you greeted will return the greetings with food
23.  you will get gifts when you leave for home; greetings show that one lives with people
24.  good to take someone along when going to greet; will see your respect
25.  greetings are friendship; be careful about greeting someone who cannot receive you well
26.  should greet the person who greets you; he will receive you well
27.  how Alhaji Ibrahim gives and receives gifts like that when visits friends in other towns
28.  good to visit and greet so that people meet and see the friendship

Greetings and respect

29.  greetings show character; someone who does not greet is seen as selfish
30.  should even greet people who do not greet you
31.  watch greetings and see people; different intentions
32.  greetings show respect; different greetings to chiefs, elders, money person

Greetings to money person

33.  money man and the chief greet and respect one another
34.  poor person who greets a money man shows happiness
35.  people greet the money person because of his money
36.  sometimes money person has more respect from friends than from family; shows how he treat them

Greetings to an old person

37.  everybody respects an old person because of the blessing of long life
38.  can greet any old person because of old age; squat when greetings
39.  respect an old person you do not know; gifts

Greetings to maalams

40.  every kinds of person respects maalams and Liman
41.  typical Dagbamba who are not Muslims greet Liman for medicine and prayers for farming
42.  money person also greets Liman for prayers and help
43.  Kamo-Naa also greets Liman for medicine and talismans
44.  the chiefs respects the Limam; helps the town to be cool

Respect to chief of drummers

45.  Namo-Naa or Lun-Naa; commoners, princes, and chiefs all need drummers


46.  people get respect because of what people want; different from greetings to family, friends, and festival greetings

I-7: How Dagbamba Send Messengers

Relevance of the talk of messengers

1.    sending people is important part of custom; an aspect of the talk of respect
2.    relation to Dagbamba way of living and identity of Dagbamba

Example:  getting a wife

3.    when asking to marry, send a messenger instead of going oneself
4.    send a friend to get “our” wife; get advice from an elder
5.    a messenger should have sense; know how to talk
6.    after the wife is promised, the messenger continues to represent the husband
7.    the messenger and other messenger will represent the husband at the wedding
8.    messengers give respect to both the receiver and the sender; don’t approach others directly

Example:  chiefs

9.      commoners do not go directly to the chief’s house; only certain elders do that, like drummers
10.    one does not address the chief directly; speak to an elder who talks
11.    one explains one’s purpose to the elder first; helps exchange ideas; adds to respect of chief

Example:  princes

12.    a prince sees elders before greeting his own father
13.    how princes send messengers to the chief who controls a chieftaincy they are looking for

The respect of a messenger

14.    sending a chief or a chief’s elder; high respect
15.    why a messenger gives respect to the sender
16.    messenger a witness to one’s way of living; someone who lives with people
17.    messenger a witness to gifts and transactions
18.    how messengers add other messengers to themselves
19.    a respected or older messenger more likely to succeed 

Examples:  how Alhaji Ibrahim is sent as a messenger

20.    example:  Alhaji Ibrahim as messenger or intermediary between child and parent
21.    Alhaji Ibrahim as intermediary between husband and wife
22.    how a husband’s messengers will beg for an offended wife
23.    messengers help people talk to one another; how friends exchange services as messengers

Example:  sending your wife to a funeral houses

24.    the respect of sending your wife to a funeral
25.    the work and behavior of the wife at the funeral house

Some vicissitudes of sending different people

26.    the problem of not having a good messenger
27.    how a messenger shows whether he is sensible or foolish
28.    sending sisters or wives; sending parents

Funeral houses

29.    the strongest messengers are for funerals; sometimes necessary to protect oneself from danger at the funeral house
30.    why a funeral house can be dangerous
31.    example:  jealousy against Alhaji Ibrahim’s sister’s at a funeral house
32.    Alhaji Ibrahim’s sister’s madness

How messengers can bring information back to the sender

33.    messenger can hear about and prevent a plot
34.    how messengers can bring luck or good news

Trading and borrowing

35.    messengers role in trading
36.    example:  what John would do for a messenger who came from Dagbon to his town
37.    importance of trust in the messenger, especially when borrowing
38.    sending your wife to borrow money

The importance of messengers in Dagbon

39.    sending of people as messengers is prevalent in Dagbamba society
40.    how a stranger gets a messenger
41.    necessity to get a messenger from the town itself to see a town’s tindana
42.    messengers important to everything one wants or does in Dagbon

I-8: The Debt of the Stomach

Introduction:  three things to pray for

1.    good health is more than wealth; the foundation of everything; householder needs health
2.    need health to travel
3.    first prayer:  to do the work, pray for health
4.    death is second:  need to pray for life
5.    third prayer is protection from Satan, or gossiping

Protecting the friendships in the team from gossip

6.    John should stand in front to protect the group from gossiping and those who would spoil the group
7.    Alhaji Ibrahim classifies the relationships within the team:  Kissmal (the duiker), Ben, Mustapha (the mouth)
8.    the team should encourage each other’s friendship, greeting one another and not talking about the others
9.    how a bad person can tell lies and separate the friends
10.    holding truth will keep everyone cool; the group is good; Alhaji Ibrahim like a plant and the others are branches

Questions about the benefits of the work

11.    this topic has a twisted way; story of how mouth is sick, and the parts of the body refuse to treat it, except stomach
12.    Alhaji Ibrahim the mouth, and John and the others are the stomach
13.    John’s reasons for coming to Ghana and Dagbon, and whether he has benefited
14.    everyone does work to get some benefit, or what he wants
15.    some people in Dagbon blame Alhaji Ibrahim for working with John; others advise him to charge John heavily; people believe that John is doing important work
16.    example of trader who talked to Alhaji Ibrahim about John
17.    even people inAlhaji Ibrahim’s house criticize him for working with John, but Alhaji Ibrahim values the friendship with John

Friendship and money

18.    Dagbamba don’t value money over friendship; some people refuse to let their daughters marry rich person
19.    but money is important; one needs money for everything; can even mean life if a person is sick and needs treatment
20.    money has good and bad influence; the friendship between Alhaji Ibrahim and John has not been spoiled by money matters
21.    a person uses money to get what he wants
22.    Dagbamba value friendship over money; should do work well without thinking about money, and will benefit

Patience and the benefits of one’s work

23.    one shouldn’t be impatient for the benefit; example of stirring porridge water
24.    the benefit of good work may extend to others even if John and Alhaji Ibrahim are dead
25.    when doing work one should not look for quick benefits, only pray for benefit; drumming like that:  work done with truth will last
26.    benefit can be in the form of a good name; one should start work without big ideas

Money and the work of custom

27.    we don’t know how we will benefit from this work; if it becomes a book, only some people will be interested; it’s not for the market
28.    work about custom is not for selling, but everywhere people look for it; John should not worry about the benefits of the work
29.    Alhaji Ibrahim is happy with the work; John can swear on Alhaji Ibrahim that the work passed from him; John should not worry
30.    people trying to spoil the friendship between Alhaji Ibrahim and John will talk about money

Friendship and debt

31.    friendship is like a debt that cannot be paid; the name of Savelugu-Naa Puusamli
32.    we should pray for protection against selfishness
33.    one should not ask too much from a friend; one can only give to one’s extent
34.    you should only do for your friend what you have the means to do
35.    friendship doesn’t have accounting; example of John breaking a drum Alhaji Ibrahim lent him
36.    the exception is medicine; medicine requires gift or payment even from friends or relatives
37.    Alhaji Ibrahim is not charging John; Alhaji Ibrahim’s name:  Money finishes, but wisdom does not finish.
38.    to stay in friendship, one should not try to do what the friend wants; one should not do what the friend doesn’t want

The friendship between Alhaji Ibrahim and John

39.    the friendship within the team has reached true trust
40.    many people are happy with the friendship and are praying for John
41.    John has come alone, but America is getting respect; John should be taking the good name of Dagbon to America

Giving gifts

42.    Ghana is in difficulties; when giving, one should try to gather something substantial and give it at once, not bit by bit
43.    Catholic fathers in Africa are rumored to leave large gifts in the bush
44.    giving gifts:  it is good to give something that people can see, something to stand for the friendship
45.    the person who gives gifts is someone who can afford to give   
46.    one who gives gifts does it for himself; the benefit of a gift extends; example:  praying mat or ablution kettle
47.    gifts are more than alms; how they extend and add to friendship
48.    giving shows that a person has got something before deciding to give; giving is good for the one who gives, the one who received, and to God
49.    proverbs about this talk; it relates to Dagbamba way of living and to the way of drumming

I-9:  Patience, Truth, and How We Should Do the Talks

Starting the work

1.    importance of truth; must talk what Alhaji Ibrahim knows
2.    John will need patience
3.    the talks are gradual; John is not broadcasting them prematurely

How the idea of the talks has evolved from the friendship of John and Alhaji Ibrahim

4.    Alhaji Ibrahim has been reluctant; sacrifices needed; the friendship has reached trust
5.    proverb about who will watch a groundnut farm
6.    an old person is someone who holds words, has wisdom
7.    wisdom requires sense and discretion; Alhaji Ibrahim and John are old men because of knowledge
8.    Alhaji Ibrahim wants the talk of drumming to join to the Dagbamba way of living; there should be no mistakes
9.    Alhaji Ibrahim will talk what he knows, and he will consult elders to continue; will talk into details with truth

Issues of mistakes and lies in talks about Dagbon

10.  types of lies:  adding talks beyond the extent of knowledge; talking without full understanding; trusting too much in what one hears
11.  the book John showed him had lies; the informant was not knowledgeable
12.  someone might lie to maintain his position as an informant or assistance
13.  someone might lie by choice, distorting talks that are supposed to be secrets or need sacrifices
14.  drummers are not supposed to talk openly about some things; forbidden; also receive blame
15.  some drummers will refuse to talk forbidden topics
16.  fear goes far into the past; Alhaji Ibrahim feels that wisdom should be shared if it can help people

Resistance to talking about Dagbon and opposition to Alahji Ibrahim’s work with John

17.  John will meet refusal, lies, and truth
18.  the knowledge in drumming is different from other types of knowledge, like farming; some Dagbamba think it should not be shared to outsiders
19.  some drummers and other people have been talking against John learning; jealousy
20.  some whites have advised Alhaji Ibrahim to charge John heavily
21.  others judge and assume things about Alhaji Ibrahim because of his friendship with John
22.  Alhaji Ibrahim doesn’t pay attention; learning drumming should have no charge
23.  Alhaji Ibrahim considered only considered the respect John gave; all the elders encouraged him
24.  the reasons people have against teaching outsiders are nothing
25.  when some gets something good, others will demean it so that the person will discard it; then they will take it
26.  others like Ibrahim Mahama have encouraged Alhaji Ibrahim to show John well and make Dagbon known
27.  formerly Dagbamba did not like white people
28.  times have changed; people do not fear one another as before

Alhaji Ibrahim’s knowledge as his heritage to be passed on with truth

29.  in Alhaji Ibrahim’s family, they don’t like liars; modern times has more liars
30.  the early white people got mixed up talks; their informants did not talk correctly
31.  Alhaji Ibrahim will talk what he learned from his elders; happy to do so because of friendship
32.  the person who learns your work is your child; John is always in touch with them
33.  Alhaji Ibrahim has taken John as his child in drumming; continue the knowledge
34.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s knowledge from his elders and his experience; truth endures
35.  people remember truth, not lies
36.  lies are like urine, do not go far

Trust and learning

37.  truth stands on solid ground; someone; John has a reputation for truth, people trust him
38.  some people may not trust this work, but will find it difficult to challenge
39.  some people just argue without having knowledge; others can compare John’s work to others
40.  people can argue from different understanding, but these talks are reliable; family talks their fathers
41.  differences in drumming talks from the extent; some have more details
42.  differences in learning can bring arguments, but drummers do not bluff those who are more learned
43.  what you hear might be wrong, so you should show the person who showed it to you
44.  some who tells truth will not suspect a liar
45.  patience helps; the talks will go far, like truth; liars have no patience for truth
46.  truth and lies contrasted; truth has strength to build something on
47.  liars find difficulties:  getting wife, borrowing money, being in a group

Separating a few types of lies that have benefit

48.  lying to prevent a quarrel; messenger repairs a talk
49.  separate the exceptions of lies that can be good
50.  repairing a relationship
51.  the reconciliation
52.  the lies have repaired the relationship
53.  lies to save a marriage; go between a separated couple
54.  adding people to help intercede
55.  the reconciliation of the married couple
56.  the blessings of repairing a marriage
57.  lies to prevent a fight between towns

The importance of seeking truth

58.  all other lies lead to trouble
59.  truth moves everything forward
60.  a human being should search for truth; use patience and truth to live with others

How the team should work together

61.  to work together, one should not see or hear too much; not be annoyed
62.  the team should maintain unity
63.  communicate so that no one is disappointed
64.  Alhaji Ibrahim wants to do the work
65.  John should help Alhaji Ibrahim plan the arrangement of the talks
66.  John should keep track of the talks and ask for necessary clarifications
67.  John should stay focused on the talks
68.  John should record the talks and keep good records
69.  John should keep track of the translations for errors
70.  John should add his own sense to make the talks nice
71.  John should not add to good talks, but the talks should go into details
72.  John should remind Alhaji Ibrahim of issues; they should go over the talks to check for mistakes
73.  John should ask question for verification so that the talks will not have mistakes
74.  John should hold questions and not interrupt too much, be patient to see where the talk is going
75.  questions are like junctions and can divert a talk into another direction; difficult to get back on track
76.  proverb about chief’s housechild will not struggle to hear Ʒɛm
77.  explanation:  be patient and the talks will eventually come to answer the questions
78.  we have to follow the talks to see where they will go; take time with them
79.  we should take the talks step by step


80.  transition to the talks of drumming