A Drummer's Testament:   chapter outlines and links

Volume I:  The Work of Drumming

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

Volume I Part 2:  Drummers and Drumming in Dagbon   

I-10:  The Work of Drumming

Alhaji Ibrahim's family lines in drumming

1.    introduction to Alhaji Ibrahim's life as a drummer
2.    drumming is from family; Alhaji Ibrahim's drumming from both father (drummer) and father's mother (Palo-Naa line)
3.    Alhaji Ibrahim's father's mother's line:  Bizuŋ through Palo-Naa Dariʒɛɣu
4.    Palo moved from Namɔɣu to Savelugu under Savelugu-Naa Mahami, son of Naa Garba
5.    Palo-Naas:  Dariʒɛɣu, Kosaɣim, Ziŋnaa, Wumbie, Kpɛmahim
6.    story of Palo-Naa Wumbie and Palo-Naa Kpɛmahim
7.    the line of Palo-Naa Wumbie
8.    Alhaji Ibrahim's father's mother's line from Palo-Naa Wumbie
9.    Alhaji Ibrahim's father's father's line from Naa Luro through Boggolana Mahama to Abdulai

Alhaji Ibrahim’s parents

10.    how Alhaji Ibrahim's father Abdulai was caught to become a drummer
11.    Abdulai follows Bukari Kantampara to Voggo and remains there
12.    Alhaji Ibrahim's mother Kaasuwa's line from Naa Luro to her father Sulemana through the chieftaincies of Zoggo, Singa, and Dalun
13.    Alhaji Ibrahim's mother's mother's link to blacksmiths
14.    how family lines mix
15.    how Abdulai got Alhaji Ibrahim's mother as a wife
16.    Sulemana follows Savelugu-Naa Mahami to war; gunpowder in a mortar: "worms die together"

Alhaji Ibrahim’s youth

17.    the children of Abdulai and Kaasuwa; four survived
18.    all are drummers; drumming catches one of Alhaji Ibrahim sister's children
19.    Alhaji Ibrahim grows up in Voggo, helps Alhaji Mumuni look after Abdulai
20.    after Abdulai dies, Alhaji Ibrahim goes to Nanton to live with Nanton Lun-Naa Iddrisu
20.    Alhaji Mumuni in Voggo, left for the South when British conscripted soldiers for World War II; Lun-Zoo-Naa Abukari in Abdulai's house
21.    Abdul-Rahaman leaves Voggo and does not learn drumming well
22.    drummers who do not learn drumming well; "a dry fish cannot be bent"
23.    Alhaji Mumuni's high standard in drumming; his experience in the South
24.    Alhaji Mumuni in Voggo and Savelugu, refused five drumming chieftaincies
25.    Alhaji Ibrahim's early lessons from Nanton Lun-Naa Iddrissu
26.    drumming talks have difference; some are not taught

Senior drummers and drumming in Tamale

27.    Alhaji Ibrahim moves to Tamale and stays with Alhassan Lumbila, Mangulana, and Sheni; Mangulana's name
28.    the friendship between Alhaji Mumuni and Alhaji Adam Mangulana
29.    the friendship between Alhaji Mumuni and Sheni
30.    Alhassan Lumbila, Mangulana, and Sheni's line from Tolon
31.    Alhaji Ibrahim in Tamale:  singing, beating guŋgɔŋ and luŋa
32.    Tamale has many people, more drumming events

Traveling to the South

33.    Alhaji Ibrahim stays in Kintampo; traveling and learning; Gonja and Wangara dances
34.    Alhaji Ibrahim stays in Kumasi; many tribes; learns to beat the dances of Zambarimas, Chembas, Dandawas, Yorubas, Gurumas
35.    drumming for Ashanti women and princes
36.    Alhaji Ibrahim stays in Accra; Mossi dances
37.    Alhaji Ibrahim stays in Takoradi; Wala dances

Patience and learning drumming

38.    Alhaji Ibrahim returns to Tamale; teaching; beating with knowledge
39.    patience and learning wisdom from Nanton Lun-Naa Idrissu and Sheni
40.    Alhaji Ibrahim's reputation for learnedness
41.    in order to learn, make yourself blind and a fool

Alhaji Ibrahim as a young drummer in Tamale; the story of Baakobli

42.    Alhaji Ibrahim's drumming as a young man; following elders to events; guŋgɔŋ and singing; market-day drumming
43.    story of following Baakobli to market
44.    beating praises and beating for horses to dance;
45.    Alhaji Ibrahim is injured by a dancing horse
46.    Baakobli gives gifts and money to Alhaji Ibrahim
47.    Alhaji Ibrahim annoyed about having to share the money; Sheni's advice about patience
48.    Alhaji Ibrahim seeing the benefits of patience
49.    Alhaji Ibrahim's respect and leadership

Differences among Dagbamba drummers; differences between Dagbamba and other drumming

50.    many different types of drumming in Dagbon
51.    differences in knowledge; women drummers' children: "I-don't-want-to-die" drummers
52.    different standards of learnedness in drumming
53.    learning is in the heart (interest)
54.    without the heart, will not learn; with heart can learn even without teaching
55.    Alhaji Ibrahim learned the dances of the tribes because of heart
56.    no tribe beats Dagbamba dances, but Dagbamba drummers beat other tribes' dances
57.    beating luŋa is different from other drums

Alhaji Ibrahim’s learnedness and respect

58.    learning like building a house, needs a strong foundation
59.    Alhaji Ibrahim's path to knowledge from learning and traveling
60.    Alhaji Ibrahim's leadership of drummers in Tamale
61.    Alhaji Ibrahim's craftsmanship in making drums
62.    Alhaji Ibrahim's leadership and respect because of knowledge
63.    example of Wangara funeral at Savelugu
64.    how Alhaji Ibrahim listens and learns
65.    importance of trying to do something well
66.    fast drumming compared to clear drumming
67.    Alhaji Ibrahim's group of drummers the leading Dagbamba drummmers

Differences between guŋgɔŋ and luŋa

68.    importance of luŋa to lead drumming
69.    Alhaji Ibrahim has reached the highest respect among drummers
70.    Alhaji Ibrahim leaves guŋgɔŋ to beat luŋa
71.    differences of guŋgɔn beating; Sheni's son Mohamadu's beating is interesting because he lived in the South
72.    using the left hand in beating guŋgɔŋ to increase the sound; example of Mohamadu's shyness beating guŋgɔn in front of Alhaji Ibrahim
73.    Mangulana's son Fuseini Jɛblin's guŋgɔŋ beating
74.    difference in guŋgɔŋ beating between Alhaji Ibrahim's youth and Jɛblin's time; Taachi drumming
75.    Jɛblin's extent in drumming

Differences between drummers in Dagbon and in the South

76.    drummers learn drumming to different extents
77.    drummers in the South do not know some drumming of Dagbon, like Punyiɣsili
78.    drummers in the South do not know as much about drumming for chiefs
79.    how chiefs dance compared to commoners; changing dances and changing styles
80.    drummers in North know more than drummers in the South; no one knows all of drumming
81.    importance of roaming to learn more
82.    conclusion

I-11:  The Respect of Drumming and How Drumming Started in Dagbon

Respect of drumming begins with learning

1.      introduction to the respect of drumming; drummers closeness to chiefs
2.      Alhaji Ibrahim’s respect is from his learnedness in drumming; learning with seriousness
3.      towns where Alhaji Ibrahim learned drumming:  Voggo, Nanton, Tamale, Kintampo, Kumasi, Accra, Takoradi, Yendi
4.      any work you do, you need to know the work well
5.      to learn drumming, have to learn about the nature of the work of drumming in tradition

Ways drummers show a person’s respect

6.      drummers show a commoner’s relationship to chieftaincy
7.      people want to hear about their grandfathers; drummers know the lines of a person’s family
8.      someone who doesn’t know his grandfathers can be abused as a slave; educated Dagbamba don’t know Dagbon as drummers do
9.      drummers know more about chiefs’ families than chiefs themselves
10.    people can learn about their families from their elders; drummers also know praise-names
11.    drummers show a person his or her respect by showing the family
12.    people can be surprised by drummers’ knowledge
13.    chiefs depend on drummers for their respect
14.    chiefs without drummers are not chiefs
15.    drummers’ knowledge is passed from generation to generation

Origins of drummers:  Bizuŋ and Naa Nyaɣsi

16.    Naa Nyaɣsi’s war against the tindanas; the towns were without chiefs during the time of Nimbu, Naa Gbewaa, and Naa Shitɔbu; Dagbamba at Yɔɣu and Yiwɔɣu
17.    Naa Nyaɣsi’s son, Bizuŋ, the grandfather of all Dagbamba drummers; Bizuŋ’s sadness
18.    Alhaji Ibrahim’s knowledge of these matters from Nanton Lun-Naa Iddrisu, Palo-Naa and Namo-Naa; Nanton Lun-Naa’s seniority; one should learn from someone who has eldership
19.    Nanton Lun-Naa:  Naa Nyaɣsi the father of Bizuŋ from a Guruma woman who died; Bizuŋ learned drumming from his Guruma grandfather, who gave him a broken calabash to lessen his sadness
20.    Bizuŋ beat broken calabash to beg for food
21.    some of Bizuŋ’s brothers and sisters insulted him and some were helping him; his Guruma grandfather made him a giŋgaɣinyɔɣu, a small drum like luŋa
22.    Naa Nyaɣsi gave Bizuŋ to Guruma man to train him in drumming; Bizuŋ said he did not want chieftaincy but would beat and repair family and friendship
23.    sense comes from worries

Origins of Namɔɣu:  Bizuŋ and Naa Zulandi

24.    Naa Nyaɣsi’s son Naa Zulandi becomes Yaa-Naa; Bizuŋ’s older brother eats Zugu; Zugulana Bim biɛ ka wuni gets praise as Dancing Chief (Waa-Naa)
25.    Naa Zulandi gives Namɔɣu to Bizuŋ (Namo-Naa); the meaning of Namɔɣu, sucking the breast of Yaa-Naa
26.    chieftaincy history as stories, proverbs, and names; basis of Samban’ luŋa
27.    how Bizuŋ was given chieftaincy, resembling Yaa-Naa; why Zugulana wears alichɛbba and does not go to Yaa-Naa for cola
28.    Namɔɣu first location at Yɔɣu, near Diari
29.    Bizuŋ’s popularity; wives and children; Bizuŋ teaches his children and grandchildren
30.    first-born of Bizuŋ is Lunʒɛɣu; meaning of Lunʒɛɣu as “red drummer”; elder drummers gave John the name
31.    Bizuŋ’s children and line are the drummers of Dagbon; Namo-Naa called Bizuŋ zuu; Lelbaa, Banchiri, Ashaɣu; Ashaɣu’s line the beginning of Palo in Savelugu: Dariʒɛɣu and Kosaɣim
32.    old drumming talks are in darkness; some drummers fear talking, and others say anything and lie; when such lies are written
33.    summary:  because of Naa Nyaɣsi and Bizuŋ, drummers and chiefs follow one another

Origins of drumming:  the tindanas; guŋgɔŋ and flute

34.    before Naa Nyaɣsi, no lunsi drums; drummers followed tindanas with guŋgɔŋ, yua, and luɣ’ nyini
35.    Nanton Lun-Naa:  seniority of guŋgɔŋ and yua; Namo-Naa’s version
36.    luɣ’ nyini also called luɣ’ yilgu; different from Kambonsi horn and Hausa alijɛɛta; origin of alijɛɛta in Karaga; luɣ’ nyini at Gushegu
37.    yua:  typical flute of northern Ghana; still played by Baamaaya and Jɛra groups, but in some places replaced by white man’s flute
38.    guŋgɔŋ the oldest; bataandana the name of ancient guŋgɔŋ and its drummers; beat and followed tindanas
39.    Alhaji Ibrahim saw bataandana with Nanton Lun-Naa at Damba Festival in Savelugu
40.    description of bataandana guŋgɔŋ at Savelugu; how it was beaten
41.    modern guŋgɔŋ from Hausas and bataandana; bataandana at Yendi and Savelugu; now at Tolon only, maybe
42.    wooden luŋa and gourd drum compared
43.    origin of carved wooden drum from Gurumas and Hausas
44.    seniority of guŋgɔŋ, yua, and luɣ’ nyini; why luŋa is their elder
45.    tindanas and chiefs; guŋgɔŋ for tindanas; no talks between drummers and tindanas

Music of the tindanas and chiefs:   Ʒɛm

46.    Ʒɛm the drumming for tindanas; guŋgɔŋ and yua; Tamale a tindana town
47.    Ʒɛm the first dance of Dagbamba dances; chiefs collected Ʒɛm from tindanas
48.    Ʒɛm beaten for installation of Yaa-Naa; also any chief’s installation or death
49.    how Alhaji Ibrahim learned about Ʒɛm and Baŋgumaŋa from Namo-Naa; the process of greeting and learning
50.    the drum language of Ʒɛm; the dancing of Ʒɛm
51.    guŋgɔŋ and yua in time of tindanas; no drumming names for tindanas or early chiefs
52.    the talks of Ʒɛm and Baŋgumaŋa are important and guarded; Alhaji Ibrahim could be blamed for showing it
53.    drummers in the time of Naa Nyaɣsi and Bizuŋ; at Kambaŋ' Dunoli near Diari and Yiwɔɣu

Relations of respect between drummers and chiefs

54.    Naa Nyaɣsi the grandfather of both chiefs and drummers; chiefs call drummers “my grandfather”; chiefs and drummers are one
55.    a drummer as an old person; an old person does not die; knowledge moves from old person to child
56.    unity of chiefs and drummers
57.    a quarrel between Yaa-Naa and Namo-Naa is a big thing
58.    how Yaa-Naa will beg Namo-Naa if they quarrel
59.    the strength of drummers and the house of Namɔɣu; drummers start beating with “Namɔɣ’ yili mal’ kpiɔŋ kpam!”
60.    formerly drummers did not farm; chiefs gave drummers food
61.    drummers were not sold as slaves
62.    drummers enter a chief’s needing an elder to accompany them; even princes do not do that
63.    respect of drumming; drummers enter everywhere; no chieftaincy without drummers
64.    drummers and respect:  give respect or reduce someone's respect; chiefs and princes have to be on good terms with drummers
65.    the strength of chiefs comes from drummers

The respect of drummers in Dagbon

66.    drummers are respected along with chiefs; everywhere people like drummers, even white people
67.    John has respect in Dagbon because of drumming
68.    respect is an exchange; a person gets respect who respects himself and gives respect to others; drumming is about giving respect

Respect and learning drumming

69.    need for respect to learn drumming and gets respect from it; Alhaji Ibrahim “M’ba Luŋa”
70.    people want drummers to see them and praise them; drummers show their respect
71.    importance of learning from someone who respects drumming; need for patience when learning
72.    drumming was by grandfathers for future generations; drumming a type of work that does not die; a learned person does not die
73.    at Samban’ luŋa, start drumming by praising God and beating proverbs; drummers thank God for old people

I-12:  Drummers and Other Musicians of Dagbon


1.      other musicians of Dagbon; Baaŋa:  anyone who beats
2.      everyone has his or her own position or work in Dagbon

The names of drummers

3.      “noise-makers”:  baaŋa; Monday and Friday:  Punyiɣsili, Biɛɣunaayo, Naa-Nyɛbu
4.      Punyiɣsili:   young drummers overcome shyness and learn singing
5.      Monday and Friday greetings to the chief
6.      Friday (Zumma) dancing at some chiefs’ houses
7.      “people who cause quarrels”; can abuse chief
8.      example:  war; drummer will insult chief or provoke war

Drummers as women

9.      “women”:  follow a chief from town to town
10.    “chief’s wives”:  call chief “my husband”; chief calls “my wife”
11.    Namo-Naa and Yaa-Naa quarrel:  like husband and wife
12.    how Namo-Naa begs Yaa-Naa, accompanied by the chief’s wives
13.    kneel and beat Tiŋ’ kurli
14.    chief’s gifts to Namo-Naa
15.    “Nabalima”:  beg the chief; drummers are forgiven for every offense


16.    Baaŋa a general name for those who beat and sing

Timpana, Akarima, and dalgu

17.    Akarima and timpana; origin from Ashantis and Naa Ziblim Bandamda; not in all towns
18.    drumming story:  origin of Akarima from Naa Bimbiɛɣu
19.    how old talks are; anachronisms in historical stories; example:  Akarima in Naa Luro’s talks
20.    dalgu drum, dal’ ŋmɛra:  Naa Daaturli, also called Naa Dalgu
21.    confusion in drumming talks:  anachronistic use of names and joining of names
22.    joining names is the way drumming is done; not a mistake or fault
23.    Akarima and Naa Luro; comparison of positions of Akarima and dal’ ŋmɛra
24.    use the name of Akarima to describe dalgu

Names in Dagbon

25.    the difficulty of drumming talks; how talks change; new things used to talk about old things
26.    summary of discussion of names
27.    confusion from names:  Naa Dalgu and Naa Daturli are same person
28.    types of Dagbamba names:  Muslim and non-Muslim
29.    proverbs as names, signs as names:  Naa Nyaɣsi’s name
30.    examples of names with meaning:  Bizuŋ, Lelbaa, Naa Tutuɣri, Naa Zokuli, Naa Zaɣli
31.    have to ask to know the reason or meaning of someone’s name; different from proverbs
32.    Naa Niŋmitooni:  story of Naa Zɔlgu, Naapaɣ’ Gaasinaba, and Naa Niŋmitooni
33.    Naa Siɣli’s name:  story of Naa Zaɣli and Naapaɣ’ Golgulana Ziŋnaa
34.    Naa Siɣli’s story:  Golgulana gives birth
35.    Naa Siɣli’s story:  Naa Zaɣli gives him the name “siɣli”; also Andani:  Andaan’ Siɣli
36.    summary of dalgu:  dal’ nyaŋ and dal’ laa


37.    goonji:  fiddle; how it is made; recent popularity; cannot be compared to traditional work from family
38.    goonji started from Naa Ziblim Kulunku; drummers have more respect
39.    comparison of drummers and goonjis
40.    goonji playing not from family; no family door; anyone can become a goonji; zaabia rattle
41.    origin of goonji as strangers from Guruma to Mamprusi to Dagbon during Naa Kulunku’s time
42.    example of drummers’ seniority:  how drummers and goonjis play at chief’s house


43.    jɛnjili:  not inside custom; the trees used to make it
44.    jɛnjili played in the house
45.    comparing the position of jɛnjili in recent times and in tradition
46.    jɛnjili in recent times:  Ramadan and harvesting
47.    jɛnjili not included in talks of custom; examples
48.    jɛnjili songs; compared to drumming work

Mɔɣlo and kuntunji

49.    mɔɣlo and kuntunji:  description of how they are made
50.    Alhaji Mumuni played kuntunji, mɔɣlo, and jɛnjili when young
51.    moɣlo:  an instrument for princes
52.    a drummer who plays mɔɣlo:  Ziong Lun-Naa Issahaku
53.    mɔɣlo:  also included in talks of custom

The greater respect and importance of drumming

54.    Alhaji Ibrahim’s happiness about being a drummer
55.    the respect and work of Dagbamba drummers cannot be compared to other musicians
56.    Dagbamba drummers for Ashanti chief at Adae festivals:  Gingaani, Bandamda; praise from Asantehene
57.    drumming is more important and more respected than other music
58.    drumming is about strength and respect
59.    transition:  next talk about how drums are made

I-13:  How We Make Our Drums and Gungons


1.    hard work to make luŋa and guŋgɔŋ

Luŋa in Dagbon and Asante

2.    Dagbamba drum superior in quality to Ashanti drum (donno)
3.    formerly Ashantis got lunsi from Yaa-Naa; also binda (Mossi calabash drum) and dalgu; gyamadudu, donno
4.    Asantehene gave cola to Yaa-Naa for the drums; no charge
5.    in olden days, no charge; you would go to drum carver and farm for him while he made the drum
6.    after Asantehene’s drums were carved, Yaa-Naa would get skins from chief of butchers and send to Namo-Naa to sew the drums
7.    how Yaa-Naa’s prince would accompany drums to Asantehene; thirty to forty days walk; how Asantehene would receive the drums and give cola
8.    in modern times, Asantehene buys drums; how Alhaji Ibrahim’s brother Sumaani made drums for Asantehene
9.    Alhaji Ibrahim the one selling drums in Dagbon; Ashantis and others from South come to Tamale to buy drums from him. 

Dangers of carving drums

10.    few people carve drums because cutting trees can make people sick; example of Tampion drum carver who became mad
11.    different types of bad trees in Dagbon
12.    karga medicine to protect someone who cuts trees; obtained from kasiɣirba, people who bathe dead bodies; other uses of karga
13.    people who carve drums do not prosper

Cutting trees and carving drums

14.    three trees:  taaŋa (shea), sacrifice of milk; kpalga (violet tree), sacrifice of cowries; siɣirli (cedar mahogany), sacrifice of hen and then carve the wood in bush
15.    nowadays no sacrifices; reason behind the problems
16.    drum from a bad tree can kill a drummer who uses it; drum makers don’t live long; only three in Dagbon, at Tampion
17.    siɣirli the best, very hard, not common; siɣirli drums last long; John’s small drum more than hundred years old
18.    drum-making is hard work; four tools:  axe to cut tree, adze to make hole, cutlass to trim, korgu (curved knife) to carve and scrape; two days to make

Preparing the wood

19.    knife to scrape and smooth the outside and stone to smooth the  mouth
20.    repair holes in wood; formerly used bee’s wax, now use glue and wood dust; shea butter on the wood

Preparing the skin

21.    buy skins from butcher; goat skin is better than sheep; female goat has lighter skin, better sound
22.    skins sometimes difficult to get
23.    use water to soften skins, inside pot until early evening
24.    use korgu to scrape and clean skin, removing any meat; put back into water
25.    soften the skin with ashes and seeds from type of melon (yɔɣli) inside pot until next day; remove skin from pot and remove hair and wash any scent away

Sewing the skin

26.    split and trim reeds from mat; get type of long grass (kpari), in market and also in Dagbon near rivers
27.    make lun’ kuɣra, a ring to seat the head on the drum, by wrapping kpari around the cut reeds
28.    fit skin to ring; lundi’ sherga, the sewing string, how it is made; how the skin is sown; final cleaning

Lacing the heads

29.    the lundihi, the strings that hold the heads; use skin of calf, also bush antelopes (gbɛɣu, walga, kparbua, bambua, saŋkpaliŋ, kɔɣu); some are harder than others
30.    strings from bush animal last long; can use tanned goat skins (red) but are not strong, will dry out and break, not preferred
31.    making the strings:  clean and remove hair, dry, cut thin strip,  soak and roll it; dry it and soften it by rubbing on stone or ceramic; not necessary for goat skin, already soft
32.    finishing the drum:  smooth the mouth, fit the heads, and lace with the strings; tie with leather to seat the heads well; dry overnight

Variations among drums

33.    different skins affect the sound of different drums; from the tree and the wood, also from the carving; male or female, white or black; drum maker has to observe to know which type of skin for any individual drum; sometimes need to search for appropriate skin
34.    differences also from length of drum, length or width of neck between the two bowls, from carving, from the bowl; head is more important; some drums do not sound well
35.    differences from skins; light and thin usually better, but break easily; during dry season, skins become thin and break often; drums sound different in South because the air is not as dry
36.    lundihi affect the drum; spacing of the strings; also can dry out, cannot squeeze the drum; also affected by cold; different sound in different places
37.    olden days drums better craftsmanship than modern drums; drummers prefer older drums; the neck and inside are smoother and wider; sound better
38.    new drums change as wood dries; weak wood warps; if tree is mature, the wood will not shrink; main factor in the sound
39.    skins affect the sound; when drum is beaten for some time, the sound changes; drummer may not hear the sound well; spectator will hear it differently

The drumstick

40.    making lundoli, different trees:  puhiga (tamarind), dazuli (gardenia), kuliŋbinli, nim
41.    use short-handle axe (lehu) to carve sticks; make head first then carve neck
42.    to bend stick, put into boiling water; tie neck with rope and bend and tie
43.    untie rope the next day; carve handle; finish and smooth; make hole to tie leather string from neck to handle
44.    many sticks break when bending; younger trees are better for bending
45.    puhiga best; kuliŋbinli next, but too light; dazuli easy to bend, strong and heavy; nim tree frequently breaks

Sewing guŋgɔŋ

46.    introduction to making guŋgɔŋ; use trunk of tree
47.    needs somewhat thick skin:  male goat, saŋkpalin, gbɛɣu, bambua; kɔɣu too thick; use type of rope (gabga) to seat the skin
48.    two people to sew guŋgɔŋ; skin with hair outward over mouths; secure with rope
49.    guŋgɔŋ strings (gbandaa) made from bush animals or cows; thick
50.    turn skin over rope and use awl to punch holes; as sew the two mouths, you pull the gbandaa strings along rope to seat the skin; gbankuɣra or guŋgɔŋ kuɣra
51.    gbanchirga:  pieces of skin to close the sewing hole and prevent tearing
52.    second person on other side of guŋgɔŋ; sew from one side to another
53.    sew around guŋgɔŋ, then trim excess skin; make hole for string to secure cloth to hang guŋgɔŋ
54.    dry the guŋgɔŋ; scrape or shave the hair; tie chahirga, the small string across mouth that vibrates
55.    gbandarigara:  strips of leather to tie to gbandaa and tighten the mouths
56.    have to tighten guŋgɔŋ before beating it; if it loosens from beating, tighten it again
57.    guŋgɔŋ voora:  pulling the guŋgɔŋ;  if the gbandaa stretch over time, have to go around the guŋgɔŋ and pull them to tighten the skin of the mouth again


58.    transition to how a drum is beaten

I-14:  How a Drum Is Beaten

Basic techniques:  left and right hands

1.    drummers have different ways of holding a drum
2.    using the left arm on the strings
3.    right hand must be quick, but left hand also has to work; on guŋgɔŋ, the left hand must press lightly to work the chahara
4.    the left wrist talks for the heart
5.    the left hand:  differences among drummers in how clearly they can be understood; cool the heart and cool the arm
6.    right hand must be flexible; zambaŋa (cat) medicine
7.    beating too fast is not good; start slowly
8.    right hand (stick) should be a bit fast and left hand slow; help to change the sound

Training:  continuity from teacher to student

9.    drummers have different hands (ways of beating)
10.    someone’s beating resembles the one who taught him
11.    need patience to progress far and correctly in drumming; contrast two guŋgɔŋ beaters:  Alhassan Ibrahim and Abdulai (Seidu) the Boxer
12.    need patience both to teach properly and to learn

Foundation:  take a gradual approach to teaching

13.    teaching should be gradual, step by step
14.    John’s beating; John should use experience or learning to overcome lack of flexibility in his wrist
15.    John trying to learn many dances too quickly; Alhaji Ibrahim would have wanted to teach only three dances as a foundation
16.    drumming compared to reading; use the basic foundation to learn other dances quickly
17.    after learning, the increase in styles (variations) comes from experience

Adding to experience by listening and watching

18.    learning drumming comes with time, if the drummer wants to learn
19.    learn, listen to others, learn their style
20.    to learn, join lumbɔbli (supporting drums) and listen to the lead drum or the guŋgɔŋ
21.    cannot join other drummers if don’t know what to beat
22.    therefore, join the lumbɔbli and listen to hear styles
23.    when you start learning, your drumming seems weak because you don’t know much; need to add knowledge; John should continue his practices

Using a good drum to learn

24.    one can know a good drummer from the sound of the drum
25.    use a good drum to teach; help in learning; if use a bad drum, one cannot hear the sound well

Variations and styles

26.    styles and ways of beating can make one dance seem to be different dances
27.    comparing Alhaji Ibrahim’s beating to Adam Iddi (Adambila); Adam can beat fast to make the dance hot, but Alhaji is better
28.    Adam has not traveled or learned many styles; his drumming is one-sided
29.    if know many types of dance-drumming and praise-drumming, can change to play differently; Adam plays fast and hard, only good for some times

Training:  correcting a student

30.    one beats the way one has learned
31.    only a senior drummer will correct a drummer who makes mistakes
32.    some drummers accept correction; others do not

Training:  teacher needs respect

33.    one needs a good teacher; example:  Arts Council and schools don’t pay well and cannot get good teachers
34.    the schools are not serious that the students learn properly

Comparing the drumming of young people and older people

35.    students beat and dance too fast and too roughly
36.    old people who know how to dance do it smoothly
37.    drummers beat and follow the feet of the dancer
38.    young people overdo the dance and rush

Drumming should follow the dance and the dancer

39.    drumming has different ways; have to follow the dancers
40.    different drumming styles come from different dancers; villagers, men, women; townspeople have more changes
41.    differences between townsperson and villager; village drummers beat better for village dancers
42.    town drummers are better because they beat more often; more events; helps for remembering
43.    at a gathering, everyone dances, even those who don't know how; one can see the ones who dance better

Changes in drumming to follow dancers:  coolness and “showing oneself”

44.    drumming styles:  some are talking and some are according to the specific dance; older drummers change styles slowly, "curve" the dance
45.    social gathering:  individual dances (like Naɣbiɛɣu or Naanigoo); drummers follow personal choices
46.    drummer should not change too much or mix dances; have to beat according to the dancer
47.    changing from one dance to another is different from changing styles in one dance
48.    dancers shouldn't dance too many dances
49.    different styles inside one dance; addition, or increase
50.    adding style by showing oneself; add personal expression; example:  Nantoo Nimdi
51.    sometimes need to beat hard to make the drumming strong for the dancers
52.    sometimes need to beat coolly
53.    whether cool or strong, drumming has to follow the dancing; beating with sense; older drummers are better because of experience
54.    differences:  villagers don't change much, students try to change too much; changes should be clear
55.    young drummers are not cool

Example:  Takai

56.    Takai should be danced coolly, slowly, and smoothly
57.    Takai:  play without changing until dancers make full circle and knock the iron rods
58.    drummers wait to change; follow the dancers' sticks
59.    the changes of styles have to follow one another and match the dancers' movements

Following the dancers

60.    drummers know individual dancers and can drum to fit his or her dance
61.    with new dancer, change drumming until find styles that fit; drumming compared to having sex

Changing styles:  listening, continuity and resemblance

62.    best drumming:  follows dancers and curves the beating; changes should follow clearly
63.    successive styles should resemble and follow one another
64.    advice to John:  to improve, listen to the current style to get ideas for changing
65.    how some styles from different dances resemble each other; have to know differences; example:  Takai and Kondalia
66.    adding proverbs or names to fit the beating of the dance; how to introduce the styles clearly
67.    respect the drumming; if a current style sounds nice, can continue to beat it

Knowledge and patience in drumming

68.    people respect John's drumming because he doesn't make mistakes
69.    experience:  clear sound, beat correctly, use patience with styles, avoid fatigue with knowledge
70.    changing:  don't think to choose from repertoire of knowledge instead should listen and find resemblance
71.    changing:  don't change too quickly
72.    drumming proverbs that serve as advice to John
73.    health and patience are key to anyone's achievements
74.    example:  cleaning the drum strings (lundihi); importance of patience
75.    better to travel and actually learn something
76.    Alhaji Ibrahim has seen John's patience

Volume I Part 3:  Music and Dancing in Community Events

I-15:  Proverbs and Praise-Names


1.  drummers use sense to use proverbs for praise names and dances


2.  their characteristics and types
3.  meaning is not clear; doing its work involves interpreting it

Examples of proverbs and their meanings

4.  example:  “if a river is dry”:  interpreting the proverb; thinking and asking
5.  further explanation of the proverb; extended to someone with knowledge
6.  in custom, when give a proverb, do not show its meaning; person has to interpret
7.  why give proverbs; proverbs are two talks, different possible meanings
8.  example:  “people are talking”; two talks or meanings; good and bad
9.  further explanation:  John's reputation in Dagbon

Proverbs as indirect talk

10.  proverbs are not straightforward; need for patience to understand the reference
11.  indirect reference:  "bury a dead goat"
12.  "how is the market is not friendship" refers to greeting
13.  "stealing somebody's back" reference to gossiping
14.  "gather to bury shea nuts"
15.  proverb has many talks inside it; don't want to say something directly
16.  indirect talk for something you are shy to say

Proverbs make talk sweet

17.  proverb adds to talks
18.  proverbs give long thoughts; people like long thoughts
19.  proverbs show people sense
20.  the sense of proverbs can give a warning or advice; help people live correctly
21.  proverbs are for people with sense; have to hold the meaning

Drummers and proverbs

22.  drummers have proverbs; their sense started from worries and sadness as orphans
23.  drummers use proverbs to praise people, as a name to fit the person
24.  the name helps people know more about a person

Examples of praise names

25.  example:  how a proverb might apply to someone
26.  Nama-Naa Issahaku's name
27.  Alhaji Ibrahim's names

How praise names are beaten

28.  name can be spoken, sung, or beaten on drum; the drum can imitate the language
29.  many people can recognize their names when beaten on a drum
30.  drummers learn praising; different ways to beat names; singing while beating is difficult
31.  in addition to language, drumming has meaning in the reason why it is beaten

Learning to hear drum language

32.  people can ask to know the meaning of the drumming
33.  people learn to hear drumming talks to different extents; some chiefs learn it gradually; chiefs like Tolon-Naa Yakubu and Nanton-Naa Alaasani hear well because are close to drummers
34.  chiefs can learn it as princes; befriend and sit with drummers
35.  how a prince befriends a drummer to learn more
36.  the prince meets the drummer quietly in the night; doesn’t talk about what he learns
37.  a prince does not show his knowledge in public
38.  if such a prince becomes a chief, might even correct a drummer
39.  differences among chiefs; many do not know much; elders sit near and help them
40.  Alhaji Ibrahim wants John to learn to beat proverbs and to write down the drumming

Drumming in Hausa and Dagbani

41.  many proverbs are beaten as names; Hausa (Taachi) and Dagbani
42.  examples:  Hausa and Dagbani versions of the same proverbs
43.  Dagbamba proverbs that are beaten on a drum
44.  Hausa proverbs that are beaten on a drum

The benefits of praise names

45.  proverbial names enhance a person and also enhance the culture
46.  a name can hold a person back; drummers will correct it
47.  drummers praise a person with the grandfather’s name; enlightening

Praise names and family

48.  proverbs are old talks; proverbs are with everybody
49.  drummers keep alive the names of dead people within a family
50.  drummers know people’s families; family compared to a tree

Praise names and chieftaincy

51.  every Dagbana has a relationship to a line of chieftaincy
52.  a commoner comes from a chieftaincy line that has separated
53.  all Dagbamba have some relation to Yaa-Naa; even typical Dagbamba from Naa Niŋmitooni
54.  the “children” of Naa Nyaɣsi were not all his actual children
55.  if a prince marries a commoner, the child can become a chief
56.  chieftaincy lines mix and separate; many ways; can go to far ancestor, like drummers to Naa Nyaɣsi
57.  Alhaji’s mother’s side is Naa Siɣli; no longer a door to Yendi
58.  everyone is a chief’s grandchild; examples:  Naa Zoli, Savelugu-Naa Mahami

How drummers praise within a family

59.  when drummers praise people, they start with grandfather’s name; show person’s family line
60.  praise a commoner with praise-name of a chief; all the chiefs have lines; people know to varying extents
61.  drummers’ work:  praising and showing the family; makes people happy; get money as gift
62.  family can be traced to different origins; example:  Alhaji Ibrahim from Savelugu and Voggo

Praise names and knowledge of a family

64.  drummers know a person’s family to varying extents; compared to levels of schooling
65.  people learn about their family lines from praising
66.  praising and drumming always related to chieftaincy; chiefs and drummers are one
67.  the old talks (history) are behind both the chieftaincy and the drumming; not written

Praising at gatherings

68.  example:  praising at a funeral house
69.  how drummers praise people with proverbial names; excites people
70.  example:  man who killed his horse when praised
71.  at gatherings, drummers use praise to invite people to dance; dancers receive money from friends and relatives; drummers collect it
72.  gatherings are ways to help one another; go to funerals to support people; money makes support visible
73.  the giving of money, from talking truths about gathers and grandfathers
74.  people are happy at gatherings; hearing the good names of their forefathers
75.  when drummers don’t recognize someone; example:  Nyohinilana Pakpɔŋ pointed out to drummers, who then praised her
76.  people show themselves to the drummers
77.  other people will tell the drummers about a person; this showing oneself is not like bluffing
78.  gathering place:  people get to know one another and their families
79.  drummers also show the lower status of some people
80.  drummers can show the high standing of a quiet or shy person
81.  drummers show family relationships by using the same praises for different people
82.  sometimes relatives didn’t know their relationship unless drummers show them

Praising and sense

83.  drummers find appropriate names for people
84.  drummers use their knowledge to turn praise-drumming to dance beats
85.  Naa Mahamadu’s names
86.  using a name for dancing; can dance to a forefather’s name
87.  drummers have a lot of sense

I-16:  The Praise-Name Dances and The Benefits of Music


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

I-17:  How a Person Should Dance


1.  overview:  the starting of different dances
2.  dances are not grouped, such as for women or men; drummers beat all dances
3.  there is dancing at many occasions

Benefits of dancing

4.  dancing shows happiness; even at final funerals; drumming but no dancing during burial time
5.  some burials have no drumming; Kulunsi after return to house; praising; dancing at final funeral; exceptions
6.  dancing especially for old person’s funeral; happiness for long life
7.  dancing and happiness go together
8.  dancing makes a town good; increases a town’s name

Dancing styles and projection of character

9.  different styles of dancing add to the dance; make it nice, reflect happiness and cool heart
10.  the dance shows the heart of the person
11.  dancing with respect; patience and coolness
12.  different types of dancing reflect different types of human personalities
13.  showing oneself; project coolness, happiness, and self-respect
14.  dancing is a choice; what the heart wants
15.  example:  at market show part and hide part of what you sell; or who you are; preserves respect

Dancing movements

16.  dancing:  good to dance coolly, with respect and patience; not roughly
17.  no particular meaning to movements; try to follow traditional precedents; acknowledge elders
18.  respect tradition with dress
19.  good dancers dress dance appropriately to the drumming and the dance itself; don’t mix styles
20.  older people know tradition; dance better than young people
21.  older people have more knowledge of traditional significance
22.  experience and knowledge make the dancing nice

Dancers and drummers

23.  experience:  it is good to know the dance and learn it well
24.  the dancer can follow the beating of the guŋgɔŋ
25.  dancer can also engage the drummer; drummer can help the dancer
25.  Nakɔhi-waa originally had movement from drummer; now some other dances

Learning dancing

26.  can learn dancing from watching and not from asking
27.  try to dance to resemble an admired dancer one has watched
28.  when people are dancing, people look at them
29.  can learn dancing by watching and listening
30.  styles of movement from the type of dance; some dancers don’t have many styles

Dancing of chiefs and commoners

31.  Damba does not have many styles; movements reflect chieftaincy
32.  formerly the commoners did not have dance circles as at today’s gatherings
33.  formerly an offense for commoner to dress or dance like a chief
34.  modern days, the chiefs and commoners are closer
35.  modern times are good for drummers because life is easier
36.  people know one another’s standing at the gathering place
37.  when a person dances, drummers show the family; the dance should reflect relationship to ancestors

Dancing of princes

38.  showing oneself in dancing is not bluffing; but princes don’t show themselves
39.  princes put limits on dances and styles
40.  different dancing styles for a prince who gets chieftaincy; will not hide
41.  differences in dancing of chief, commoner, prince

Dancing and styles

42.  the beating shows which dances have styles, but styles are not as important as dancer’s projections
43.  cool dancing is interesting, but should follow the drums; make the dance look nice
44.  dancer follows the beating; follows the guŋgɔŋ and all drums together
45.  drummers can show dancer how to move; makes the dance nicer for everyone
46.  change dances when drumming changes; different tribes dance with different parts of body
47.  dancing mainly in the legs; use of arms in Nakɔhi-waa
48.  Nakɔhi-waa is difficult; sometimes Nakɔhi-waa dancer’s arms are just adding movement; Naanigoo is nice without many styles
49.  drummers adjust beating to individual dancer’s movements

Men’s and women’s dancing

50.  women also dance in Dagbon
51.  differences in men’s and women’s dancing from the body; women more discreet
52.  woman’s body is loose, can move faster; man has more strength
53.  man dances, turns, and shows smock; women show beauty
54.   women dance with more shyness; feet in and out; Zamanduniya good for women
55.  women’s arm movements in Damba, Naɣbiɛɣu, Naanigoo; foot movements in Nakɔhi-waa

Dancing and tribal styles

56.  Damba movements
57.  Mamprusi dance movements


58.  dances are different; people call both drummers and goonji groups
59.  transition to group dances

I-18:  Baamaaya, Jera, Yori, Bila, and Other Dances of Dagbon

Ways to classify Dagbamba dances

1.  group dances different from individual dances; older; for particular occasions
2.  Takai, Tɔra, Baamaaya, and Damba are the best know Dagbamba dances
3.  Jɛra:  only in some towns; for certain types of funerals
4.  different ways to classify the importance of dances
5.  importance of Ginggani to chieftaincy; when a chief comes outside his compound
6.  the important dances are Takai, Damba, Tɔra, Baamaaya, Jɛra; the old dances are Jɛra, Yori, Bila, Nyindɔɣu, and Jinwarba dance
7.  importance from drumming perspective:  Damba, Gingaani, Samban’ luŋa
8.  everyone knows Takai, Tɔra, Baamaaya; children play them
9.  children learn Takai, Tɔra, and Baamaaya at an early age


10.  nowadays for funerals and festivals; formerly recreational music danced in the night
11.  danced to escape mosquitoes at night
12.  original meaning was Daamaaya:  the market is cool
13.  dancing was different; Baamaayaa was Tuubaaŋkpili; current Baamaaya dancers do not know their origins
14.  this information from old people who were there
15.  Daamaaya not common; replaced by Tuubaaŋkpilli
16.  how Daamaaya was danced; in a line with scarves; women also danced it
17.  Daamaaya dress was jɛnjɛmi, not skirt; women would give the scarves
18.  Tuubaaŋkpilli dress was piɛto oe kpalannyirichoo; replaced by mukuru; Gbinfini-waa (naked dance); use of chaɣlaa
19.  Daamaaya and Tuubaŋkpilli compared; different dancing and dress
20.  Daamaaya songs; proverb about fisherman explained
21.  Daamaaya songs; gossip and abuse; like Atikatika; many chiefs did not like it and forbade it
22.  Tuubaŋkpilli has become Baamaaya; its songs; other dance beats added like Nyaɣboli
23.  current Baamaaya dancers do not know the original beating; drummers know it better
24.  many people do not know this talk about Baamaaya


25.  old dance; danced at certain funerals:  chiefs, old person, relative of Jɛra dancer
26.  in only a few towns, not everywhere; Changnayili, Jimli are two examples
27.  Jɛra danced with medicine; need protection; moves inside families
28.  use of kabrɛ medicine in Jɛra dancing
29.  dangerous to touch a dancer’s leg; the dance shows strength
30.  use small guŋgɔŋs and one luŋa; use shakers, saaŋsaaŋ and feeŋa
31.  Jɛra songs are proverbs; different types


32.  for women chieftaincies; danced by Gundo-Naa and Yendi princesses; hold clubs; no singing
33.  the dance is not common; the beating is the same as when shaving funeral children
33.  Yori is restricted; not beaten outside its traditional role


33.  rare; not in every town; only for some chiefs; examples:  Yendi, Yendi Gulkpeogu, Tuuteliyili, Karaga, Gushegu, Mion
34.  use only guŋgɔŋs, but sometimes add drummers
35.  many medicines used in Bila; dancers show powers and perform wonders
36.  the wonders:  Alhaji Ibrahim has not seen but has heard from others
37.  knocking a Bila dancer’s leg is forbidden; dangerous; from typical Dagbamba

Other dances

38.  Bila and Nyindɔɣu not popular for beating; children do not know them
39.  Nyindɔgu and Dimbu are like Bila; at Yendi Gulkpeogu and Gushegu; Nyindɔgu no drums, only songs and hoes; many forbidden things
40.  Gbɔŋ-waa:  barbers’ dance; not beaten by drummers; only on certain occasions
41.  Gbɔn-waa for funeral of an old barber; sung in the house

Comparing the dances

42.  these dances are different from Takai, not part of community gatherings; Takai for any occasion;
43.  dances of eastern Dagbon, many tribes have mixed there; Baamaaya and Jɛra more for western Dagbon
44.  Yendi side and Savelugu side were separated until Naa Alaasani’s time; dances were also localized

Drummers' knowledge of dances

45.  drumming talks are many; one can only know one’s extent
46.  Dagbamba drummers beat dances of other tribes; no tribe can beat Dagbamba drumming
47.  Dagbamba drummers learn other tribes’ beating to beat for that tribe’s person to dance
48.  learning is from the heart; Dagbamba have a lot of sense; but not white men’s or soldiers’ beating


49.  transition to talk of Takai and Tɔra

I-19:  Takai and Tora


1.  leading Dagbamba dances; old; a pair; dancing must be learned
2.  basic description of the two dances
3.  similar beating; Nyaɣboli, Ŋun Da’ Nyuli; some songs the same


4.  the movements are nice; out and back to knock buttocks
5.  difficult to dance; needs strength; can get hurt
6.  need to learn Tɔra; young girls learn it in play
7.  very traditional dance; only women dance it
8.  women can dance men’s dances, but men don’t dance Tɔra
9.  Tɔra widely known among women

Tɔra performance

10.  Takai and Tɔra danced for occasions; for funerals, or called for a gathering
11.  Tɔra similar to Takai; funerals, weddings
12.  Tɔra especially for when shaving the heads of the funeral children, or funeral prayers; beaten at night for four or seven days
13.  cola and money to call Tɔra as an invitation; what the Tɔra dancers do for drummers; gifts and food

Tɔra’s origins

14.  Tɔra’s starting in Samban’ luŋa:  Naa Yenzoo’s wives and elders jealous of his friendship with Jɛŋkuno
15.  chief’s wives lied to accuse Jɛŋkuno of having sex with them
16.  Jɛŋkuno ran away; Gbanzaliŋ and the chief’s wives danced Tɔra

Tɔra’s beating

17.  three dances inside Tɔra:  Tɔra Yiɣra, Kawaan Dibli, Nyaɣboli; their songs
18.  Ŋun Da’ Nyuli added; its songs
19.  Tɔra songs; singing stops as dance heats up
20.  start beating with Tɔra Maŋa; differences from Hausa Tɔra
21.  comparing Dagbamba Tɔra and Hausa Tɔra; popularity of Tɔra Yiɣra
22.  mixed cultural aspects with Hausas; Lua
23.  Dagbamba are closer to Hausas than to Ashantis


24.  danced by Dandawas and Mossis
25.  Takai not as strong in villages; not mentioned in Samban’ luŋa
26.  old dance, for everyone; Alhaji Ibrahim has not heard any talk about its starting

Takai’s importance

27.  Alhaji Ibrahim telling the truth about Takai; others might tell lies
28.  example:  story about using swords; Alhaji Ibrahim hasn’t seen or heard it
29.  Alhaji Ibrahim is Takai leader; people don’t ask how it started; not part of chieftaincy talks
30.  important but not because of any talk
31.  continually changes with the generations
32.  Takai has no talks of its starting; it evolves

Takai drumming styles, drum language, and false meanings

33.  formerly not many styles of beating the dances
34.  drummers’ styles can be their own idea; no meaning for the dance
35.  many styles have no language
36.  compare:  drum language important in dances like Baŋgumaŋa and Ʒɛm; more serious than Takai
37.  no meaning:  the beating may reflect or resemble language, but it is not significant
38.  some styles are talking; some not; “your wrist is sweet”
39.  some beating styles from the movement of the wrist; fit the beating
40.  some styles have no intention behind them
41.  Takai styles are like joking; people can compare to talk
42.  Takai:  important that the dancers knock their sticks on the beating
43.  Takai song:  “knock a person on the head” the main style of Takai
44.  knocking the head is joking; this style has been there a long time
45.  guŋgɔŋ follows the dancers; drummers, too; not taught meanings
46.  Takai’s meaning is in its use at gatherings
47.   how Alhassan taught John false meanings, but Alhaji Ibrahim himself created those styles without language
48.  anybody can easily compare drumming to language; example:  false meanings in Baŋgumaŋa
49.  example:  lumbobli drum language about drink is false; many people talk without knowledge
50.  no evidence for lumbobli langauge about drink
51.  need to use eyes and sense to evaluate what people say
52.  don’t follow the talk of people who do not know
53.  Takai styles are joking; example:  Nyaɣboli language
54.  example:  Kondalia language
55.  example:  Kondalia language
56.  styles come from both language and wrist; anything to energize the dancers
57.  Takai’s meaning is general, from the performance, not the drumming

How Takai evolved to include different dances

58.  Alhaji Ibrahim met Takai with four dance beats:  Takai, Nyaɣboli, Kondalia, Dibs’ ata
59.  dance added to Takai:  Ŋun Da’ Nyuli
60.  dance added:  Damduu
61.  dance added:  Ŋum Mali Kpiɔŋ
62.  the process for adding a dance; discuss whether the beating will fit; borrowing dance beats; comparing Takai and Baamaaya
63.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s group added Ŋun Da’ Nyuli; not beaten when Alhaji Adam was leading Takai
64.  how the drummers met and practiced adding Ŋun Da’ Nyuli; dancers worked on their own
65.  the additional dances make Takai more interesting

Beating and dancing Takai

66.  differences among the Takai dances; the difficulty of the beating
67.  Takai more strenuous than Baamaaya; danced one to two hours compared to all night
68.  Takai drummers also use energy to move with the dancers; difficulty of dancing
69.  Nyaɣboli and Kondalia are difficult; many styles, fast moving
70.  Takai:  more styles in towns than villages; more experience beating it
71.  not all drummers learn Takai; special groups

Calling Takai

72.  Takai performance is called; beaten by arrangement
73.  calling process:  send cola and deposit to Takai leader, who calls the group; payment after the dance
74.  sometimes follow Takai with general dancing; all the money later shared among drummers and dancers
75.  Takai also for when shaving the funeral children
76.  not for all funerals or weddings, unless called
77.  to call Takai needs an event and also a patron

Takai performance

78.  young drummers beat at venue about 4:00 or 4:30; dance can start if about ten dancers arrive
79.  fifteen to twenty dancers is optimal, with two guŋgɔŋs and six or seven drummers
80.  drummers follow the dancers inside their circle
81.  dancing ends around 6:00; sunset, evening prayers
82.  for government gatherings, change dances quickly; every five or ten minutes
83.  slow performance is better; more interesting; fast performance has few dances and changes quickly
84.  older dancers are better; dance coolly, without confusion


85.  transition to drumming and dancing at gatherings, especially funerals

I-20:  Funerals

Introduction:  funerals

1.  importance of funerals; many dances; Dagbamba and Muslim funerals are different
2.  funerals and death:  fearful talk
3.  parts of funeral:  preparing the body; the burial; the small funeral:  three days and seven days; the final funeral:  shaving the funeral children and showing the riches
4.  other aspects:  leader of the funeral takes people through the steps; this talk with regard to an older person who had children
5.  funerals reflect families:  the mother’s side and the father’s side
6.  the strength of the mother’s house; connection to a child
7.  the strength of the father’s house; father’s house performs the funeral before mother’s house

Kuyili kpɛma:  the leader of the funeral

8.  “elder of the funeral house”; head of the family; receives all strangers and makes decisions
9.  must be there before burial; gets the white cloth (kparbu) to wrap the body
10.  will look at the dead body; inquire about the death
11.  buy sheep for soli saɣim to feed strangers who gather, sit and sleep outside the house for one week

The Small Funeral

Drumming for the dead person

12.  drummers beat outside the room where the dead body is; for some people only
13.  Bɛ kumdi la kuli:  “crying the funeral”; taboos:  only at funeral house, cannot make a mistake

Bathing the dead body

14.  two sheep for Limam:  one for prayers, one for bathing the dead body
15.  bathing money; everything in fours for women, threes for men
16.  burial:  four days or three days; guns shoot three or four times
17.  with inflation, still use numbers that show three and four
18.  bathing the dead body:  tie grass, heat water, everything in threes and fours
19.  wash with special sponge from tanyibga tree roots; use local soap
20.  this type of bathing generally not done in modern days
21.  Muslims says one should use light touch on dead body
22.  the talk of sponges and soap is from the olden days
23.  modern people don’t even know about it
24.  Muslim way:  Yari-Naa, elder who bathes dead bodies; only uses water and hands
25.  use part of the cloth to make trousers and jumper, hat; wrap the dead body so face is exposed; put in box and bring outside

Settling of debts

26.  settling debts; funeral elder asks to settle any debts
27.  someone may have information about debt; will stand and testify
28.  some debts settled in private

Burial of the dead person

29.  take body to cemetery; drummers beat Kulunsi
30.  the kasiɣirba:  grave diggers put dead body into grave
31.  how the kasiɣirba place the body in the grave; uncover face; children must look at parent in the grave
32.  maalams say looking at sick people makes a person look at himself differently
33.  therefore others also look at dead people in the grave
34.  formerly children were forced to look; helps people live better lives
35.  only those at the burial look; no delay for the burial
36.  burial generally the same day a person dies, or the next day
37.  people rush to funeral house; nobody waits or delays
38.  even the funeral elder does not delay; if delayed, an elder from the area will fill in
39.  townspeople use cemeteries; in villages the grave is inside the compound, marked with cowries
40.  chiefs are buried in their room, which is then closed off
41.  some people buried in compound, some in room; sometimes funeral elder will stay and live in the house
42.  if person buried in bush, will mark the grave; then return to funeral house
43.  return to house for prayers; pass woven pan (pɔŋ) for burial money
44.  burial money is any amount people give to help with expenses

Prayers and sacrifice:  the “three days” and the “seven days”

45.  alms of small foods like maha given to children
46.  people stay at funeral house for one week to console family
47.  bɔɣli lɔɣbu:  covering the hole;  the three days and the seven days
48.  slaughter a sheep:  shared to kasiɣirba, drummers, Limam
49.  prayers and alms on the pɔŋ; repeated on the seventh day

Kubihi pinibu:  shaving the funeral children

50.  shaving the funeral children; usually only for chief’s children at the small funeral
51.  shaving is for all the family
52.  shaving is optional, but most do it to show relationship
53.  “buying your hair”:  pay the barber but don’t shave
54.  how the relatives sit to be shaved; drummers beat same beating as Yori; not grandchildren

The grandchildren's role

55.  beating ground with sticks; collecting money; the bereaved playmates
56.  grandchildren sometimes dance Dikala; drummers also praise people

Conclusion of the small funeral

57.  on the seventh day, the elder of the funeral sets date for the final funeral; some months later
58.  after small funeral, then the mother’s house funeral
59.  elder of the funeral leaves, but will help provide for widows and children

The final funeral:  kubihi pinibu, buni wuhibu, and sara tarbu

60.  final funeral:  shaving the funeral children; kill cow; bathe the eldest son and eldest daughter
61.  one week later:  showing the riches and giving the sacrifice; Thursday and Friday are strong; people gather at funeral house
62.  showing the riches:  in-laws; husbands of the dead person’s daughter; gifts of cloth, scarf, waistband, cola, and sacrifices
63.  public presentations by the in-laws; the role of Zoɣyuri-Naa
64.  in-laws bring drummers and dance groups
65.  dancing in the night; happiness
66.  recapitulation:  the work of drummers at the small funeral
67.  the drumming and dancing at the final funeral
68.  adua and sara tarbu:  prayers and sacrifice the next day to finish the funeral; then share the property

Funerals before Islam

69.  funerals before Naa Zanjina:  buli chɛbu; burial and then sacrifice a goat; “knocking out”
70.  Naa Zanjina brought maalams to show how to bath and bury a dead person

Benefits of funerals:  knowing the family and the friends

71.  help to make the family well; get to know one another
72.  get to know your mother’s side
73.  when take friends and family to wife’s parent’s funeral, gives great respect
74.  learn about relationships you might not know about
75.  if the family is small, some will attend funeral with many friends
76.  how your friends will support you, including even their friends who don’t know you
77.  how funerals become large; example of someone with many children and grandchildren
78.  benefits of funerals:  know the family and know the friends
79.  problem of funerals:  when food is not enough, some only so the small funeral
80.  somebody may profit from funeral from gifts of food
81.  Dagbamba reciprocate with regard to funerals

Drummers’ work at funerals

82.  show the family to one another; spending on drummers adds respect
83.  the in-laws bring different dances to the funeral house; dance group members support one another and their friends
84.  drummers also have several dance circles
85.  friendship the basis for all the help with dances; go and return home; Simpa and Baamaaya all night
86.  the dance groups are not paid; only come to help their friends
87.  like paying a debt of friendship; reciprocate and help one another; Dagbamba way of living
88.  resembles talk of respect:  how Dagbamba help one another; how drumming talks enter Dagbamba way of living

Why attending funerals is important for the family

89.  a father tells daughters’ husbands that they should perform his funeral well; adds respect to wife
90.  if many friends attend a funeral, the family may give one of them a wife; friendship brings family
91.  a well-attended funeral adds to a family’s respect
92.  sometimes people attend funerals because of the dead person who has attended funerals; Alhaji Ibrahim like that
93.  people do not attend funeral of someone who did not attend funerals; taboos
94.  not attending funeral or sending a messenger is like removing oneself from the family
95.  important funeral for someone without children; fear and respect; taboo
96.  funerals have not changed; deeply linked to family life and family strength
97.  great respect if Yaa-Naa sends a messenger to a funeral


98.  transition to talk of chiefs’ funerals and maalams’ funerals

I-21:  Muslims' Funerals and Chiefs' Funerals


1.  differences of Muslim funerals; drummers do not beat
2.  differences among Muslims:  those who only pray and those who are more deeply inside

Muslim funerals

3.  three days and seven days; can extend time for strangers; finish with the forty days; no showing the riches
4.  prayers of the dead body in the house and at burial
5.  gather in evenings for prayers and preaching, throughout
6.  for maalam or important Muslim, many maalams will come and preach
7.  final day preaching until daybreak; contributing money and alms; money for maalams; greetings; same prayers at forty days

The forty days

8.  widows stay inside the house for the forty days
9.  bathing the widows; prayers and alms; return to family house; some may remain to care for children

Sharing the property among Muslims

10.  in Dagbamba funeral, can share after showing the riches, but often delay until later
11.  Muslims share property on the forty days gathering; a maalam shares according to Holy Qur'an; a woman gets one half of man’s share
12.  how property is divided among the widows and children
13.  property given before death is not counted as a share
14.  while living, some people give property to brothers’ children living with them; otherwise excluded when sharing property at funeral
15.  written wills can be challenged; people trust maalams; a child can only be excluded when person was alive, not after death
16.  sharing property is difficult; complexities of a large estate
17.  Holy Qur'an gives general guidelines for maalams to follow; no specific bequests

Sharing the property in Dagbamba villages for non-Muslims

18.  typical Dagbamba who are not Muslims; more differences
19.  in Dagbamba villages, the elder of the funeral takes the property of his brother; also takes care of the children
20.  in villages, the children will group and give seniority to the eldest brother
21.  how the house can break up; issues among children of different mothers
22.  sometimes the household will be unified

Sharing property in the towns

23.  dividing versus selling a house in the towns
24.  trouble common among the brothers’ wives and children
25.  example:  Alhaji Ibrahim and his brother Sumaani and house in Tamale
26.  difficult for siblings from different mothers to stay together in a house


27.  conclusion of Muslim funerals; no drumming; chiefs’ funerals have many talks
28.  different drumming for different types of people; chiefs are different

Chief’s burial and small funeral

29.  drumming:  crying the funeral when dead body in the room; not taught
30.  chief “does not die”; dress the chief and walk him to the grave
31.  beating Gingaani for big chiefs; placing the body in the grave; drumming for three days and seven days to finish the small funeral
32.  deciding about the shaving day and seating the Gbɔŋlana

Example:  Savelugu chief’s small funeral and seating of Gbɔŋlana

33.  this talk also about chieftaincy; Savelugu the main chief of western Dagbon (Toma)
34.  Nanton-Naa performs Savelugu-Naa’s funeral
35.  Yaa-Naa’s elders meet Nanton-Naa; Namo-Naa sends elders; Yendi Akarima
36.  seating Gbɔŋlana after the small funeral; shaving the funeral children
37.  drummers wake up the funeral on Friday; Kambonsi also come
38.  shave the Pakpɔŋ and Gbɔŋlana first
39.  then shave funeral children; drummers beat Yori
40.  slaughter cow; how it is shared; head to Namo-Naa’s messenger; legs to Akarima
41.  Gbɔŋlana wears “red-day dress”; he and Palpɔn wear hat called buɣu
42.  Namo-Naa’s messager leads Gbɔŋlana outside with Gingaani
43.  message of the Gbɔŋlana; the chief has not died
44.  maalams say prayers; after, drummers beat Zuu-waa for the Gbɔŋlana and Pakpɔŋ
45.  Gbɔnlana will sit in place of chief until final funeral; acts in his place

Example:  Savelugu’s chief’s final funeral, waking up the funeral

46.  many chiefs come with drummers; bring food; drummers wake up the funeral; Kambonsi
47.  the Kambonsi:  not at every funeral; differences for women and men
48.  Kambonsi gather and go around the chief’s house; dance Kambɔŋ-waa
49.  Kambonsi can attend a commoner’s funeral for pay

Example:  Savelugu chief’s funeral, showing the riches

50.  M’ba Naa kills the chief’s horse and dog
51.  elders eat blood-soaked cola; meat thrown into wells
52.  chiefs and Gbɔŋlana ride horses; daughters wear kpari; Pakpɔŋ carries calabash around her neck
53.  drummers beat; procession around the chief’s house three times
54.  Gbɔŋlana and Pakpɔŋ gather with Nanton-Naa outside the house
55.  cows and cloths from Gbɔŋlana’s mother’s house and husbands of Pakpɔn and other daughters
56.  many animals at Savelugu chief’s funeral
57.  not all the cows are slaughtered at chief’s house; many used for food for visitors
58.  dancing in night; next day prayers and alms; funeral children to Nanton and then to Yendi

Choosing a new Savelugu-Naa

59.  Nanton-Naa sends messenger with Gbɔŋlana to greet Yaa-Naa that funeral is finished; Yaa-Naa will choose new chief
60.  many chiefs want Savelugu, along with Gbɔŋlana and other princes
61.  other who claim Savelugu to interfere
62.  Yaa-Naa informs Namo-Naa of his choice; the drummers gather at Yaa-Naa’s house
63.  Namo-Naa sings praise-names for the chiefs
64.  M’Ba Duɣu announces the selection
65.  putting the gown on the new chief; Namo-Naa beats Ʒɛm; sharing cola
66.  as the candidates leave Yendi, they greet Yaa-Naa in case of another chieftaincy
67.  if Gbɔŋlana does not get Savelugu, will be given another chieftaincy
68.  Gbɔŋlana and funeral children greet Yaa-Naa; follow new chief back to Savelugu
69.  conclusion of the talk

Volume I Part 4:  Learning and Maturity

I-22:  How Children Are Trained in Drumming and Singing


1.  transition to other talks of drumming

Drumming and family

2.  drumming moves through family
3.  a drummer’s son not forced to drum, but one son of a daughter must drum

Training a young child

4.  how a drummer beats his drum when his wife brings forth
5.  at three or four years old, child gets giŋgaɣinyɔɣu, a small drum, to play; no training
6.  by six to eight, gets lunnyiriŋga, smaller than lumbila; begins to learn
7.  accompanies drummers; carries drums; picks up money given to drummers and dancers
8.  begin teaching with Dakɔli n-nyɛ bia and Namɔɣ’ yil’ mal’ k-piɔŋ
9.  by twelve or thirteen, has used sense to learn what the drummers beat and sing
10.  the child learns his own family line and praises
11.  from the child’s grandfathers to father; will learn in six months to a year
12.  young drummer goes in night to other drummers to learn more; praise songs; presses his teacher’s legs
13.  some children do not need much teaching
14.  some children do not learn well; knocked with drum stick
15.  formerly, more forcing to learn; more serious; now people less willing to suffer
16.  Alhaji Ibrahim trained by Lun-Naa Iddrisu and M’ba Sheni; how Sheni talked to him

Training by dwarves

17.  child can be trained by dwarves; example:  Namɔɣu-Wulana Zakari
18.  how Zakari was lost in the farm
19.  the search for Zakari; the soothsayer’s advice; the funeral of Zakari
20.  Zakari found eight months later in the farm; would not speak
21.  medicine man treated Zakari; Zakari singing; he said he was kept by dwarves in a hole
22.  Zakari a great drummer and singer; never tired; different from other drummers

Teaching young drummers

23.  at fourteen to sixteen, get lundaa; begin learning Jɛŋgbari bɔbgu
24.  the meaning of Jɛŋgbari bɔbgu
25.  the proverbial names of the Yendi chiefs
26.  next learn the chiefs of other towns like Savelugu, Mion, and so on
27.  how the young drummers demonstrate the extent of their knowledge
28.  should learn both to sing and to beat the drum
29.  from sixteen to eighteen is when he can learn and retain knowledge


30.  young child must continue to sing through puberty or his voice will reduce
31.  singing voices are different; voice should be clear that people hear and understand
32.  how drummers work to improve singing; also use medicine
33.  not all drummers know singing or people’s lines; but must know beating

Learning comes from the heart

34.  someone who has no interest doesn’t learn well
35.  some drummers cannot beat on their own; need others to beat
36.  need patience and interest to learn; learning is in the heart
37.  must hear the sound of the drum; think about how the sound is coming

Traveling to towns to learn from other drummers

38.  by twenty-one or twenty-two, learn to the extent of beating Samban’ luŋa; may or may not perform
39.  go around to towns to learn from different drummers; differences in knowledge
40.  stay in drummer’s house; farm and work for him; learn in the night
41.  to learn about some chiefs or some talks requires animal sacrifices
42.  when go to another drummer, act as if do not know; only add his knowledge
43.  some drummers only teach; some use lundaa to teach

The importance of being taught

44.  some drummers do not go around to learn; only use their sense; comparison to Baamaaya drummers
45.  someone who was taught is better than someone using sense to beat (self-taught)
46.  beating with sense cannot go far; but someone who was taught can add sense
47.  the one who was taught knows the ways of drumming; limitations of the one beating with sense

Beating the different sizes of drums

48.  drummers can only learn their extent; compared to their progression among different drums
49.  comparing the different drums for praising
50.  drummers choose and get used to the drum they like to beat
51.  someone who beats lundɔɣu cannot beat lundaa the same way; lundɔɣu seems heavy to a lundaa drummer; lundaa and lumbila need more energy

Developing into maturity

52.  can learn singing; personal styles of the voice comparable to styles of drumming
53.  people show different sides of themselves when drumming or singing
54.  no charge when going around to learn; give gift when finished; share the benefits
55.  need patience to learn; don’t hurry; learn drumming well to receive the benefits of drumming
56.  the responsibilities of teaching; need to continue learning

I-23:  Traveling and Learning the Dances of Other Tribes

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


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


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


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


48.  transition to talk of drumming eldership and chieftaincies

I-24:  Drum Chieftaincies


1.  introduction:  burial of a chief drummer; drum chiefs in Dagbon
2.  chieftaincy is leadership; increases respect in a group; drum chieftaincies began long ago

The origins of drumming and the chieftaincy of Namo-Naa

3.  Bizuŋ the son of Naa Nyaɣsi; Bizuŋ’s children are the line of drummers; drummers’ grandfathers are Naa Nyaɣsi, Bizuŋ, Ashaɣu, the line of Namɔɣu; Kosaɣim the line of Savelugu
4.  Namo-Naa the chief drummer of Dagbon

Hidden talks about chieftaincy descent

5.  a hidden talk:  people say Bizuŋ was Namo-Naa but the chieftaincy itself had not started
6.  chieftaincy talks:  people call all Yaa-Naas as fathers or children of Yaa-Naas
7.  Naa Nyaɣsi’s “children” whom he made chiefs in tindana towns were not all his real children, but they are called his children; if a chief has no children, drummers call his sister’s or brother’s child the chief’s son; even Yaa-Naas
8.  Namo-Naa the father of all drummers, and Namo-Naa is the line of Bizuŋ; but not all Namo-Naas are actual children of the line of Bizuŋ; Bizuŋ and other early drummers were not chiefs, but they are called Namo-Naa; one’s child is the one who does one’s work
9.  the difficulties of old or hidden talks, the secrets of drumming regarding the names and identities; people who have written about Dagbon do not know it
10.  early Namɔɣu chiefs were not drumming chiefs as they are today; chieftaincy has evolved
11.  example from Naa Luro’s Samban’ luŋa:  drummers did not go with Naa Luro to the war
12.  Bizuŋ and his children were there as drummers; gradually increased their presence

The Lun-Zoo-Naa chieftaincy

13.  different from Namo-Naa; now only in Gulkpeogu and Karaga
14.  relationship of Lun-Zoo-Naa to Bizuŋ; possible Guruma connection
15.  Lun-Zoo-Naa chieftaincy is older than Namo-Naa chieftaincy
16.  the seniority of Namo-Naa over Lun-Zoo-Naa; Namo-Naa from Yaa-Naa’s line
17.  the relationship of Namo-Naa and Lun-Zoo-Naa
18.  drumming chieftaincies are old but not as old as Dagbon; drumming itself is older; many differences among the towns

Standard order of drumming chiefs

19.  most towns drumming chiefs:  Lun-Naa is first, then Sampahi-Naa and Taha-Naa; then differences among chiefs following:  Dolsi-Naa, Dobihi-Naa, Yiwɔɣu-Naa
21.  examples of different ordering of drum chiefs in chieftaincy hierarchies at Nanton (Maachɛndi, Lun-Naa, Sampahi-Naa, Yiwɔɣu-Naa, Dolsi-Naa, Dobihi-Naa, Maachɛndi Wulana), Savelugu (Palo-Naa, Lun-Naa, Sampahi-Naa, Dolsi-Naa, Taha-Naa, Yiwɔɣu-Naa, Dobihi-Naa, and Palo-Wulana), and Kumbungu
22.  Lun-Naa not always senior; examples:  Nanton, Gushegu, Karaga, Mion

The position of Namo-Naa

23.  Yendi has many drum chiefs because Yendi elders have drum chiefs; examples:  M’ba Duɣu, Kuɣa-Naa, Balo-Naa, etc.; all follow Namo-Naa
24..the position of Namo-Naa and Yendi Sampahi-Naa; the respect of Namo Wulana
25.  the relationship of Zɔhi Lun-Naa and Namo-Naa chieftaincies
26.  Namo-Naa only beats drum for something important involing Yaa-Naa; Namo-Naa has his house drummers to represent him or stand for him
27.  all drummers look at themselves as children of Namo-Naa; drummers have no set town; formerly would follow chief who gave a drum; if have own drum, can follow any chief; drumming and traveling

How drum chiefs move from town to town

28.  Drummers follow chiefs; a chief can call a drummer to follow him as he moves from town to town
29.  drummers don’t have towns; example:  Karaga Lun-Naa Baakuri from Savelugu drum chiefs
30.  drumming chieftaincies follow two things:  family line and chiefs
31.  how drummers follow chiefs; example:  Tamale Dakpɛma Lun-Naa’s line from Yendi; leaving other Dakpɛma Lun-Naas’ family
32.  example:  Dakpɛma Taha-Naa from Karaga Lun-Naa Baakuri’s line
33.  if a town’s drummers challenge a drummer brought from another town, the drummer can show how all their families came from other towns; all are children of Namo-Naa, every town is their town

How drummers move into drumming chieftaincies:  olden days

34.  drummers can get a chieftaincy by following and greeting a chief
35.  some chieftaincies follow family door; if a drum chief dies, others will move up, and son will get a smaller chieftaincy
36.  if sitting drum chiefs quarrel over an open chieftaincy, chief can move the dead chief’s son directly to the position
37.  drum chiefs are not removed; example:  only current Naa Yakubu has removed drum chiefs along with removing towns’ chiefs; Dagbon chieftaincies are spoiled
38.  how Namo-Naa Issahaku was removed
39.  how a Namo-Naa must visit ancient Namɔɣu near Yaan’ Dabari
40.  in olden days, a new drumming chief only is a chief drummer died; chiefs were not removed

How a Namo-Naa is buried and a new drumming chief installed

41.  two ways to drum chieftaincy by chief who wants a drummer or by family door; join talk to drum chief’s death, burial, and succession
42.  a drummer is buried with a drum, broken stick, and skin; Namo-Naa buried with drum covered with leopard skin; burial dress and procedures resemble Yaa-Naa; Namo-Naa lies on skins of animals; the dead body is walked to the grave
43.  walking to the grave also for chief drummers of major towns; example:  also Savelugu, Gushegu, Karaga; Yelizoli
44.  after Namo-Naa’s funeral, Namo-Naa’s elders tell Yaa-Naa whom they want; if Yaa-Naa agrees, the new Namo-Naa is given chieftaincy in same room Yaa-Naa becomes a chief; walking stick, gown, timpana, guns

The installation of a Palo-Naa

45.  other towns’ drummers follow family doors; example:  Savelugu Palo-Naa; the starting of two Palo lines
46.  usually they inherit according to family; Palo-Naa succeeded by the next chief from his line
47.  how Savelugu drummers will talk to the Savelugu chief; cola sent to the new chief
48.  the drummer’s gather after the funeral; Palo-Naa Gbɔŋlana will sing resembling Samban’ luŋa; walking on knees
49.  how Savelugu-Naa will greet the Gbɔŋlana and Pakpɔŋ; sharing cola
50.  giving gown to the new Palo-Naa; the advice the chief gives
51.  removing the buɣu from the Gbɔŋlana; Gbɔŋlana given a wife

How Alhaji Mumuni refused drum chieftaincy

52.  formerly, drummers were not buying chieftaincy; chiefs feared taking drummers money; chiefs called drummers for chieftaincy and gave drummer a house, horse, stableman, wife, and household support; but modern chiefs want money
53.  Alhaji Mumuni’s refused chieftaincy because of his commitment to Muslim religion
54.  how Alhaji Mumuni refused chieftaincies in Voggo, Gushee, Lamashegu, Pigu, Savelugu
55.  example:  when Nanton-Naa Alaasambila was chief of Zugu, story of how Mumuni refused chieftaincy calls but had to visit Zugulana because of his wife was Zugulana’s sister
56.  before the Friday gathering, Zugulana planned with Zugu-Lun-Naa to offer Mumuni a gown and an additional wife
57.  Mumuni did not know the plan; the chief’s sitting hall filled with people; Zugulana said he had caught Mumuni for chieftaincy; Zugulana’s proverb to Mumuni
58.  how the Zugulana spoke to Mumuni; how Mumuni refused in front of all the people; Zugu Lun-Naa confesses the plan to Mumuni
59.  how Mumuni told Alhaji Ibrahim the story
60.  Mumuni’s story with Zugulana an example of how drum chieftaincies were formerly given; Zugulana continued to ask Mumuni even after he became Nanton-Naa

How drum chieftaincies are bought in modern times; rivalry over chieftaincy

61.  former chieftaincy customs compared to exchange of respect
62.  in drumming chieftaincy lines, people recognized seniority
63.  payment and bidding from additional competition within families; how princes buy chieftaincy
64.  modern drum chieftaincies are bought, the same as how princes buy chieftaincy
65.  some chiefs even announce the price for the drum chieftaincy that has fallen
66.  modern times, some drum chieftaincies are not bought, if a chief wants a certain drummer
67.  some drummers who pass over senior drummers to eat chieftaincy are attacked with medicines
68.  jealousy and rivalry; drummers pray to take a chief’s position
69.  Alhaji Ibrahim does not want chieftaincy; he is qualified, but he doesn’t want troubles

Drum chiefs’ responsibilities and need for support

70.  not all drummers become chiefs; Alhaji Ibrahim has family door but does not want chieftaincy; chieftaincy has responsibilities; need the help of brothers and children; example:  Namo-Naa has many people to send in his place
71.  a drum chief has people behind him; some drum chiefs cannot drum well or sing well; some are aged; they have children or grandchildren who can do the work; example:  Nanton Lun-Naa Iddrisu is very knowledgeable but very old; Nanton Sampahi-Naa Alidu does the work of Lun-Naa and Maachɛndi
72.  Alhaji Ibrahim not a drum chief but has more respect than many chiefs; Alhaji Mumuni the same; Savelugu young men’s drum chief (Nachimba Lun-Naa Issa Tailor) and the young drummers all follow Mumuni as their leader
73.  the same in Tamale with Alhaji Ibrahim; how Alhaji Ibrahim calls drummers from other towns for wedding and funeral gatherings
74.  why Tamale does not have Nachimba Lun-Naa; Tamale drumming leadership from Alhassan Lumbila, Mangulana, Sheni Alhassan, and Alhaji Ibrahim; based on respect and not chieftaincy
75.  how Alhaji Ibrahim leads:  the Tamale drummers gather at his house and follow Alhaji Ibrahim; he receives cola, assigns drummers to different houses, shares money; chieftaincy is in his bones

76.  Alhaji Ibrahim work as leader of Tamale drummers; because of his respect and knowledge; his position compares to chief of drummers

I-25:  How Drummers Share Money


1.  Introduction:  sharing of money based on seniority and chieftaincy

Example:  how Namo-Naa’s messengers attend a Savelugu chief’s funeral

2.  Namo-Naa sends messengers to Palo-Naa; drummers beat to start funeral; Palo-Naa separates Namo-Naa’s share
3.  Thursday showing the riches; more drumming and money; Namo-Naa has a share
4.  Friday prayers; praise drumming; more money shared
5.  sharing the funeral cows:  some for Yendi people; some for feeding; some for visitors
6.  some cows for food; others are sold or taken home
7.  drummers beat when funeral cows are slaughtered at chief’s house; drummers get the heads; Palo-Naa gives to Namo-Naa’s messengers
8.  only the heads from the slaughtered cows; not the gift cows
9.  Namo-Naa’s messengers give some of the heads back to Palo-Naa; return to Yendi with money and cowheads
10.  Namo-Naa will share everything with the drum chiefs of Yendi

What Namo-Naa gets

11.  money and meat from funerals or wherever drummers go; also from people looking for chieftaincy
12.  Namo-Naa’s messengers at funeral, go around and greet chiefs, also receive greetings for Namo-Naa

Savelugu Palo-Naa

13.  Palo-Naa does not get the amount Namo-Naa gets
14.  Dolsi-Naa, Taha-Naa, and Dobihi-Naa a different door
15.  how Palo-Naa has to share with other drummers
16.  how Savelugu youngmen’s drummers share with elders
17.  Namo-Naa gets more than Palo-Naa because of people greeting Yaa-Naa for chieftaincy

Example:  Nanton drummers at a village chief’s funeral

18.  how Nanton drum chiefs attend the funeral of a village chief
19.  beating drums when shaving the heads
20.  barbers and drummers share the money
21.  seating the Gbɔŋlana
22.  dancing; summary of the money received
23.  sharing the money among the drum chiefs
24.  money reserved for sick or excused drummers
25.  money reserved for daughters of drummers
26.  the drum chiefs share the money
27.  how they share the cowheads and sheepheads
28.  why there are many animals at a village chief’s funeral

Tamale:  Alhaji Ibrahim and the young men’s drummers

29.  how Alhaji Ibrahim organizes drummers for different wedding houses; greeted with food
30.  how drummers earn money at wedding houses; more food before leaving
31.  differences when perform with dancers as a cultural group; dancers get their share
32.  normal way:  the groups bring their money from the different weddding houses
33.  sharing depends on work:  elders who identify people’s praise-names, singer, lundaa, guŋgɔŋ
34.  elders, singer, lundaa get larger shares; others get less; share even to children who collect money
35.  shares for the old drummers who do not beat, whether or not they went to the wedding house
36.  add for a drummer who has a naming or a funeral to perform
37.  drummers share the money at home to sisters and elders; covering the anus of Bizuŋ
38.  sharing a little to children in the house

The ways of sharing

39.  accept even nothing, even from an empty hand; covering Bizuŋ’s anus
40.  knowledge about sharing is from the elders; sharing has restrictions
41.  how drummers steal money; such a drummer will not advance
42.  drummers leave money in open; afraid to steal

How Alhaji Ibrahim became responsible for the Tamale drummers

43.  when M’ba Sheni was leading, he gave the sharing to another drummer who stole and became unable to sing
44.  how a voice can decrease:  by not singing through puberty or by stealing
45.  how Sheni gave the sharing to Alhaji Ibrahim; twenty-five years and no quarrels
46.  how Alhaji Mumuni told Alhaji Ibrahim not to share the money; what happpend
47.  how the drummers asked Alhaji Ibrahim to share the money; the lesson of Alhaji Mumuni


48.  the money from drumming is not consumed alone; shared among many people