How Dagbamba farm yams; other crops: corn, sorghum, millet, beans; crop
rotation and agricultural technology; farming rituals and sacrifices; uses of
Paragraph outline and links
Proverbs and sayings
Dagbani words and other search terms
Schedule of farming
clear nyutam: measure and clear yam field
remove yam seeds from old field
begin making ridges and mounds
prepare vuɣlaa: make ridges and mounds
prepare yam seeds
December-February (Harmattan season)
April-May (start of rains)
clear batandali (last year’s yam field)
sow guinea corn and cow peas
sow bambara beans and millet in the yam field
June-August (up to December)
start to harvest yams, especially laabako and kpino
harvest bambara beans and millet
harvest guinea corn and millet
outline and links by paragraph
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1. farming is focused on yams; mixed with other crops
2. clearing the land: nyutam, vaɣli, zalli
3. cook food after clearing the land; bury food on the farm
4. making ridges for yam mounds; vuɣlaa, nakpaa
5. preparing yam seeds
6. season or time for planting and harvesting yams
7. techniques of planting yams
8. types of yams; their characteristics and differing yields
9. farm different types because of different harvests; don’t mix types in a mound
10. covering the mounds with nyubuɣri; protecting the mounds
11. nyusari; stake the growing yams; weeding and caring for the yams
Farming other crops
12. second crops, make farm in the batandali; getting people to help
13. farming the batandali; making a corn farm
14. adding guinea corn and beans or cowpeas
15. sowing bambara beans and millet among the yam mounds
16. farming corn in the guinea corn farm; types of corn; guinea corn only one year
17. can farm a plot for three years usually; occasionally five or more; then fallow
18. sow red beans (sanʒi) in the corn farm; early harvest
19. when weeding yam farm, also sow sesame in a separate place
The work of yams
20. typical Dagbamba use new yams for sacrifice to Jɛbuni house shrine
21. gather people to harvest the yams
22. the day of eating yams: gather the family; pound new yams for fufu
23. slaughter goats and fowls; share the food to neighbors
24. the work of yams: mashed yams
25. the work of yams: boiled yams with stew
26. the work of yams: roasted yams, fried yams
27. the work of yams: other ways to cook and eat yams
How women help with harvesting crops
28. harvesting the other crops; women help with harvesting work
29. harvesting corn; remove the kernels in the house compound
30. harvesting guinea corn; also women; push down the stalks and cut; gather and carry home
31. harvesting millet is difficult; how women prepare an area, beat the millet, and sieve it
32. sharing the harvest with the house women for their own use
33. how women sometimes help with sowing and weeding; girlfriends and wives
34. some women do not help with the harvesting; sometimes causes quarrels
Proverbs and Sayings
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A Dagbana does not farm with hunger.
Someone whose hand grows yams quickly is there.
Everybody has got his sense in farming.
Some Dagbamba say that if you are a farmer and your farm is increasing too much, it means there is a funeral behind it.
It’s just like if someone is nice: when it’s daybreak he will bathe and make himself fine, and at that time you see that he has become more beautiful. This is what we do to yams.
The farming of yams looks like how they take care of a new-born baby: you cannot get someone to farm yams for you.
He has not yet shown it to his old thing,
Take this food and this meat and go and give to this housepeople, and tell them that today we are eating yams.
Have you ever seen someone eating food, and the food will collect his sense?
How girl friends are: if you are entering a hole, she is following you.
Having a girl friend is sweeter than having a wife.
Every day you are with your wife, and when you are with someone every day, even if she is a witch who catches people, you won’t fear her.
Key words for ASCII
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Chiefs and elders
Towns and places
Types of yams
Foods from yams
Foods and utensils
bangli zhieri (baŋli ʒiɛri)