How children live with their parents; eating; friends and peer groups;
games and dances of children; how children are trained; formal education: Arabic
and English schools; vocational training
Paragraph outline and links
Proverbs and sayings
Dagbani words and other search terms
Atikatika photos (forthcoming)
outline and links by paragraph
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What the parents teach a child
1. child has to be
shown the people in the family
2. child has to be fed
3. child has to be
taught right and wrong
4. can beat, but not too much; other ways to control:
talk or look at the child
5. shouting sometimes, not other times
How children eat
6. money to buy food outside; sometime
give and other times not
7. children follow food and where they can eat
how children eat and share food
9. sharing food teaches children friendship
How children mingle and play
10. children roam and
learn how to live together
11. can observe children playing to know their
character or future; nicknames
12. can observe children to see their
weaknesses and strength
13. children quarrel and play; adults should not
Kpara ni Jansi, or Atikatika
14. children can have
influence; Kpara ni Jansi, Atikatika
15. some people say that Atikatika
16. nothing happens without a reason; Kpara ni Jansi came at
the same time Dagbon spoiled
17. meaning of Kpara ni Jansi
18. Kpara ni
Jansi started in Tamale and spread in Dagbon; chiefs stopped it many places
Dances children dance
19. formerly children dance
Baamaaya, Takai, Tɔra, and other dances
20. Gumbɛ from Kotokolis; later
became Simpa; originally used wooden dalgu, then frame-drums called taamaale,
and now metal dalbihi; girls dance it
21. before that, Amajiro and Lua were
the popular dances of children
22. go to nearby towns to play and watch;
return home late and climb the wall of the house to enter
22. Anakulyɛra, a
recent dance; use the beating of Amajiro
23. children bring new dances that
become old dances; children start many things
Games children play
24. many games; they resemble children’s games of other towns
Biɛɣyaaneea / Biɛɣyaamooya; like hide and seek
26. Tuutirɛ; like sock tag
27. Saamiya murga
28. Sibri sibri
29. Kuraya kuraya; like hot potato
30. A daa lan daai ma; Vooli (tug of war); Salangbari; Nooparsima yaɣli
games and songs for particular times: Ŋum mali chɛrga
32. all these game are
good; only Kpari ni Jansi is useless
four to five years, Muslim school to learn Holy Qu’ran; not everyone
children show the type of school they want; some learn English; some learn
35. school children are sensible and also foolish
36. sense or
foolishness depends on how God made the child to be; schooling hardens children
37. those who learn trades become used to having money; at risk to become thieves
38. better to send children to school; send different children to different
types of school
39. Alhaji Ibrahim did not go to school for reading and
writing, but has knowledge of Dagbon because was raised in a village; next
topics about village children
Proverbs and Sayings
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They show a child everything, but on the part of food, they don’t show a child
When a fish is dry, you cannot bend it.
If a child is
young and you beat him and he becomes hardened, then you cannot keep him again.
You cannot force a child, because a child is not a sheep that you will
You will hold a child with the tongue, and you will hold him with
The name of the child is: “It is there.”
live, where there is no eating, you won’t see them there.
A child plays
in the house where he always eats and is satisfied.
When you see
children gathered, playing, if you look inside the children, you will see the
one who is the leader among them. If you watch and look, you will come to see
that they eat in his house.
Good children don’t want to eat alone.
“Good thoughts, good thoughts: they do good works.”
If a child
roams, he will learn how to live.
When children gather, old people look
Inside the playing of the children, the children have talks.
How a child starts is how he ends.
Where children are gathered,
whatever happens, when they are going to disperse, if there is no quarrel there,
then you must know that some bad thing is lying there.
live: “Come let us fight; come let us play.”
You shouldn’t enter into
the quarrels of children. If you enter their talks, you will come to stand
Every child is everybody’s child.
A child’s fighting does
not go far,
A talk that has never happened and you do it, you will see
some talk that has never happened.
When a wolf cries and a goat is lost,
who has caught it?
What is forbidden, no one has ever seen it.
What is forbidden does not walk. It is only watching you will watch.
Trouble does not come because of nothing, and if trouble wants to come, it goes
to attach itself to something.
Just like the way that no one will remain
in this world: every talk has got its meaning,
Baboons and monkeys: they
look like one another.
It’s not all dances I go to stand and look,
because a dance you are not supposed to see, you don’t go to look at it.
It is proverbs which a person takes to do work.
If you want to see
our Dagbon way of life, you watch the children, because it is the children who
Children bring good things into a town.
It is where
people are many that a person gets sense, and it is where there are many people
that there is foolishness.
It is in the schools that the children learn
to live with one another.
Key words for ASCII
searches <top of page>
A na kul yera (A na kul yɛra)
Kpara ni Jansi
Kpara ni Jansi be nman' taba (Kpara ni Jansi
bɛ ŋman' taba)
cherga, nun chem kulga, jaa naa jee, ti chem kulga (Ŋum mali chɛrga, ŋun chɛm kulga, jaa naa jɛɛ, ti chɛm
Children's games and terms
A daa lan daai ma, daam' ka lan nya
Nooparsima yagli (Nooparsima yaɣli)
Saamiya murga, saa saa murga, saa saamiya murga, saa saa murga.
Sibri yaa yoo, Yaa Sibri
Towns and places
kpo (sound of knocking)