A Drummer's Testament:   chapter outlines and links

Volume II Part 2:  History

II-9:  Samban' Luŋa, The Drum History


1.  Samban' luŋa the talks of chiefs who have died
2.  beaten after Ramadan and during Chimsi, before general prayers, or if a chief eats chieftaincy

Starting the Samban' luŋa:  pounding the soup

3.  the meaning of “Samban’ luŋa”; starts after dinner:  junior drummer “sweeps outside the chief’s house”
4.  sweeping outside the compound:  junior drummer beats Dakoli n-nyɛ bia and family praises
5.  starting also called “pound the soup”; reference to drummers as women
6.  Samban' luŋa also called Luŋ’ sariga; planting the drum

The extent of the Samban' luŋa

7.  ten or eleven o’clock:  senior drummer starts with Dakoli n-nyɛ bia and praise names; beats and sings
8.  finishing pounding the soup; more people assemble; senior drummer shows which chief he is going to beat; one singer and drum chorus behind
9.  drum chief can send any knowledgeable drummer to sing Samban' luŋa in his place
10.  no one knows all; drummer sings about chiefs he knows better
11.  Samban' luŋa knowledge compared to school achievement
12.  knowledgeable chiefs can request particular Samban' luŋa; some do not know; chiefs also have extent of their knowledge
13.  some drummers with knowledge can beat from eight o’clock until daybreak; many drummers know Naa Zanjina
14.  Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli have many talks; have to move from them up to the present chief
15.  to move from Naa Zanjina through the chiefs, drummer needs to make some parts short
16.  differences in knowledge and extent of Samban' luŋa; not all drummers reach daybreak; drummers choose different chiefs
17.  a chief’s Samban' luŋa includes his descendents
18.  different paths through the history; sometimes the talks get mixed; example:  Naa Luro and Naa Zɔmbila

Drummers who beat the Samban' luŋa are distinguished

19.  knowledge of the Samban' luŋa is the mark of learnedness
20.  not all know Samban' luŋa; many can beat for dancing but not sing Samban' luŋa; have to learn it
21.  Samban' luŋa drummers have respect in chief’s house; done by drumming chiefs; difference from young men’s drummers in towns who know praises of chiefs but don’t beat Samban’ luŋa
22.  drum chiefs beat it or send someone to beat it; Alhaji Mumuni’s position in Savelugu; Palo-Naa could ask him to do it, or any other drummer who knows it

Learning to beat and preparing to beat the Samban' luŋa for the first time

23.  drummers express modesty before performing; fear medicine from jealousy; protect themselves
24.  drummers don’t seek to beat Samban’ luŋa; don’t boast that they know too much
25.  many people watch and judge the drummer; drummer has to manage anxiety
26.  drummer will review his knowledge in his mind; must be confident
27.  some use medicine to help them remember; also gives confidence
28.  drummer may not sleep from worries and preparation; sitting and thinking and reviewing
29.  sometimes a young drummer can ask an older drummer for help in remembering details
30.  a drummer won’t boast; an older drummer can reassure him that he can beat until daybreak
31.  how drummers learn Samban' luŋa; go to different drummers in night with gifts; massage his legs; can take a year or more; different extent of learning

The Samban’ luŋa performance space

32.  after pounding the soup, the Samban' luŋa drummer who sings will stand in front, facing the chief; the singer does not beat a drum; the leader of the drum chorus seated behind; helps singer
33.  people gather; some use recording devices if drummer agrees
34.  reason why the drummer who sings may forbid recording; example:  Dakpɛma Lun-Naa Aliyu
35.  possibility of mistakes when perform from memory; how maalams praise drummers learnedness
36.  chief sits with elders; chief’s wives and children on other side; drummers face the chief; many drummers

How people show themselves at the Samban' luŋa

37.  drummers praise princes and chiefs and others who who arrive; the chorus leader helps point them out
38.  all those present have relationship to former chiefs; praise them and return to the Samban’ luŋa
39.  princes show themselves; give money when drummers come to their ancestors
40.  drummers praise many people; people tell the drummers if they are not known
41.  those who get the money are the singer and the drum chief who chose him

What the chief does for the drummer

42.  the need for sacrifices for protection; the sacrifice; drummer also sacrifices at home
43.  if do not make the sacrifices, either drummer or chief or both will suffer consequences
44.  if singing about a chief who needs heavy sacrifice, the drummer tell chief the work in advance; chief can stop a drummer if doesn’t have means
45.  for singing some chiefs, the chief will add gown, hat; feed all drummers; different sacrifices for different chiefs
46.  they all fear not to do the sacrifices the Samban’ luŋa may need
47.  example:  no Samban' luŋa for Naa Nyaɣsi; normally don’t have Samban' luŋa for chiefs before Naa Luro
48.  if chief has no means, others in the town can contribute; if not, drummer can omit parts


49.  example:  Naa Dariʒɛɣu and Naa Luro, will slaughter animal when beat Baŋgumaŋa
50.  importance of sacrifice in Samban' luŋa that has talk of war
51.  Baŋgumaŋa first beaten when Naa Luro won war; how it is beaten and danced in Samban' luŋa
52.  Baŋgumaŋa is the only dance in Samban' luŋa
53.  the meaning of Baŋgumaŋa explained; after the dance, continue the singing and beating of Samban' luŋa
54.  the significance of Naa Luro to chiefs

Main themes in the Samban' luŋa of different chiefs

55.  Naa Luro often beaten; gave birth to four Yaa-Naas; chiefs who fought wars have longer talks
56.  Naa Zɔlgu’s talks are old; chief may sacrifice a cow; Samban' luŋa follow the five Yaa-Naas he gave birth to
57.  the drummer starts from the chief who will be beaten; mentions the father and goes forward
58.  if beat Naa Zaɣli, the drummer will start with Naa Luro
59.  if Naa Siɣli, also has Baŋgumaŋa; how the drummer moves through the chiefs
60.  lessons from Naa Zokuli or Naa Gungobli; princes may not get their father’s chieftaincy
61.  Naa Tutuɣri will lead to Naa Zanjina and how he got chieftaincy; further lessons
62.  how Naa Zanjina’s work influenced Dagbon
63.  Naa Garba:  how Naa Siɣli and Naa Bimbiɛɣu ate before Naa Garba ate; have to follow them in order
64.  Naa Bimbiɛɣu and Naa Garba’s brothers:  changed the status of divisional chieftaincies

Lessons from the Samban' luŋa

65.  Samban' luŋa shows chief about chieftaincy and about his family; drummer includes all
66.  princes and commoners also learn about their relation to chieftaincy and their ancestors; example:  Alhaji Ibrahim descended from Naa Garba and Naa Siɣli
67.  even typical Dagbamba can be traced to a Yaa-Naa; families separate and mix in marriage
68.  those who fires died:  those who did not eat chieftaincy become commoners
69.  talk of women in Samban' luŋa:  Naa Luro’s wife and pakpɔŋ; women learn of their strength and pride

Narrative strategies in the Samban’ luŋa:  example of Naa Garba

70.  drummer’s choice of path through Samban’ luŋa depends on extent of knowledge
71.  Naa Garba’s talk includes Nanton-Naa Musa and Kori-Naa Ali; beaten by Alhaji Mumuni at Nanton
72.  how their children are included in Naa Garba:  mother’s children’s children
73.  can go into a bit of detail before coming back to Naa Garba
74.  traditional god names of the brothers; Laamihi asked to be taken to the god to give birth to men

75.  how Laamihi gave birth to the three brothers; the god at Galiwe; new Yaa-Naa sacrifices there
76.  not a fault to omit this story when singing Naa Garba
77.  when singing at Nanton or where their descendants are; the people want all the details
78.  at other towns, the drummer only goes into the story a little bit
79.  drummers choose extent; sometimes inspire young drummers to learn more; the audience not consulted
80.  only the chief is consulted regarding necessary sacrifices for particular chiefs; the narrative path is the decision of the drummer

Historical discrepancies in the Samban' luŋa

81.  Samban' luŋa is not written; learned orally; differences mainly from names and narrative paths
82.  example:  Naa Bimbiɛɣu in Samban' luŋa; his relationship to Naa Zanjina
83.  example:  how Naa Bimbiɛɣu wore chieftaincy dress
84.  example:  how Akarima and Namo-Naa praised him; Naa Bimbiɛɣu’s names
85.  example:  the anachronism of Akarima; Akarima came during Naa Ziblim Bandamda’s time; a reference to previous type of drum not questioned
86.  example:  Naa Luro’s Samban' luŋa; differences in descriptions of how Naa Luro killed Gonja chief, Kaluɣsi Dajia
87.  example:  way of death not significant or questioned; main point is the war victory; only criticize major points

Significance of written and oral traditions for drummers and Muslims

88.  differences in drumming talks not a fault; from learning
89.  knowledge is passed from an older person to a child; not written; moves through generations
90.  comparison of drumming to Islam; role of writing in Islam; different sources of Holy Qur’an
91.  the verses of the Holy Qur’an were compiled and written to put it in one form
92.  drummers learn in different places, no book; Muslims have different traditions even with a book; maalams admire the drummers
93.  different forms from different learning; by tradition, drummers do not refuse another’s knowledge
94.  drummers also learn from different people and one another; add the talks together
95.  beginning of Muslim prayer compared to beginning drumming; call the name of Holy Prophet compared to call Bizuŋ and Namɔɣu; foundation shows the tradition is one
96.  what is in schoolbooks about origins of Dagbon is not from Samban' luŋa; mixed truth and lies
97.  some drummers are unwilling to talk to outsiders; writing correct drumming talks will help in future
98.  we should do the work carefully; respect the material
99.  drummers are helping preserve Dagbamba custom; drummers as the paper of Dagbon


100.  transition to Naa Luro’s Samban' luŋa

II-10:  The First Gonja War:  Naa Dariʓɛɣu and Naa Luro


1.  the talk will resemble Samban' luŋa but will have additional explanation

Naa Dariʒɛɣu’s war with the Gonjas

2.  Naa Dariʒɛɣu’s mother’s side from Gonjas; grew up with Gonjas; suffered abuse
3.  conflict at Tolon market; Gonjas captured Dagbamba, sold Naa Dariʒɛɣu’s wives; Naa Dariʒɛɣu didn’t respond
4.  Naa Dariʒɛɣu abused for weakness by his elders
5.  Naa Dariʒɛɣu refused at first, then went to fight Gonjas at Koliŋ
6.  how Gonjas cursed Naa Dariʒɛɣu; Gonja chief Kaluɣsi Dajia killed him, carried his hand in a bag

How Naa Luro decided to go to war

7.  Naa Luro was Naa Dariʒɛɣu’s junior father; takes no action against Gonjas
8.  Koyib-Naa, Naa Luro’s Komlana, refuses to prepare food for Naa Luro’s guests
9.  Naa Luro whips Koyib-Naa; she abuses him to see Naa Dariʒɛɣu’s grave
10.  Naa Luro prepares for war, despite being in the rainy season

Naa Luro, unable to cross river, seeks help from Gushie tindana

11.  Naa Luro stuck at rain-swollen river near Gushie; Naa Luro refused to go back
12.  because locals feared Naa Luro, Naa Luro sends a local child, Mbudiba, to call Gushie tindana
13.  Naa Luro’s instructions to Mbudiba:  “There is something in the river, and I don’t know its head and its feet..”
14.  Gushie townspeople go to river with weapons; Gushie tindana also takes corn kernels
15.  Gushie tindana sends Mbudiba in front
16.  Gushie tindana greets Naa Luro; Naa Luro refuses drinking water; tells Gushie tindana to grow a calabash that day
17.  similar challenge from Gushie tindana; gives Naa Luro corn kernel to grow that day
18.  Naa Luro stops the challenge; a humorous episode of Samban' luŋa

How Gushie tindana helped Naa Luro

19.  Naa Luro explains his mission; asks for help crossing the river
20.  they call gbandari people; there are no tools; they send for blacksmiths
21.  So-Naa and blacksmith elders come; they as for tools and materials
22.  Naa Luro finds trees to make charcoal, stone for iron, kills goats to make bellows; they divert the river
22.  how they built a bridge across the river
24.  Naa Luro’s horse elders ride across the bridge to test it; the Dagbamba warriors cross the river

Naa Luro’s fight with Kaluɣsi Dajia

25.  Naa Luro kills the people of Koliŋ; Kaluɣsi Dajia returns there to face Naa Luro
26.  Kaluɣsi Dajia cannot find a good bow to kill Naa Luro; Naa Luro sends him a bow
27.  they face each other; Kaluɣsi Dajia does not have arrows; Naa Luro sends him arrows; how Naa Luro avoieded the arrows
28.  Naa Luro kills Kaluɣsi Dajia; cuts off his head; takes the bag with Naa Dariʒɛɣu’s hand; kills Koyib-Naa and cuts off her head
29.  Naa Luro burns the heads of Kaluɣsi Dajia and Koyib-Naa, collects the ashes to plaster a room at Pong Tamale, where he buries Naa Dariʒɛɣu’s hand
30.  the room is for the Pong Tamale buɣli; custom that cannot drumming when passing that room

The starting of Baŋgumaŋa and its place in the Samban' luŋa

31.  Naa Luro wants musicians to help celebrate his victory with dance; not satisfied; Pakpɔŋ Kachaɣu calls for drummers
32.  Naa Luro sends messenger to find drummers; goes to Lunʒɛɣu and his followers
33.  the drummers at Kamban’ Dunoli, near Diari; Lunlana Lunʒɛɣu and his elders are called
34.  Naa Luro welcomes Lunlana Lunʒɛɣu with gifts and animals to slaughter
35.  Lunʒɛɣu sings of Naa Luro’s campaign and victory; Naa Luro asks for a name
36.  Pakpɔŋ Kachaɣu calls a name that becomes the beating of Baŋgumaŋa; Naa Luro praises Lunlana Lunʒɛɣu
37.  at Samban' luŋa, when reach the story of Baŋgumaŋa, they beat the dance for the chief’s wives and housechildren
38.  Baŋgumaŋa stands for war and victory; important dance; after dancing it, the eat and then resume Samban' luŋa

Variations in the Samban' luŋa of Naa Luro

39.  drummers can vary the details of the story; from the way they learned it
40.  the stories have been heard but not seen
41.  the Samban' luŋa witnessed at Tolon was different from at Tamale Dakpɛma and from Namo-Naa’s; example
42.  singer chooses path through the Samban' luŋa; from learning; compared to different ways of writing

Example of calling names; bad names

43.  differences also from calling of names; example of Naa Jinli’s two names
44.  the river Naa Luro crossed has different names; even some drummers don’t know them
45.  difficult for others to know; princes and princesses don’t show their knowledge; can spoil chance for chieftaincy
46.  example:  Savelugu princess reprimanded for asking about the river
47.  other names for the river; custom not to beat a drum there similar to Pong Tamale
48.  the custom respects the bad names of the chiefs
49.  variations can enhance the Samban' luŋa performance; not a fault; compared to dancing styles

Relations with the Gonjas after Naa Luro

50.  the Gonjas occupied parts of what is now Dagbon; Gonja people now many but have much land
51.  chiefs after Naa Luro; Naa Tutuɣri moved Yendi from Yaan’ Dabari; Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli resumed war against Gonjas
52.  wars not fought for land; Naa Dariʒɛɣu and Naa Luro fought but didn’t collect Gonja land
53.  war with Gonjas started again under Naa Zanjina; Naa Siɣli collected the war and finished it

II-11:  The Chieftaincy of Naa Zanjina, the Light of Dagbon

Introduction:  Naa Zanjina’s importance in the work

1.  Naa Zanjina’s chieftaincy  needs a chapter between the Gonja wars; popular Samban' luŋa topic

Yendi moved from Toma to Naya

2.  Yendi moved east to current location by Naa Tutuɣri; Gonja pressure
3.  other towns also moved; duplicate names in eastern and western Dagbon

Naa Zanjina’s significance in enlightening Dagbon

4.  Naa Zanjina opened the eyes of Dagbon; many innovations; great respect
5.  Naa Zanjina increased the respect of drumming:  festivals, funerals, greetings
6.  Naa Zanjina traveled and traded as a prince; brought Hausa maalams to teach Islam

Naa Zanjina’s works in the Samban' luŋa

7.  Dagbamba learned to Islamic prayer, festival celebrations
8.  Dagbamba learned new funeral customs to replace previous customs
9.  the funeral of Sabali Yɛri-Naa’s son at Sabali as an example
10.  drumming at funeral house; other funeral customs
11.  Naa Zanjina brought barbers; shaving funeral children; final funeral after some months; widows remarrying


12.  barbers from Hausa land; Yidan’ Gunu their chief
13.  shave heads of funeral children
14.  barbers cut facial scars; perform circumcision, medical procedures, surgeries

More of Naa Zanjina’s works in Dagbon

15.  Naa Zanjina introduced wearing cloths; introduced cotton seeds; brought Hausa weavers
16.  introduced wearing of cloth by women
17.  sandals for lepers; walking sticks for blind people
18.  Naa Zanjina brought many benefits; drummers sing of them in Samban' luŋa

Savelugu-Naa Puusamli

19.  Maalam Faliŋa a Hausa maalam; became chief of Savelugu; also known as Puusamli
20.  friend and helper of Naa Zanjina; settled at Zakpalisi; teacher
21.  helped Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli in fighting Gonjas

Puusamli and Naa Bimbiɛɣu

22.  Naa Bimbiɛɣu was Naa Zanjina’s son; afflicted with yaws; not received at Dagbamba towns
23.  welcomed by Maalam Faliŋa at Zakpalisi, who bathed and treated Naa Bimbiɛɣu’s sickness
24.  Naa Bimbiɛɣu told Naa Zanjina of Maalam Faliŋa’s good works
25.  after Naa Siɣli died, Naa Bimbiɛɣu became Yaa-Naa; gave Savelugu to Maalam Faliŋa; the meaning of Puusamli
26.  drummers praise Savelugu-Naa Puusamli as a son of Naa Bimbiɛɣu
27.  Puusamli’s talk inside Naa Zanjina, Naa Siɣli, Naa Bimbiɛɣu; how Samban' luŋa drummers move through his story

How Naa Zanjina gave respect and gifts to get chieftaincy

28.  Naa Zanjina bought money from Hausa land; cowrie shells
29.  respect of chieftaincy with gifts; not “buying” chieftaincy
30.  cannot be compared to modern bribery or politics

How Naa Zanjina got the Yendi chieftaincy in Samban' luŋa

31.  inside Samban' luŋa; contestation among Naa Tutuɣri’s children; also Naa Siɣli
32.  Naa Zanjina had been greeting Gushe-Naa; Gushe-Naa wanted Naa Zanjina; gave advice to Naa Zanjina to greet Yendi elders
33.  Gushe-Naa went to Yendi for funeral; remove grass
34.  disagreement among the brothers; all wanted the Yendi chieftaincy
35.  Yendi elders say to take the problem to Mamprusi chief to resolve
36.  Gushe-Naa’s plan for Naa Zanjina
37.  Naa Zanjina’s talks are complex and difficult for drummers; variations in Samban' luŋa

The contenders go to Mamprusi

38.  Dagbamba princes go to Mamprusi; have to wait
39.  Mamprusi chief receives the Dagbamba princes and elders
40.  the Dagbamba princes had greeted Mamprusi elders
41.  Mamprusi elders do not agree among the contenders
42.  Mamprusi chief’s solution:  princes will be judged by names they call for themselves

The Mamprusi elder and Gushe-Naa call names

43.  Mamprusi elder insults Gushe-Naa with a name that Gushe-Naa cannot respond to
44.  Gushe-Naa leaves gathering; Gushe-Naa discusses the name with a grandchild who had accompanied him
45.  the child tells Gushe-Naa a name to use to reply to the Mamprusi elder
46.  Gushe-Naa replies to Mamprusi elder

Dagbamba princes call their names

47.  Mamprusi chief asks the princes to call their names
48.  Yelizolilana Gurunmanchɛɣu calls his name and is rejected
49.  Sunson-Naa Timaani calls his name and is rejected
50.  Naa Zanjina’s four other senior brothers call their names and are rejected

Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli call their names and succeed

51.  Naa Zanjina hesitates to call his name; Mamprusi chief reveals his prior relationship to Naa Zanjina
52.  Naa Zanjina’s names
53.  Mamprusis interpret and accept his names and name him as Yaa-Naa
54.  Naa Siɣli calls his names; Mamprusi chief say he should follow Naa Zanjina
55.  the senior brothers are annoyed; renounce future interest in Yendi chieftaincy

Conclusion of Gushe-Naa story; Naa Zanjina returns to Dagbon

56.  Gushe-Naa has the child who advised him killed to prevent disgrace
57.  Naa Zanjina returned to Dagbon; stayed with maalams at Sabali

The arrangement behind the story among Gushe-Naa, Naa Zanjina, and the Mamprusi chief

58.  drummers talk about Naa Zanjina’s using sense or wisdom to become chief, not politics
59.  calling the names a zana mat to cover the arrangement; compare to chieftaincy chapters
60.  giving gifts in greeting is not bribery but showing respect; a tradition
61.  the calling of names was the means for Naa Zanjina to bypass his senior brothers

Interpretations of Naa Zanjina’s Samban' luŋa

62.  Naa Zanjina’s story:  the custom was misinterpreted in books and in committees of inquiry
63.  educated Dagbamba rely on books for justification
64.  example:  if soothsayers choose the Yaa-Naa, why go to Mamprusi
65.  example:  Mamprugulana did not establish the doors to Yendi as Mion, Karaga, Savelugu; Yaa-Naas after Naa Zanjina were from different towns
66.  example:  calling of names not used in any other historical situation
67.  Naa Zanjina the choice of the elders through greetings; the calling of names a way to cover their choice
68.  drummers and elders reluctant to talk about Dagbamba customs to outsiders
69.  John’s relationship to the drummers is based on drummers‘ knowledge; outsiders might reject it
70.  Mamprusi chief has no role in custom; junior brother to Yaa-Naa starting from Naa Gbewaa; same family, not an outsider; Naa Zanjina’s selection a unique event
71.  Mamprusi chief is inside the family; government committees are outsiders, unfit to be involved
72.  Alhaji Ibrahim takes ownership of this knowledge; no precedent for outsiders to determine chieftaincy


73.   transition to Naa Siɣli


Chapter II-12:  The Second Gonja War:  Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli

Introduction:  aftermath of the chieftaincy contest in Mamprusi

1.  Naa Zanjina’s Samban' luŋa talks are difficult and confusing; need patience to learn them clearly
2.  aftermath of the Mamprusi chieftaincy decision; Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli return to Dagbon

Gonja chief Kumpatia invades Dagbon

3.  Kumpatia the Gonja leader; his other names
4.  Kumpatia invades Dagbon; the towns he collected; stayed near Sang at Chirizaŋ

Naa Zanjina and Naa Siɣli prepare for the war

5.  Naa Zanjina prays with maalams at Sabali
6.  Naa Zanjina’s brothers refuse to help; Yelizolilana, Sunson-Naa, and the other contenders
7.  Naa Zanjina asks Naa Siɣli for help; Naa Siɣli refuses
8.  Naa Zanjina sends chiefs as messengers to Naa Siɣli; Kumbun-Naa and Nanton-Naa; Naa Siɣli refuses
9.  Naa Siɣli makes chiefs dismount from their horses and stay with him
10.  Naa Zanjina sends Naa Siɣli’s friends, Talolilana and Puusamli; Naa Siɣli refuses them and holds them
11.  Naa Siɣli’s plan was to gather many people to become his warriors
12.  Naa Siɣli gave them medicines for protection in war
13. Naa Zanjina sends Naa Siɣli’s best friend, Diarilana Tusuwa; Diarilana’s speech to Naa Siɣli
14.  Naa Siɣli goes to Naa Zanjina; what Naa Zanjina told Naa Siɣli; Naa Zanjina also gathers warriors

Naa Siɣli’s war against the Konkombas

15.  Naa Siɣli invades Konkomba lands prepare for war against Gonjas; gather more warriors
16.  the towns Naa Siɣli fought in Konkomba
17.  Naa Siɣli kills the Dagbana tindana of Sakpiegu
18.  Naa Siɣli in Sakpiegu; puts his mother Ziŋnaa as chief

The death of Naa Zanjina; Naa Siɣli eats chieftaincy

19.  Naa Siɣli in Konkomba land when Naa Zanjina died; given chieftaincy of Singa
20.  Naa Zanjina died at Agbandi; the burial of Naa Zanjina; trees grow from his grave
21.  Naa Zanjina final words instruct the elders to give Yendi to Naa Siɣli, as Mamprusi chief said

Naa Siɣli’s war against the Gonjas

22.  Naa Siɣli takes the war to the Gonjas; how Naa Zanjina’s brothers had refused him
23.  Naa Siɣli had gathered people; how he had entered the war with strength
24.  how the Gonjas had invaded Tolon and other villages
25.  Naa Siɣli divides the Dagbamba army to encircle Gonjas; many Gonjas were killed
26.  Kumpatia at Chirizaŋ; Naa Siɣli at Sang; their exchange of messages
27.  Dagbamba horseboys behead a Gonja horseboy
28.  Naa Siɣli’s wives cut off the ear of Kumpatia’s wife; Kumpatia prepares for war
29.  Naa Siɣli and Kumpatia fight; Kumpatia runs into a cave
30.  Naa Siɣli’s drummer calls proverbs to encourage him; Naa Siɣli kills Kumpatia
31.  Naa Siɣli’s drummer gives him the name Baŋgumaŋa
32.  Naa Siɣli dismembers Kumpatia and gives body parts to his warrior chiefs
33.  Naa Siɣli captures and marries Kumpatia’s daughter Puumaaya; her names
34.  Kumpatia’s daughter gives birth to Naa Siɣli’s zuu, Tonglana Yamusah; Zuu-waa dance
35.  recapitulation of the end of the war; Dagbamba return to their villages

Aftermath of the war and the legacy of Naa Siɣli

36.  result:  no more war between Dagbamba and Gonjas; Gonjas have few people but more land
37.  Baŋgumaŋa in Naa Siɣli’s Samban’ luŋa because of the war; inherited from Naa Luro
38.  Naa Siɣli saved Dagbon, but his door to Yendi is dead; Alhaji Ibrahim’s line from Naa Siɣli
39.  Naa Zanjina not a warrior like Naa Siɣli, but they were close

Confusion regarding how Naa Siɣli ate Yendi and held his chieftaincy

40.  confusion among drummers about details
41.  some have incorrect ideas about the transition from Naa Zanjina to Naa Siɣli
42.  some have incorrect ideas about Naa Siɣli’s death
43.  Naa Siɣli killed Kumpatia and finished the war; went to Yendi and gave birth to children
44.  talks that have many curves or parts can be misunderstood
45.  drummers who learn from elders can change or add things
46.  when drummers talk with mistakes, can challenge them with questions
47.  summary of the general knowledge of Naa Siɣli’s chieftaincy and Naa Bimbiɛɣu’s succesion
48.  importance of repairing the talks well; our reputation depends on truth

Perspective on olden days Dagbamba in the Samban' luŋa

49.  slaughter a sheep for Naa Siɣli’s talks in Samban' luŋa; drummers are reluctant to talk about it
50.  reflection on the warlike character of early Dagbamba
51.  people would leave their house and family; could be captured and sold
52.  other tribes feared the Dagbamba; Dagbamba  conquered by Europeans
53.  living in current times is easier than olden days


Chapter II-13:  The Cola and Slave Trades, Naa Garba and the Ashantis


1.  Naa Garba’s talks are not in Samban' luŋa; relationship to Ashantis
2.   different aspects involve cola, slaves, Kambonsi


3.  cola has many works in Dagbon; related to respect and greetings
4.  cola connection to chieftaincy; came from Ashantis; greetings to chiefs
5.  cola shows respect; how to give cola when greeting a chief; protocols among chiefs
6.  respect of cola tied to the respect of chieftaincy; compared to drumming; helps people
7.  chewing cola has benefits, but respect is the foundation
8.  giving cola to search for a woman to marry
9.  cola given to in-laws after the wedding
10.  cola shared after a woman gives birth; cola shared again on naming day
11.  cola given to an elderly person can bring benefits, like a wife
12.  cola given to an elderly person can bring benefits, like medicine
13.  summary of the work of cola:  can get wife, medicine, money, blessings
14.  role of cola at funeral; add to the cloth and waistband for the in-laws
15.  summary:  cola is important for everything from birth to death

History of cola

16.  cola trade passed through Dagbon to Ashanti before Naa Garba; Dagbamba relations to Ashanti began around the time of Naa Garba
17.  precolonial cola trade to Ashanti via Dagbon; cola’s cultivations and use have spread wide
18.  Dagbamba traders took shea butter to Ashanti to exchange for cola
19.  some traders were captured and taken to Salaga and sold to Ashantis
20.  Dagbamba also captured people; Ashantis sold some to white men; also sacrifices

The quarrel with the Ashantis

21.  the strength of the Ashantis; guns and forest; Dagbamba had only minor fighting with Ashantis
22.  Ashantis introduced guns to Dagbon; previously Dagbamba used spears, axes, and arrows
23.  relations during Naa Garba’s time; Ashantis would come to Dagbon for slaves; a quarrel
24.  Prempeh (Asantehene) captured Naa Garba for ransom
25.  the Ashantis who were carrying Naa Garba were dying
26.  Ashantis ransomed Naa Garba for the dead people; a debt
27.  Naa Garba did not finish paying the debt of people; Asantehene threatened war
28.  Savelugu-Naa Bukari Gurifiri finished paying the debt; his praise in drumming
29.  Gurifiri sacrificed; got slaves from Gurunsi area
30.  Asantehene sent people to collect the slaves; friendship and respect between Ashants and Dagbamba; timpana sent to Dagbon
31.  the quarrel was not a war; friendship based in trading of cola and slaves

How the Dagbamba got the slaves

32.  this talk about paying the debt of slaves is hidden
33.  the slaves from “Gurunsi”:  any northern tribe
34.  the slaves were also Dagbamba who were captured; also other tribes
35.  Gurunsis sold people for food; many slaves remained in Dagbon; others sent to Salaga
36.  some Dagbamba chiefs gave children as indentured for debt; some remained as slaves
37.  people from towns without chiefs, like Tamale, were captured and sold; women and children

Modern example:  how British caught soldiers for World War II

38.  Alhaji Ibrahim was in Kintampo, avoided getting caught; Alhaji Mumuni and others in southern Ghana
39.  British took many men from the villages in Dagbon; women and children remained in villages
40.  Dagbamba captured by force; many Gurunsis joined for pay
41.  soldiers taken to Kintampo would try to run away
42.  harsh treatment of the drafted soldiers; compared to prison:  locked up and beaten
43.  catching soldiers left old people and women in villages; died from starvation and broken hearts
44.  compared to slavery:  selling children by agreement; resembles the catching of soldiers

The Kambonsi in Dagbon

45.  Kambonsi warriors started during that time of Naa Garba’s debt; Dagbamba and Konkombas, but “Kambonsi” means “Ashanti”
46.  Kambonsi dancing compared to Ashanti dancing; dance of strength; not part of cultural programs
47.  the name Kambonsi shows Ashanti origins

Original warriors of the Yaa-Naa

48.  Kuɣa-Naa led Naa Nyaɣsi to war
49.  Tolon-Naa and Kumbun-Naa from Naa Nyaɣsi’s time; Zandu-Naa gave his son to Naa Nyaɣsi; Tolon-Naa as Wulana
50.  Wulana as senior elder:  Tolon-Naa; Kumbun-Naa as Kpanalana; other warrior chiefs were Langolana, Sakpie-Naa, Twtuo-Naa, Nyensung-Naa, and others

Warfare in the olden days

51.  cutlass, spear, axe, bow and arrow were weapons; horsemen would charge and return
52.  gun-shooters at one place; bowmen at one place; chief separate; horsemen attack with spears and axes; chief in the center with his protectors; if center fell, chief would run or be killed
53.  warriors used medicine to protect themselves; chiefs gave medicine with warriors to overcome fear
54.  different ways of killing; drummers do not differentiate

The starting of the Kambonsis

55.  types of slaves:  dabli and bilaa; somebody captured, somebody used to pay a debt
56.  those who slept in the chief’s hall; protectors of the chief; also fought for him
57.  Naa Garba was trading with Ashantis for guns; the quarrel arose from relationship
58.  the bilahi transitioned to learn from Ashanti messengers; became Kambonsi
59.  bilahi copied Ashanti habits; adopted Asante Twi terms for Kambonsi titles
60.  Gurifiri sent slaves as Kambonsi to elders; Kambonsi gradually increased to other chiefs


61.  summary:  traded slaves for cola, then shea butter for cola; shea butter still traded
62.  modern times:  Dagbamba work in Ashanti cocoa farms; use pay to buy cola and trade

Chapter II-14:  The Pre-colonial and Colonial Periods


1.  chiefs from Naa Garba to Naa Yakuba
2.  talk of the intervening chiefs is short

Separate sides of Dagbon

3.  travel from Toma to Naya; dangers of animals; transport and roads under white men
4.  Savelugu-Naa was main chief in Toma; Yaa-Naa in Yendi area

Chieftaincy and fighting

5.  Yaa-Naa had to use strength to become chief; since Gbewaa
6.  Naa Yakuba’s madness; killed Naa Zoli; the alignment of the fight:  Jɛŋgbarga’s children against Ziblim Bandamda’s grandson; Naa Yakuba and brothers were Naa Zoli’s junior fathers

The Karaga war, or the old prince and new prince war

7.  fighting between Naa Yakuba’s brothers (Sunson-Naa Yahaya, Mionlana Issa, Sanglana Blemah, Kpatinlana Adirkarli) and his children:  Naa Yakuba’s children (Naa Abilaai as zuu and Kari-Naa Adam as Sakpiɛ-Naa) to prevent Sunson-Naa Yahaya from eating Karaga
8.  Sakpiɛ-Naa Adam’s claim to the skin of Karaga
9.  Sunson-Naa Yahaya and Naa Yakuba’s brothers were sacked from Karaga
10.  the sacked chiefs driven away and died outside Dagbon
11.  Sagnerigulana Sulemana died in the war )grandfather of Nanton-Naa Sule); Abilaai ate Mion; Sakpiɛ-Naa Adam ate Karaga

Naa Yakuba’s madness

12.  Naa Yakuba’s madness:  killed people; eye-open madness
13.  Naa Yakuba’s brothers attempt control him; led by Yelizolilana Yidantoɣma; Yelizolilana killed by Naa Yakuba’s children in the Karaga war

Naa Abilaai and Naa Andani:  Bassari and Zambarima wars

14.  Naa Abilaai Naɣbiɛɣu was first-born; fought against Bassari; accompanied by his brothers to the war
15.  explanation:  in old talks, drummers refer to chief by the final chieftaincy he ate; can be confusing
16.  Naa Abilaai collected some Bassari towns; explanation of extent of the war
17.  Naa Andani was Savelugu-Naa; fought Gurunsis; list of towns he fought; fought Zambarimas who had come to Ghana; list of towns; ate Yendi when returned from wars
18.  Naa Andani fought two wars in Dagbon:  fought Kumbungu and fought the white men

Naa Andani:  the Kumbungu war

19.  Kumbun-Naa Abilaai sacks Toma chiefs to Yendi; Naa Andani responds
20.  Kari-Naa Alaasani joins Kumbun-Naa; related to Kumbungu through mother
21.  Kari-Naa’s ambitions for Yendi
22.  Naa Andani killed Kumbun-Naa Abilaai; marched to Karaga and killed Kari-Naa Alaasani

Naa Andani:  the coming of the white men

23.  Germans at Sansanne-Mango in Togo; Naa Andani refused them to enter Dagbon
24.  Germans prepared to enter Yandi by force
25.  battle of Adibo:  Germans defeated Dagbamba; Naa Andani’s elders removed him from the war; Germans burn Yendi
26.  British entered Mamprusi at Gambaga; Mamprusis were frightened by fire from matches; Mamprusis did not fight British

Naa Alaasani:  Tuglana Iddi, Kari-Naa Abukari, and the Germans

27.  after Naa Andani died, Naa Alaasani from Karaga to Yendi; Naa Alaasani’s alliance with the Germans; British at Bagabaga
28.  Naa Andani instructed his zuu Tugulana Iddi to eat Karaga; support Naa Alaasani from Karaga to Yendi
29.  Yendi people did not want Tugulana Iddi to go to Karaga because feared yaws there; Tugulana Iddi supported Savelugu-Naa Darimani for Yaa-Naa
30.  the funeral of Naa Andani; the chiefs gathered
31.  Naa Alaasani (from Karaga) prevented from entering Yendi to perform the funeral
32.  Tugulana Iddi refused Naa Andani’s instructions to go to Karaga; Naa Andani’s funeral was delayed
33.  Kori-Naa Mahami died:  Naa Andani’s junior bother; Kori-Naa Mahami’s zuu Abukari (later Kari-Naa Abukari); supported Naa Alaaasani
34.  Korli Regent Abukari and others allied with Naa Alaasani; Naa Alaasani refused to fight
35.  Korli Regent Abukari’s alliance with Germans; conflict between Germans and British for control of Dagbon
36.  Yendi given to Savelugu-Naa Darimani (Kukara Djee); Tugulana Iddi to Savelugu; Korli Regent Abukari informed Germans; procession at Sang
37.  Germans sent soldiers to Yendi; Darimani fled and died; not counted as Yaa-Naa
38.  Germans attacked Dagbamba at Sang; killed Tugulana Iddi; Sang-dali
39.  why Kukara Djee is not counted as Yaa-Naa
40.  Germans forced the installation of Naa Alaasani; Korli Regent Abukari to Karaga

Kari-Naa Abukari and Naa Alaasani

41.  Kari-Naa Abukari poisoned Naa Alaasani; Naa Alaasani informed Naa Abudu before dying
42.  Savelugu-Naa Bukali Boforo was Naa Andani’s son; ate Savelugu after Sang-dali
43.  Naa Alaasani told Naa Abudu to follow Savelugu-Naa Bukali Boforo as Yaa-Naa
44.  Germans tried to give Yendi to Kari-Naa Abukari; Naa Abudu refused
45.  Naa Abudu appealed to British in Tamale; gave British some of the poisoned drink

46.  Kari-Naa Abukari denied; British called meeting of chiefs; gave drink to Kari-Naa Abukari and he died
47.  Kari-Naa Abukari’s wickedness came back to eat him
48.  Savelugu-Naa Bukali refused chieftaincy; Naa Abudu ate Yendi from Mion

Naa Abudu:  reunification of Dagbon under British

49.  British collected all of Dagbon; Dagbamba did not fight British
50.  British unified Toma and Naya; chieftaincy of Yendi became paramount

Benefits of British rule

51.  British rule was good; before that was suffering; unsafe to travel
52.  Dagbon truly unified under Naa Mahama Kpɛma; lorries and roads
53.  further unification under Naa Mahama Bila; benefits of roads
54.  another example:  matches; previous difficulty of making fire with flint
55.  other benefits:  water, electricity, rule of law

Problems after independence

56.  since independence, Ghana spoiled; abuse of power; lawless
57.  government disrespects custom; exploitation, nepotism, corruption
58.  colonial times:  no shortages, prices were low; currently, money does not last
59.  currently, modern life spoiled by corrupt politicians and soldiers; no law, no respect; especially spoiled by soldiers
60.  current generation not the same as previous generations; need to pray for the current generation