A Drummer's Testament
drummers
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Chapter II-14:  The Pre-colonial and Colonial Periods  <PDF file>

The old prince and new prince war for Karaga; Naa Yakuba's madmess; Naa Abilaai and the Bassari war; Naa Andani:  the Zambarima wars, the Kumbungu war, the German conquest and victory at Adibo; Tugulana Iddi, Kari-Naa Abukari and civil war; Naa Alaasani; the coming of the British; reunification of Dagbon; colonial rule under the British

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


Supplementary material  <top of page>

The Karaga war, or Old princes and new princes war (genealogy chart)  <PDF>
The European entry into Dagbon:  Naa Andani and Naa Alaasani (genealogy chart)  <PDF>
Yaa-Naas from Naa Zanjina to Naa Andani (genealogy chart)  <PDF>
Chiefs of Karaga descended from Naa Garba (genealogy chart)  <PDF>
Chiefs of Savelugu descended from Naa Yakuba (genealogy chart)  <PDF>
Chiefs of Nanton descended from Naa Yakuba (genealogy chart)  <PDF>


Contents outline by paragraph  <top of page>

Introduction

1.  chiefs from Naa Garba to Naa Yakuba
2.  talk of the intervening chiefs is short

Separate sides of Dagbon

3.  travel from Toma to Naya; dangers of animals; transport and roads under white men
4.  Savelugu-Naa was main chief in Toma; Yaa-Naa in Yendi area

Chieftaincy and fighting

5.  Yaa-Naa had to use strength to become chief; since Gbewaa
6.  Naa Yakuba’s madness; killed Naa Zoli; the alignment of the fight:  Jɛŋgbarga’s children against Ziblim Bandamda’s grandson; Naa Yakuba and brothers were Naa Zoli’s junior fathers

The Karaga war, or the old prince and new prince war

7.  fighting between Naa Yakuba’s brothers (Sunson-Naa Yahaya, Mionlana Issa, Sanglana Blemah, Kpatinlana Adirkarli) and his children:  Naa Yakuba’s children (Naa Abilaai as zuu and Kari-Naa Adam as Sakpiɛ-Naa) to prevent Sunson-Naa Yahaya from eating Karaga
8.  Sakpiɛ-Naa Adam’s claim to the skin of Karaga
9.  Sunson-Naa Yahaya and Naa Yakuba’s brothers were sacked from Karaga
10.  the sacked chiefs driven away and died outside Dagbon
11.  Sagnerigulana Sulemana died in the war )grandfather of Nanton-Naa Sule); Abilaai ate Mion; Sakpiɛ-Naa Adam ate Karaga

Naa Yakuba’s madness

12.  Naa Yakuba’s madness:  killed people; eye-open madness
13.  Naa Yakuba’s brothers attempt control him; led by Yelizolilana Yidantoɣma; Yelizolilana killed by Naa Yakuba’s children in the Karaga war

Naa Abilaai and Naa Andani:  Bassari and Zambarima wars

14.  Naa Abilaai Naɣbiɛɣu was first-born; fought against Bassari; accompanied by his brothers to the war
15.  explanation:  in old talks, drummers refer to chief by the final chieftaincy he ate; can be confusing
16.  Naa Abilaai collected some Bassari towns; explanation of extent of the war
17.  Naa Andani was Savelugu-Naa; fought Gurunsis; list of towns he fought; fought Zambarimas who had come to Ghana; list of towns; ate Yendi when returned from wars
18.  Naa Andani fought two wars in Dagbon:  fought Kumbungu and fought the white men

Naa Andani:  the Kumbungu war

19.  Kumbun-Naa Abilaai sacks Toma chiefs to Yendi; Naa Andani responds
20.  Kari-Naa Alaasani joins Kumbun-Naa; related to Kumbungu through mother
21.  Kari-Naa’s ambitions for Yendi
22.  Naa Andani killed Kumbun-Naa Abilaai; marched to Karaga and killed Kari-Naa Alaasani

Naa Andani:  the coming of the white men

23.  Germans at Sansanne-Mango in Togo; Naa Andani refused them to enter Dagbon
24.  Germans prepared to enter Yandi by force
25.  battle of Adibo:  Germans defeated Dagbamba; Naa Andani’s elders removed him from the war; Germans burn Yendi
26.  British entered Mamprusi at Gambaga; Mamprusis were frightened by fire from matches; Mamprusis did not fight British

Naa Alaasani:  Tuglana Iddi, Kari-Naa Abukari, and the Germans

27.  after Naa Andani died, Naa Alaasani from Karaga to Yendi; Naa Alaasani’s alliance with the Germans; British at Bagabaga
28.  Naa Andani instructed his zuu Tugulana Iddi to eat Karaga; support Naa Alaasani from Karaga to Yendi
29.  Yendi people did not want Tugulana Iddi to go to Karaga because feared yaws there; Tugulana Iddi supported Savelugu-Naa Darimani for Yaa-Naa
30.  the funeral of Naa Andani; the chiefs gathered
31.  Naa Alaasani (from Karaga) prevented from entering Yendi to perform the funeral
32.  Tugulana Iddi refused Naa Andani’s instructions to go to Karaga; Naa Andani’s funeral was delayed
33.  Kori-Naa Mahami died:  Naa Andani’s junior bother; Kori-Naa Mahami’s zuu Abukari (later Kari-Naa Abukari); supported Naa Alaaasani
34.  Korli Regent Abukari and others allied with Naa Alaasani; Naa Alaasani refused to fight
35.  Korli Regent Abukari’s alliance with Germans; conflict between Germans and British for control of Dagbon
36.  Yendi given to Savelugu-Naa Darimani (Kukara Djee); Tugulana Iddi to Savelugu; Korli Regent Abukari informed Germans; procession at Sang
37.  Germans sent soldiers to Yendi; Darimani fled and died; not counted as Yaa-Naa
38.  Germans attacked Dagbamba at Sang; killed Tugulana Iddi; Sang-dali
39.  why Kukara Djee is not counted as Yaa-Naa
40.  Germans forced the installation of Naa Alaasani; Korli Regent Abukari to Karaga

Kari-Naa Abukari and Naa Alaasani

41.  Kari-Naa Abukari poisoned Naa Alaasani; Naa Alaasani informed Naa Abudu before dying
42.  Savelugu-Naa Bukali Boforo was Naa Andani’s son; ate Savelugu after Sang-dali
43.  Naa Alaasani told Naa Abudu to follow Savelugu-Naa Bukali Boforo as Yaa-Naa
44.  Germans tried to give Yendi to Kari-Naa Abukari; Naa Abudu refused
45.  Naa Abudu appealed to British in Tamale; gave British some of the poisoned drink

46.  Kari-Naa Abukari denied; British called meeting of chiefs; gave drink to Kari-Naa Abukari and he died
47.  Kari-Naa Abukari’s wickedness came back to eat him
48.  Savelugu-Naa Bukali refused chieftaincy; Naa Abudu ate Yendi from Mion

Naa Abudu:  reunification of Dagbon under British

49.  British collected all of Dagbon; Dagbamba did not fight British
50.  British unified Toma and Naya; chieftaincy of Yendi became paramount

Benefits of British rule

51.  British rule was good; before that was suffering; unsafe to travel
52.  Dagbon truly unified under Naa Mahama Kpɛma; lorries and roads
53.  further unification under Naa Mahama Bila; benefits of roads
54.  another example:  matches; previous difficulty of making fire with flint
55.  other benefits:  water, electricity, rule of law

Problems after independence

56.  since independence, Ghana spoiled; abuse of power; lawless
57.  government disrespects custom; exploitation, nepotism, corruption
58.  colonial times:  no shortages, prices were low; currently, money does not last
59.  currently, modern life spoiled by corrupt politicians and soldiers; no law, no respect; especially spoiled by soldiers
60.  current generation not the same as previous generations; need to pray for the current generation



Proverbs and Sayings  <top of page>

Dagbamba people say that if you arrange with somebody before it is time, if you wink your eyes, the fellow will know what you mean.

The chieftaincy a chief died with, that is the chieftaincy we use to call him.

Yaa-Naa regards Kumbun-Naa as his bilaa, his slave.

if Yendi falls, a grandson can interfere.

It is standing that if Yaa-Naa ties war, Kari-Naa has to be behind him.

He, Naa Andani, and alizini people could not sit at the same place.  And he and red monkeys could not sit and greet one another.

In Dagbon, we fear the mouth of a dead person.  Whatever he said and died, if you refuse it, you will get trouble.

Our chiefs have got strong hearts that can kill them.

We don’t count him into Yaa-Naas because he saw the war coming and he ran away.

a wicked man’s trap catches his own child.

What he would do and it would eat him, that is what he did.

What you sow is what you harvest.

What is coming is not going back.

They made our roads to be large ones, and they made the roads that were long become short.

The time when God creates you, and you are in that time, you don’t call it a bad generation.

The old people say that you shouldn’t blame the current generation:  you should pray for them.



Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Chiefs of Yendi
Naa Abila Bila
Naa Abilaai  [Naa Abilaai Bawuna, Naa Bawuna, Naa Nagbiegu]  (Naa Abilaai Naɣbiɛɣu)
Naa Abudu  [zuu Abudu, Naa Abudu Setang’ kugli]  (Naa Abudu Setaŋ’ kuɣli)
Naa Alaasani
Naa Andani  [Naa Andan’zhee]  (Naa Andan’ʒee)
Naa Andani Jengbarga  (Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga)
Naa Bimbiegu  (Naa Bimbiɛɣu)
Naa Dalgu
Naa Garba
Naa Gbewaa
Naa Kulunku
Naa Mahama Bila  [Naa Mahambila]
Naa Mahama Kpema  (Naa Mahama Kpɛma)
Naa Mahami
Naa Saa Ziblim  [Naa Saa, Naa Saalana]
Naa Shitɔbu  (Naa Shitobu)
Naa Siɣli  (Naa Sigli)
Naa Simaani Zoli  [Naa Simaani, Naa Zoli]
Naa Yabuka
Naa Zibliim Bandamda
Naa Zulandi
Naa Zhirli  (Naa Ʒirli)

Chiefs of other towns
Gukpe-Naa Alhassan
Kari-Naa Abukari  [Abukari, zuu Abukari, Korli Regent Abukari]
Kari-Naa Adam Jetta
Kari-Naa Alaasani
Kari-Naa Mahami
Kari-Naa Yinfa
Kori-Naa Mahami
Kpatinlana Adirkarli
Kpatu-Naa Shetu
Kudulana Issa
Kukara Djee  [Savelugu-Naa Darimani]
Kumbun-Naa Abilaai
Mionlana Issa
Mionlana Mahami
Mionlana Salifu
Mionlana Simaani
Nanton-Naa Alaasambila
Nanton-Naa Sule
Pigulana Issa
Sagnerigulana Sulemana
Sanglana Blemah
Sanglana Mahama
Sapkie-Naa Adam  [Kari-Naa Adam, Kari-Naa Adam Jetta]  (Sapkiɛ-Naa Adam)
Savelugu-Naa Bukali Shegbaa  (Savelugu-Naa Bukali Sheɣbaa)  [Sheɣbaa Bukali]
Savelugu-Naa Darimani  [Kukara Djee]
Savelugu-Naa Kantampara Bukari  [Savelugu-Naa Abukari Kantampara]
Savelugu-Naa Mahama Noobila  (Savelugu-Naa Mahama Ŋoobila)
Saveulgu-Naa Bukali Boforo
Sunson-Naa Yahaya
Tolon-Naa Sulemambila
Tugulana Iddi
Tugulana Salifu
Yelizolilana Lagfu  (Yelizolilana Laɣfu)
Yelizolilana Yidantogma  (Yelizolilana Yidantoɣma)
Zangbalin-Naa Aduna
Zoggolana Issa

Chieftaincies and titles
Kari-Naa  [Karagalana]
Kasuliyililana
Kori-Naa  [chief of Korli]
Kpatinlana
Kumbun-Naa
Limam
Mionlana
Nanton-Naa
Nyankpalalana
Sanglana
Sapkie-Naa  (Sapkiɛ-Naa)
Savelugulana  [Savelugu-Naa]
Tampionlana
Tolon-Naa
Tugulana
Wariboggolana
Yaa-Naa, Yaa-Naas
Yelizolilana

Other persons mentioned
Acheampong  [General I.K. Acheampon]
Alhaji Adam (Alhassan)  [Mangulana]
Gomda
Mumuni  [Alhaji Mumuni Abdulai]

Miscellaneous terms
alizini
anzinfa
bilaa
cedis
cheb’kolgu  (chɛb’kolgu)
chebli  (chɛbli)
Dagbani
Gbonglana  (Gbɔŋlana)
Kambonsi
kapok
Katin’ duu
lorry, lorries
Naanigoo
Naɣbiegu  (Naɣbiɛɣu)
pesewas
pito
Samban’ lunga  (Samban’ luŋa)
Sang-dali
sarimana
siliming’chebli  (silimiŋ’chɛbli)
threepence
Zambalana tong  (Zambalana tɔŋ)
zuu

Towns and places
Adibo
Awarayili
Bagabaga
Bassali
Bassimbaliya
Bawku
Bimbila
Dagbon
Diari
Dolbizan
Gambaga
Gbilijini
Gbungbaliga
Juni
Karaga
Karimari
Korli
Korli-gbini
Kuduli
Kpatinga
Kpatuya
Kumbungu
Kunchumambaliya
Malizheri
Masaka
Mion
Nambaliya
Nanchemba
Nanton
Navrongo
Naya
Nyanshegu
Pigu
Pisigu
Sakasaka
Sakpie
Salaga
Sang
Sansanne-Mango
Satili
Savelugu
Sechi
Sunson
Tampion
Tolon
Toma
Tugu
Tuusaani
Vitin
Wakambaliya
Yendi
Zangbalin
Zoggo

Cultural groups
Bassari, Bassaris
Dagbamba
Gonja
Gurunsi, Gurunsis
Konkombas
Mamprusi, Mamprusis
Nanumbas
Zambarima, Zambarimas