A Drummer's Testament
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Chapter II-13:  The Cola and Slave Trades, Naa Garba and the Ashantis  <PDF file>

Dagbamba-Ashanti relations; the uses of cola; the cola and shea butter trade; Naa Garba and the Ashantis; the capture and ransoming of Naa Garba; slavery and the slave trade in Dagbon; organization of the Dagbamba army; origin of the Kambonsi (soldiers)

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



Supplementary material
  <top of page>

[images forthcoming]


Contents outline by paragraph  <top of page>

Introduction

1.  Naa Garba’s talks are not in Samban' luŋa; relationship to Ashantis
2.   different aspects involve cola, slaves, Kambonsi

Cola

3.  cola has many works in Dagbon; related to respect and greetings
4.  cola connection to chieftaincy; came from Ashantis; greetings to chiefs
5.  cola shows respect; how to give cola when greeting a chief; protocols among chiefs
6.  respect of cola tied to the respect of chieftaincy; compared to drumming; helps people
7.  chewing cola has benefits, but respect is the foundation
8.  giving cola to search for a woman to marry
9.  cola given to in-laws after the wedding
10.  cola shared after a woman gives birth; cola shared again on naming day
11.  cola given to an elderly person can bring benefits, like a wife
12.  cola given to an elderly person can bring benefits, like medicine
13.  summary of the work of cola:  can get wife, medicine, money, blessings
14.  role of cola at funeral; add to the cloth and waistband for the in-laws
15.  summary:  cola is important for everything from birth to death

History of cola

16.  cola trade passed through Dagbon to Ashanti before Naa Garba; Dagbamba relations to Ashanti began around the time of Naa Garba
17.  precolonial cola trade to Ashanti via Dagbon; cola’s cultivations and use have spread wide
18.  Dagbamba traders took shea butter to Ashanti to exchange for cola
19.  some traders were captured and taken to Salaga and sold to Ashantis
20.  Dagbamba also captured people; Ashantis sold some to white men; also sacrifices

The quarrel with the Ashantis

21.  the strength of the Ashantis; guns and forest; Dagbamba had only minor fighting with Ashantis
22.  Ashantis introduced guns to Dagbon; previously Dagbamba used spears, axes, and arrows
23.  relations during Naa Garba’s time; Ashantis would come to Dagbon for slaves; a quarrel
24.  Prempeh (Asantehene) captured Naa Garba for ransom
25.  the Ashantis who were carrying Naa Garba were dying
26.  Ashantis ransomed Naa Garba for the dead people; a debt
27.  Naa Garba did not finish paying the debt of people; Asantehene threatened war
28.  Savelugu-Naa Bukari Gurifiri finished paying the debt; his praise in drumming
29.  Gurifiri sacrificed; got slaves from Gurunsi area
30.  Asantehene sent people to collect the slaves; friendship and respect between Ashants and Dagbamba; timpana sent to Dagbon
31.  the quarrel was not a war; friendship based in trading of cola and slaves

How the Dagbamba got the slaves

32.  this talk about paying the debt of slaves is hidden
33.  the slaves from “Gurunsi”:  any northern tribe
34.  the slaves were also Dagbamba who were captured; also other tribes
35.  Gurunsis sold people for food; many slaves remained in Dagbon; others sent to Salaga
36.  some Dagbamba chiefs gave children as indentured for debt; some remained as slaves
37.  people from towns without chiefs, like Tamale, were captured and sold; women and children

Modern example:  how British caught soldiers for World War II

38.  Alhaji Ibrahim was in Kintampo, avoided getting caught; Alhaji Mumuni and others in southern Ghana
39.  British took many men from the villages in Dagbon; women and children remained in villages
40.  Dagbamba captured by force; many Gurunsis joined for pay
41.  soldiers taken to Kintampo would try to run away
42.  harsh treatment of the drafted soldiers; compared to prison:  locked up and beaten
43.  catching soldiers left old people and women in villages; died from starvation and broken hearts
44.  compared to slavery:  selling children by agreement; resembles the catching of soldiers

The Kambonsi in Dagbon

45.  Kambonsi warriors started during that time of Naa Garba’s debt; Dagbamba and Konkombas, but “Kambonsi” means “Ashanti”
46.  Kambonsi dancing compared to Ashanti dancing; dance of strength; not part of cultural programs
47.  the name Kambonsi shows Ashanti origins

Original warriors of the Yaa-Naa

48.  Kuɣa-Naa led Naa Nyaɣsi to war
49.  Tolon-Naa and Kumbun-Naa from Naa Nyaɣsi’s time; Zandu-Naa gave his son to Naa Nyaɣsi; Tolon-Naa as Wulana
50.  Wulana as senior elder:  Tolon-Naa; Kumbun-Naa as Kpanalana; other warrior chiefs were Langolana, Sakpie-Naa, Twtuo-Naa, Nyensung-Naa, and others

Warfare in the olden days

51.  cutlass, spear, axe, bow and arrow were weapons; horsemen would charge and return
52.  gun-shooters at one place; bowmen at one place; chief separate; horsemen attack with spears and axes; chief in the center with his protectors; if center fell, chief would run or be killed
53.  warriors used medicine to protect themselves; chiefs gave medicine with warriors to overcome fear
54.  different ways of killing; drummers do not differentiate

The starting of the Kambonsis

55.  types of slaves:  dabli and bilaa; somebody captured, somebody used to pay a debt
56.  those who slept in the chief’s hall; protectors of the chief; also fought for him
57.  Naa Garba was trading with Ashantis for guns; the quarrel arose from relationship
58.  the bilahi transitioned to learn from Ashanti messengers; became Kambonsi
59.  bilahi copied Ashanti habits; adopted Asante Twi terms for Kambonsi titles
60.  Gurifiri sent slaves as Kambonsi to elders; Kambonsi gradually increased to other chiefs

Conclusion

61.  summary:  traded slaves for cola, then shea butter for cola; shea butter still traded
62.  modern times:  Dagbamba work in Ashanti cocoa farms; use pay to buy cola and trade


Proverbs and Sayings  <top of page>

In our everything, there is cola.

In our white heart, there is cola; in our spoiled heart, there is cola.

The giving of cola is giving of respect.

When you are giving, you will say, “Here is cola.”  You don’t say, “Get money.”

If you don’t know somebody, there will not be any quarrelling between you and that person.

Asante kotoko, Anua kotoko; wo ku apem, apem bɛ ba:  Ashantis, Dagbamba; you will kill a thousand, a thousand will come.

If you go to somebody’s town and see something there, and you bring it to your town, it will become your town’s thing.


Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Chiefs of Yendi
Naa Andani Jengbarga  (Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga)
Naa Bimbieg u  (Naa Bimbiɛɣ u)
Naa Garba
Naa Luro
Naa Nyagsi  (Naa Nyaɣsi)
Naa Saa Ziblim
Naa Shitobu  (Naa Shitɔbu)
Naa Sigli  (Naa Siɣli)
Naa Zanjina
Naa Ziblim Bandamda

Chieftaincies, titled persons, and people mentioned
Acheampong  [General I.K.]
Akarima
Asantehene
Balo-Naa
Bukari
Demon-Naa
Gbɔŋlana
Gukpe-Naa
Gundo-Naa
Gushe-Naa
Hitler
Iddi
Kamo-Naa
Karaga-Naa
Kori-Naa
Kpanalana
Kuga-Naa  (Kuɣa-Naa)
Kumbun-Naa
Kumlana
Langolana
Mba Bunga  (Mba Buŋa)
Mionlana
Monkoha-Naa
Mumuni
Naazoo
Nachin-Naa
Namo-Naa
Nanton-Naa
Nanton-Naa Musa
Prempeh
Sagulilana
Sakpie-Naa  (Sakpiɛ-Naa)
Sampie-Naa  (Sampiɛ-Naa)
Savelugu-Naa Bukari Gurifiri
Sunson-Naa
Sunson-Naa Timaani
Vo-Naa
Wulana
Yaa-Naa
Yelizolilana
Yelizolilana Gurumanchegu  (Yelizolilana Gurumanchɛɣu)
Zandu-Naa
Zohi-Naa  (Zɔhi-Naa)
Zogyuri-Naa  (Zoɣyuri-Naa)

Miscellaneous terms
bilaa, bilahi
buni wuhibu
cedi, cedis
dabli, daba
dabtali
Dagbani
Damba
dawuli
durbar
guinea corn
housechildren
maalam, maalams
Mba kpema  (Mba kpɛma)
naanzunyuunsi
Naawuni
Naayili zombieraba  (Naayili zɔmbiɛraba)
namings
pesewas
sog’nyaanga  (sɔɣ’nyaaŋa)
Samban’ lunga  (Samban’ luŋa)
shea butter
takobu  (takɔbu)
timpana
tindanas
warizohinima  (warizɔhinima)
zong  (zɔŋ)
zombieraba  (zɔmbiɛraba)

Kambonsi and Ashanti terms
Achiri
Adu
asafohene
Asante kotoko, Anua kotoko
Awusi
Chamfo
Chirifo
Damankun
dantini
Jahinfo
Jenkon-hene  (Jɛnkɔn-hene)
Jenkoni  (Jɛnkɔni)
Kambong-waa  (Kambɔŋ-waa)
kente
Kofi
Kojo
Kumahi
Kye ko ani  (Kyɛ ko ani)
Kyefo  (Kyefɔ)
Kyikyiri
Ma no nko  (Ma no nkɔ)
Mankoa
Ohene, yɛ ntumi mu
Ouey!  Ampa!
Sanchi
sapashini, sapashinnima
Se wo hu:  gyese me hu Yendi-hene
Takoro
Wo ku apem, apem be ba.  (Wo ku apem, apem bɛ ba.)
Yendi-hene

Cultural groups
Anua
Asante
Ashanti, Ashantis
Bassaris
Bono
Builsas
Chembas
Dagartis
Dagbana, Dagbamba
Dandawas
Denkyiras
Frafra, Frafras
Gonjas
Gurunsi, Gurunsis
Hausa, Hausas
Kaalo, Kaalos
Kambɔŋa, Kambonsi
Kanjaga
Kasenas
Konkombas
Kusasis
Lobis
Mamprusis
Mossis
Nzima
Sefwis
Simbaha
Sissalas
Wangaras
Zambarima, Zambarimas

Towns and places
Banvim
Bibiani
Cape Coast
Dagbon
Demon
Galiwe
Gushegu
Karaga
Kintampo
Kpatinga
Kumasi
Lamashegu
Langogu  (Langɔɣu)
Nanton
Navrongo
Nyensung
Sagnerigu
Saguli
Sakpie
Salaga
Sampie
Savelugu
Sekondi
Singa
Sunson
Takoradi
Tamale
Tolon
Tuwuo
Voggo
Yaan’ dabari
Yapei
Yelizoli
Yendi
Zandua