A Drummer's Testament
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A DRUMMER’S TESTAMENT:
Dagbamba Society and Culture in the Twentieth Century


Collaborators and Research Associates
Summary and Expanded Tables of Contents
Project Status
Guide to Pronunciation
Currency Note
Acknowledgments
Maps

JOHN CHERNOFF'S INTRODUCTION
    Preamble:  Trees
    Dagbon:  Close from a Distance
    Relative Systems
    The Anthropological Heritage
    Dagbon:  Closing the Distance
    The Ethnographic Seed
    The Translation
    The Creative
    Testament
    The Treasure
    The Receptive

Volume I:  THE WORK OF DRUMMING

Part 1:  ALHAJI IBRAHIM’S INTRODUCTION TO THE WORK
    1:    The Benefits of Friendship and Why We Should Do the Work as a Group
    2:    The Dagbamba Way of Living in the Villages and in the Towns
    3:    The Sense of Dagbamba and Their Way of Living in the Olden Days
    4:    Respect and the Dagbamba Way of Living Together
    5:    The Way of a Stranger and How a Stranger Should Live in Dagbon
    6:     Greetings and Respect in Dagbon
    7:    How Dagbamba Send Messengers
    8:    The Debt of the Stomach
    9:    Patience, Truth, and How We Should Do the Talks

Part 2:  DRUMMERS AND DRUMMING IN DAGBON
    10:   The Work of Drumming 
    11:  The Respect of Drumming and How Drumming Started in Dagbon
    12:  Drummers and the Other Musicians of Dagbon
    13:  How We Make Our Drums and Gungons
    14:  How a Drum Is Beaten

Part 3:  MUSIC AND DANCING IN COMMUNITY EVENTS
    15:  Proverbs and Praise-names
    16:  Praise-Name Dances and the Benefits of Music
    17:  How a Person Should Dance
    18:  Baamaaya, Jera, Yori, Bila and Other Group Dances of Dagbon
    19:  Takai and Tɔra
    20:  The Work of Drumming:  Funerals
    21:  Muslims’ Funerals and Chiefs’ Funerals

Part 4:  LEARNING AND MATURITY
    22:  How Children are Trained in Drumming and Singin
    23:  Traveling and Learning the Dances of Other Tribes
    24:  Drum Chieftaincies
    25:  How Drummers Share Money

Volume II:  OLD TALKS:  DRUMMERS, CHIEFS, HISTORY AND RELIGION

Part 1:  CHIEFTAINCY
    1:  The Forbidden Topics of Drumming
    2:  How Drummers Search for the Old Talks
    3:  Old Talks:  The Origins of Dagbon
    4:  Naa Shitɔbu and Naa Nyaɣsi:  The Founding of Dagbon
    5:  The Yaa-Naa and the Elders of Yendi
    6:  The Organization of Chieftaincy
    7:  How Princes Get Chieftaincy and Go to Hold a Town
    8:  How Chiefs Judge Cases

Part 2:  HISTORY
    9:    The Drum History (Samban’ luŋa)
    10:  The First Gonja War:  Naa Dariʒɛɣu and Naa Luro
    11:  Naa Zanjina and the Coming of Islam
    12:  The Second Gonja War:  Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli
    13:  The Cola and Slave Trades:  Naa Garba and Naa Ziblim
    14:  The Pre-Colonial Era:  Naa Andani and Naa Alhassan
    15:  Modern History and the Chieftaincy Crisis

Part 3:  FESTIVALS IN COMMUNITY LIFE AND THE WORK OF DRUMMERS
    16:  Festivals:  The Fire Festival
    17:  Festivals:  The Damba Festival
    18:  Festivals:  Kpini, Ramadan, and Chimsi

Part 4:  RELIGION AND MEDICINE
    19:  The Dagbamba Belief in God
    20:  Islam, Muslim Elders, and the Strength of Islam
    21:  The Pilgrimage to Mecca
    22:  Traditional Religion:  Soothsayers and Diviners
    23:  Traditional Religion:  The Priests of the Earth
    24:  Traditional Religion:  Gods and Shrines
    25:  Traditional Religion:  Medicine
    26:  Drummer’s Medicines
    27:  Diseases and Medicine
    28:  Madness

Volume III:  IN OUR LIVING

Part 1:  ECONOMIC LIFE
    1:    Farming in Dagbon
    2:    How Dagbamba Farm Yams
    3:    The Work of Guinea Corn
    4:    Rice Farming
    5:    Groundnuts, Shea Butter, and Kpalgu
    6:    Markets
    7:    Modern Types of Work and Problems of Economic Development

Part 2:  FAMILY
    8:    Family and Lineage
    9:    How a Family Separates
    10:  What Makes A Family Strong

Part 3:  CHILDREN
    11:  The Benefits of Many Children
    12:  How a Child is Given Birth
    13:  Special Problems of Children
    14:  How Children Live When They Are Young
    15:  How Girls Grow Up in the Villages
    16:  How Boys Grow Up in the Villages

Part 4:  HOUSEHOLDING
    17:  How Dagbamba Marry
    18:  The Life of Bachelors
    19:  Why Dagbamba Marry Many Wives
    20:  How Dagbamba Feed Their Families
    21:  Hoe a Husband and Wife Love One Another
    22:  How Women Work and Help One Another
    23:  Sex and Jealousy in a House
    24:  How a Husband and Wife Separate

Part 5:  OLD AGE
    25:  Widows
    26:  The Life of Old People

Part 6:  CONCLUSION:
    27:  Alhaji Ibrahim’s Reflection on the Work


SUPPORTING MATERIALS

WITHIN THE TEXT:
Photographs
Tables and Figures as readers’ aids for data-intensive chapters

END MATTER:
Glossary of Dagbani words used in the text
Annotated Bibliography on Dagbon
Index 1:  Persons, titles, towns, tribes in the text
Index 2:  Proverbs, praise-names, dances mentioned in the text
Index 3:  General content and subject index
Map 1:    Ghana:  principal towns and tribes cited
Map 2:    Northern and Upper Regions of Ghana:  major towns cited
Map 3:    Dagbon:  all towns and villages cited
Outline of chapter contents

SUPPLEMENTARY:
Recordings of selected drumming and music to accompany the text