A Drummer's Testament
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Chapter II-12:  The Second Gonja War:  Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli  <PDF file>

Continuation of the wars; Kumpatia and the conquest of western Dagbon; how Naa Siɣli gathered his army; the war against the Konkombas; the death of Naa Zanjina; how Naa Siɣli obtained chieftaincy; the Dagbamba campaign against the Gonjas; the defeat of Kumpatia and the aftermath of the war

Supplementary material
Paragraph outline
Proverbs and sayings
Dagbani words and other search terms



Supplementary material
  <top of page>

[forthcoming]

Contents outline by paragraph  <top of page>


Introduction:  aftermath of the chieftaincy contest in Mamprusi

1.  Naa Zanjina’s Samban' luŋa talks are difficult and confusing; need patience to learn them clearly
2.  aftermath of the Mamprusi chieftaincy decision; Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli return to Dagbon

Gonja chief Kumpatia invades Dagbon

3.  Kumpatia the Gonja leader; his other names
4.  Kumpatia invades Dagbon; the towns he collected; stayed near Sang at Chirizaŋ

Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli prepare for the war

5.  Naa Zanjina prays with maalams at Sabali
6.  Naa Zanjina’s brothers refuse to help; Yelizolilana, Sunson-Naa, and the other contenders
7.  Naa Zanjina asks Naa Siɣli for help; Naa Siɣli refuses
8.  Naa Zanjina sends chiefs as messengers to Naa Siɣli; Kumbun-Naa and Nanton-Naa; Naa Siɣli refuses
9.  Naa Siɣli makes chiefs dismount from their horses and stay with him
10.  Naa Zanjina sends Naa Siɣli’s friends, Talolilana and Puusamli; Naa Siɣli refuses them and holds them
11.  Naa Siɣli’s plan was to gather many people to become his warriors
12.  Naa Siɣli gave them medicines for protection in war
13. Naa Zanjina sends Naa Siɣli’s best friend, Diarilana Tusuwa; Diarilana’s speech to Naa Siɣli
14.  Naa Siɣli goes to Naa Zanjina; what Naa Zanjina told Naa Siɣli; Naa Zanjina also gathers warriors

Naa Siɣli’s war against the Konkombas

15.  Naa Siɣli invades Konkomba lands prepare for war against Gonjas; gather more warriors
16.  the towns Naa Siɣli fought in Konkomba
17.  Naa Siɣli kills the Dagbana tindana of Sakpiegu
18.  Naa Siɣli in Sakpiegu; puts his mother Ziŋnaa as chief

The death of Naa Zanjina; Naa Siɣli eats chieftaincy

19.  Naa Siɣli in Konkomba land when Naa Zanjina died; given chieftaincy of Singa
20.  Naa Zanjina died at Agbandi; the burial of Naa Zanjina; trees grow from his grave
21.  Naa Zanjina final words instruct the elders to give Yendi to Naa Siɣli, as Mamprusi chief said

Naa Siɣli’s war against the Gonjas

22.  Naa Siɣli takes the war to the Gonjas; how Naa Zanjina’s brothers had refused him
23.  Naa Siɣli had gathered people; how he had entered the war with strength
24.  how the Gonjas had invaded Tolon and other villages
25.  Naa Siɣli divides the Dagbamba army to encircle Gonjas; many Gonjas were killed
26.  Kumpatia at Chirizaŋ; Naa Siɣli at Sang; their exchange of messages
27.  Dagbamba horseboys behead a Gonja horseboy
28.  Naa Siɣli’s wives cut off the ear of Kumpatia’s wife; Kumpatia prepares for war
29.  Naa Siɣli and Kumpatia fight; Kumpatia runs into a cave
30.  Naa Siɣli’s drummer calls proverbs to encourage him; Naa Siɣli kills Kumpatia
31.  Naa Siɣli’s drummer gives him the name Baŋgumaŋa
32.  Naa Siɣli dismembers Kumpatia and gives body parts to his warrior chiefs
33.  Naa Siɣli captures and marries Kumpatia’s daughter Puumaaya; her names
34.  Kumpatia’s daughter gives birth to Naa Siɣli’s zuu, Tonglana Yamusah; Zuu-waa dance
35.  recapitulation of the end of the war; Dagbamba return to their villages

Aftermath of the war and the legacy of Naa Siɣli

36.  result:  no more war between Dagbamba and Gonjas; Gonjas have few people but more land
37.  Baŋgumaŋa in Naa Siɣli’s Samban’ luŋa because of the war; inherited from Naa Luro
38.  Naa Siɣli saved Dagbon, but his door to Yendi is dead; Alhaji Ibrahim’s line from Naa Siɣli
39.  Naa Zanjina not a warrior like Naa Siɣli, but they were close

Confusion regarding how Naa Siɣli ate Yendi and held his chieftaincy

40.  confusion among drummers about details
41.  some have incorrect ideas about the transition from Naa Zanjina to Naa Siɣli
42.  some have incorrect ideas about Naa Siɣli’s death
43.  Naa Siɣli killed Kumpatia and finished the war; went to Yendi and gave birth to children
44.  talks that have many curves or parts can be misunderstood
45.  drummers who learn from elders can change or add things
46.  when drummers talk with mistakes, can challenge them with questions
47.  summary of the general knowledge of Naa Siɣli’s chieftaincy and Naa Bimbiɛɣu’s succesion
48.  importance of repairing the talks well; our reputation depends on truth

Perspective on olden days Dagbamba in the Samban' luŋa

49.  slaughter a sheep for Naa Siɣli’s talks in Samban' luŋa; drummers are reluctant to talk about it
50.  reflection on the warlike character of early Dagbamba
51.  people would leave their house and family; could be captured and sold
52.  other tribes feared the Dagbamba; Dagbamba  conquered by Europeans
53.  living in current times is easier than olden days



Proverbs and Sayings  <top of page>

“The way and manner in which you are able to go to Mamprusi to be the chief, you should do it in that same way and manage to fight the war.”

A child whose hand is clean is the one who will skin the elder’s goat and will take all and will only give the liver to the elder.

It is nothing, but it is something.

My guinea corn has dried, and I have collected it and put it down in the room.

A prince who has not eaten chieftaincy cannot lead a war.

“I don’t refuse anything.”

“Problems are over tomorrow.”

The male elephant’s chest cannot be moved.

What made him a man, and he will make a guinea corn farm and eat it by himself?

What made him a man, and he can make a yam farm and eat it by himself?

“Naa Siɣli is an okra plant stick that is not strong.”

They will look for me, but they will not see me.

The stomach is cool.

The cooking pot that they use to cook a monkey, the same cooking pot is not forbidden to be used to cook a dog.

The knife doesn’t care whomever it meets on the road.

Whom does the knife leave?

Puumaaya bia:  Stomach-is-cool’s child
Suuchɛŋuni bia:  Whom-does-the-knife-leave’s child
Nuzaalana:  Left-hand-owner

If a truth curves so many ways, or if you are going to talk the truth and it is not straight, sometimes it turns to be lies.

The lies that are straight can turn to resemble truth.



Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Yaa-Naas
Naa Andani Sigli  (Naa Andani Siɣli)
Naa Bimbiegu  (Naa Bimbiɛɣu)
Naa Darizheguu  (Naa Dariʒɛɣu)
Naa Jinli
Naa Luro
Naa Saalana Ziblim
Naa Sigli  (Naa Siɣli)
Naa Tutugri  (Naa Tutuɣri)
Naa Zagli  (Naa Zaɣli)
Naa Zanjina
Yaa-Naa

Titled and other persons
Aminara
Dalunlana Blemah
Diarilana
Diarilana Tusuwa
Gbonlana  (Gbɔŋlana)
Golingoling  (Goliŋgoliŋ)
Kaasuwa
Kalugsi Dajia  (Kaluɣsi Dajia)
Kasulana
Kumbun-Naa Jengbarga  (Kumbun-Naa Jɛŋgbarga)
Kumbun-Naa Sulemana
Kumpatia
Laamihi
Lungbunglana
Lunzhegu  (Lunʒɛɣu)
Mamprugulana
Mba Ibrahim
Mba Mumuni
Nanton-Naa Dakogo  (Nanton-Naa Dakɔɣo)
Nanton-Naa Sulberibo  (Nanton-Naa Sulbɛribo)
Nuzaalana
Pakpong  (Pakpɔŋ)
Puumaaya
Puusamli
Singlana
Singlana Aduna
Sulemana
Sunson-Naa Timaani
Suuchenguni  (Suuchɛŋuni)
Talolilana Kobli
Tonglana Yamusah
Vo-Naa
Yaa-Naa
Yelizolilana Gurumanchegu  (Yelizolilana Gurumancheɣu)
Zabag’bila’bia  (Zabaɣ’bila’bia)
Zingnaa  (Ziŋnaa)
Zoggolana Dasana
Zugulana Ali

Miscellaneous terms
Bangumanga  (Baŋgumaŋa)
Bem bo ma, be pam bo ma je  (Bɛm bɔ ma, bɛ pam bɔ ma jɛ)
bug’ toli  (buɣ’ toli)
bugli  (buɣli)
Dagbani
dawadawa
gbong  (gbɔŋ)
golingoling  (goliŋgoliŋ)
gungong  (guŋgɔŋ)
guinea corn
Holy Qur’an
horseboys
horsepeg, horsepegs
housepeople
Jebuni  (Jɛbuni)
Kambonsi
kapok
kparachia  [Oncoba spinosa Forssk.]
maalams
Mol’ zhee tab’ looli  (Mol’ ʒee tab’ looli)
M’puumaaya
Samban’ lunga  (Samban’ luŋa)
tindana
tobu kabiga
zuu
Zuu-waa

Towns and places
Agbandi
Baakuya
Bolgatanga
Chirizang  (Chirizaŋ)
Chirizangzoli  (Chirizaŋzoli)
Daboya
Dagbon
Diari
Koling  (Koliŋ)
Kpandai
Kpunkpam  (Kpuŋkpam)
Kumbungu
Lungbunga
Mamprugu
Naakpalba
Nanton
Oti
Sabali
Sakpiegu
Sang
Singa
Sunson
Sunson Gbing  (Sunson Gbiŋ)
Taloli
Tampion
Tampionwogu  (Tampioŋwɔɣu)
Tolon
Toma
Tong
Voggo
Yaawura
Yelizoli
Yendi
Zoggo
Zulogo
Zulogo Kpaliyogu  (Zuloɣo Kpaliyɔɣu)

Cultural groups
Dagbana, Dagbamba
Gonja, Gonjas
Konkomba, Konkombas
Mamprusi, Mamprusis