A Drummer's Testament
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Chapter III-10:  What Has Strength in Dagbamba Families  <PDF>
Family and togetherness; benefits of a large family; how families extend; sharing children in the family; bonds of children from one mother

Paragraph outline and links
Proverbs and sayings
Dagbani words and other search terms

Contents outline and links by paragraph  <top of page>

Staying together with people

1.  an extended family has strength
2.  family strength in trust; people coming together; strength of friendship
3.  give daughter to marry a friend; friend’s children become family
4.  trust, patience, coming together, sharing good and bad
5.  good to do things as a group; importance of funerals
6.  take children to funeral houses to know the family
7.  some families increase; other decrease
8.  should not inherit anything from someone who did not want the family
9.  should not attend the funeral of someone who did not want the family

The benefits of a big family

10.  respect for a big family; include every relative
11.  example:  funeral elder collects the children of the dead person
12.  Dagbamba way of living:  don’t separate people from the family
13.  Dagbamba way of living:  gather relatives; don’t refuse them

Sharing children helps the family

14.  give your children to be raised by your siblings
15.  sharing children extends the family
16.  voluntary; drummers do it to help child learn; child won’t be spoiled
17.  responsibility to a child who is given to you to raise; trust; no gossip
18.  if child is not being trained well, take the child back
19.  not training the child well breaks the family
20.  share daughters to sisters
21.  importance of the training to help the child
22.  Alhaji Ibrahim raising many children from his brothers
23.  a child may not know who is the real father
24.  a child may see the love between junior and senior father and understand his relationship
25.  example:  son Alhassan refused to farm; how Alhaji Ibrahim challenged him and helped him

Strength of the mother in how children bond

26.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s brothers raised one another’s children; respect among them
27.  children of one mother and one father have strongest bond
28.  the strength comes from the mother; different mothers may not have one mouth
29.  example:  Naa Andani and Naa Alhassan did not have the same mother
30.  second strongest is having mothers from one mother and one father
31.  children of different mothers may or may not bond; weakest among princes
32.  different mothers versus one mother:  important aspect of family life in Dagbon
33.  Alhaji Ibrahim’s house has many people living together; brothers from the same mother


34.  summary of importance of extending the family; transition to the talks about children

Proverbs and Sayings  <top of page>

What we want:  we want the family to extend and become wide.

How a family is, it shows that people have come together.

Dagbamba know that family started from friendship.

Friendship is even stronger than family.

As there is trust, there is no separation.

On the part of our Dagbamba living, where there is trust and patience, that is what makes our way of living to be good.

Where you are sitting together with people, if one of you does not sleep, then all of you don’t sleep.

If you know someone, and you are really a Dagbana, then you will know that his good is your good and his bad is your bad.

In our Dagbon, if you call somebody your mother’s child, it can be your relative, but it can also be your friend.

It is not only the person whom they brought forth together with you that you will call your mother’s child.

If something happens, it is good that a family groups together to do it.

How our families are:  some are long and some are short.

When we share our children to our brothers and sisters, it also teaches the children many things.

We share our children because it shows them the family.

We share our children because it helps them get sense.

Truth is always the same.

If you too give your child to somebody, you should not hear the talks of others.

We Dagbamba say, “No one loves the other more than himself.”

The first thing that has strength in our families is one mother and one father.

A family is one thing, but its talks are many.

Another strong thing in the family is that our mothers were given birth by one father and one mother.

Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Chiefs and elders
Naa Andani
Naa Abdulai

Names and people
Abdul Rahaman  (Abdulai)
Abdulai  (Ibrahim)
Abdulkadiri  (Ibrahim)
Afa Adam  (Ibrahim)
Alhassambila  (Ibrahim)
Alhassan  (Ibrahim)
Aliyu  (Ibrahim)
Fatawu  (Ibrahim)
Lunzhegu  (Lunʒɛɣu)
Mumuni  (Abdulai)
Osmanu  (Ibrahim)
Yakubu  (Ibrahim)

Towns and places

Cultural groups
Dagbana, Dagbamba

Miscellaneous terms