A Drummer's Testament
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Chapter III-21:  How a Husband and Wife Love One Another   <PDF file>

What a husband does for his wife; what a wife does for her husband

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

Contents outline and links by paragraph  <top of page>


1.  differences between typical Dagbamba and Muslims

Dagbamba husbands' main work is providing food

2.  money or food for cooking; the most important thing is to establish trust

Buying cloth for the wife

3.  buying clothes and shoes
4.  how a rich person and a chief buy cloth
5.  how maalams, commoners, and farmers give cloth; often given during Ramadan
6.  cloth for Ramadan; can give money; woman adds her money to choose her cloth
7.  how giving the money instead of buying cloth shows the husband's respect
8.  chief’s wives have no choice
9.  how commoners beg their wives to accept the gift they can afford

Other good works by the husband

10.  respect for in-laws; greeting the wife’s housepeople
11.  buying of gifts, animals
12.  show concern for wife’s feelings; does not chase outside women
13.  sharing things and work; protecting the wife from bad things
14.  exception:  typical Dagbamba husbands do not do washing, but for man to cook and to pound fufu are inside custom
15.  love the children of the wife
16.  villagers show trust in their wives to hold his best things
17.  if there is no love, then trouble, blame, quarreling, selfishness; different from this talk

Good works Muslim husbands do

18.  start good works before marriage; gifts; get all the things for when they marry
19.  arrival of the wife at the house:  the unveiling; slaughter animals to prepare food
20.  preparing and furnishing the wife’s room
21.  help the wife to learn to read; greet his in-laws; protect wife from suffering


22.  Muslim husband will assist the wife’s family if there is a funeral
23.  Dagbamba funerals have more expenses for in-laws; cloth, scarf, sheep, money, food, music
24.  a good wife and mother will attract help for the funeral from the whole family of the husband
25.  Dagbamba try harder for a woman who has no children; example:  Alhaji Ibrahim’s senior wife

The good works of a wife who loves her husband

26   women’s help feeding guests at a funeral protects the man from shame
27.  women are the foundation of funerals; get blessings from God
28.  women get blessings and respect; man should not put her into difficulty
29.  have to respect woman as a wife; no adultery; should not beat a woman
30.  the woman takes care of the house:  cooking, sweeping, washing, going for water and firewood
31.  good to people in the house; does not gossip or quarrel outside; gifts; speaks well of people
32.  a wife can show her love with sex
33.  help the husband; even goes to help on the farm; buys things for the husband
34.  protect her husband from trouble or shame; give her own money to perform funerals
35.  good works and help for the husband’s parents; wife’s love resembles a husband’s love


36:  conclusion and transition

Proverbs and Sayings  <top of page>

If what your heart wants is what you do for her, it shows that the woman is a slave in your house.

The cloth that some women will not wear, the women who will wear it are there.

She has taken wet sand and put it on dry sand.

If you beat a dog, you should wait for its owner.

When people abuse someone because of someone, it is love that has brought it.

As for the expenses of a Dagbamba funeral, there is now fear inside it.

Performing the funeral comes from the bone of your wife.

If your wife loves you, she will like your people and your friends, and they will witness that.

If your wife doesn’t love you, every day you are a stranger to her.

How a woman loves her husband, it looks like how a man loves his wife.  Everyday it is good works they will do for one another, and they will be sitting down coolly; and if you look at them you will see that their way of living is good.

Key words for ASCII searches  <top of page>

Names and people
Fati  (wife of Ibrahim)
(Alhaji) Mumuni  (Abdulai)

Towns and places

Cultural groups

Miscellaneous terms
maalam, maalams
sagim  (saɣim)
yaazhi  (yaaʒi)