THE GA DANGBE
Posted 14 June 2005 - 08:07 PM
The Ga-Adangbe people inhabit the Accra Plains. The Adangbe are found to the east, the Ga groups, to the west of the Accra coastlands. Although both languages are derived from a common proto-Ga-Adangbe ancestral language, modern Ga and Adangbe are mutually unintelligible. The modern Adangbe include the people of Shai, La, Ningo, Kpone, Osudoku, Krobo, Gbugble, and Ada, who speak different dialects. The Ga also include the Ga-Mashie groups occupying neighborhoods in the central part of Accra, and other Gaspeakers who migrated from Akwamu, Anecho in Togo, Akwapim, and surrounding areas.
Debates persist about the origins of the Ga-Adangbe people. One school of thought suggests that the proto-Ga-Adangbe people came from somewhere east of the Accra plains, while another suggests a distant locale beyond the West African coast. In spite of such historical and linguistic theories, it is agreed that the people were settled in the plains by the thirteenth century. Both the Ga and the Adangbe were influenced by their neighbors. For example, both borrowed some of their vocabulary, especially words relating to economic activities and statecraft, from the Guan. The Ewe are also believed to have influenced the Adangbe.
Despite the archeological evidence that proto-Ga-Adangbe- speakers relied on millet and yam cultivation, the modern Ga reside in what used to be fishing communities. Today, such former Ga communities as Labadi and Old Accra are neighborhoods of the national capital of Accra. This explains why, in 1960, when the national enumeration figures showed the ethnic composition of the country's population, more than 75 percent of the Ga were described as living in urban centers. The presence of major industrial, commercial, and governmental institutions in the city, as well as increasing migration of other people into the area, had not prevented the Ga people from maintaining aspects of their traditional culture.
Paddyreus, Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei
Omnia Vincit Labor
Posted 14 June 2005 - 08:11 PM
EACH OF THE SUB-NATIONS CONSISTED OF MANY TOWNS, CITIES AND VILLAGES. THEIR SETTLEMENT COVERED AN AREA ORIGINALLY KNOWN AS “THE GA-ADANGBE (GA-DANGBE) REGION”, UNTIL THE EUROPEAN COLONIZATION. AFTER THAT THE TERRITORY BECAME KNOWN AS THE SO-CALLED “GREATER ACCRA REGION”. THEIR PRESENT LOCATION IS IN THE SOUTH EAST OF THE PRESENT GHANA.
THEY HAVE AN ANCIENT HABIT OF SETTLING ALONG OCEAN SHORES AND HAVE MYSTERIOUS DISTINCT INTERESTS ALONG RIVER DELTAS.THIS HABIT IS DUE TO THEIR SPIRITUAL PASSION AND BELIEF OF THE DIVINE “NU” ( NUMO or NYUMO ) NAMED AFTER WATER, WHOSE PART IS THE DIVINITY “HU” NAMED AFTER BRIGHTNESS OR SHINING, WHICH WHEN JOINED TOGETHER BECOME “HUNU” (THE SUN), THE SYMBOL OF "NUMO", THE SOURCE OF ALL LIFE.
THIS THE GA-ADAGBES HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED SINCE DAWN THROUGH THE CELESTIAL BODIES ,CELESTIAL NAVIGATIONS, AGRICULTURE AND FISHING. THEREFORE, THE GA-ADANGBES ARE NOT JUST FISHERMEN OR JUST INTO AGRICULTURE, BUT PRACTICE THESE PHENOMENON LEGACY AS PART OF THE "NU" PEOPLE (NUBIANS) OF THE DIVINITY "NU". (NUMO OR NYUMO IS DERIVED FROM THE DIVINITY "NU";- THE ORIGINAL KNOWN NAME OF THE SUPREME DIVINE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, WHICH THE GA-ADANGBES HAVE MAINTAINED THROUGH THEIR "NU-BIAN" ANCESTORS).
ANCIENT NUBIAN FISHERMEN. PART ANCESTORS OF THE GA-ADANGBES AND THE FANTES OF GHANA.
"ASAFOATSE NII-AKOFIO SOWAH": The face of an Ancient spirit. A warrior and a royal blood. He is also a "Live Library of Oral History" and his name is his spiritual code and his address, an indigenous of the Ga-Adangbe's La-Asafo people. Ghana.
THE GA-ADANGBES, WHO WERE PART MEMBERS OF MANY GENERATIONS OF THE ANCIENT NUBII (NUBIANS), WERE ONCE SETTLED WITHIN THE UBAIDAN NATION REGIONS OF THE ANCIENT SUMA’S “SHINAA”. THE "SHINAA" BEING THE TERRITORIES OF THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES RIVERS, AN AREA BELIEVED TO BE THE ANCIENT PARADISE (GARDEN OF EDEN) AND A HOLY GROUND OF HOLY PRACTICES OF THE ANCIENT NUBIANS BEFORE AND DURING THE ERA OF THE ORACLE-KING WARRIOR "NIMROID" (NIMLOI), THE SON OF KUSHI (KUSH) AND THE GREAT GRAND SON OF THE NU-BIAN "NOAH" OF THE GREAT FLOOD. THIS AREA LATER BECAME KNOWN AS MESOPOTAMIA.
THE NUBIAN TONGUE PRESERVES ITS AUTHENTICITY BY ABIDING TO ITS ANCIENT SPIRITUAL LEGACY. THIS IS EVIDENT IN THE ADA LANGUAGE OF THE GA-ADANGBE SUB-NATION, WHICH RETAINED THE ANCESTRAL NAME "NIMLOR" SPELT BY THE MODERN HEBREW,GREEK OR LATIN AS "NIMROID". THUS, A SAYING IN THE ADA LANGUAGE;- 'NOR NOR TSHAPI "NIMLOI" OR "NOMLOI", LITERALLY MEANS ;THIS PERSON IS NOT A "NIMROID" (NIMLOI). THIS SAYING IS ADDRESSED TO A PERSON WHO DO NOT POSSESS THE CHARACTERISTICS AND QUALITIES OF "NIMLOI" AS A WARRIOR, KING, AN ORACLE OR A PERSON OF HOLY SPIRITUAL PRACTICES. THEREFORE, A PERSON WHO IS NOT A GOOD PERSON, OR ANY PERSON OR PERSONS WHO WILL DO ANYTHING BAD MAY BE ADDRESSED AS "NOR NOR TSHAPI NIMLOI".
MANY THOUSANDS OF YEARS B.C. THE “ADA/KROBO”, “GA,” “GBE” AND OTHER RELATIVE NATIONS WERE PART OF THE "YOOHUBA" NATION (YORUBA), THEN PART OF THE SUMA/ UBAIDA PEOPLE WHO WERE ATTACKED OUT OF THEIR LAND BY TERRORISTS AND VANDALS. DUE TO THESE ATTACKS SOME OF THE NUBIANS WERE ENSLAVED WITHIN THEIR OWN NATIONS AND SUB NATIONS AND MOST OF THEM RELOCATED TO MANY RELATIVES AREAS ON THE NUBIAN CONTINENT NOW CALLED “AFRICA”. MOST CHANGED THEIR NATIONS NAMES DUE TO SECURITY REASONS, AND OTHER NAMES WERE CHANGED DUE TO EUROPEAN COLONIZATION, COUPLED WITH RELIGION AND LANGUAGE CONVERSIONS.
MANY OF THE (UBAIDAN) “IBADA” PEOPLE THEN OF THE SUMA TERRITORY CAN BE FOUND AMONG MANY TERRITORIES IN THE PRESENT AFRICA, MOSTLY IN NIGERIA'S YORUBA. YOO-RU-BA = THE FEMALE COUNTER-PART OF THE SUPREME DIVINE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE. THE MALE COUNTER-PART IS "NU".
OTHERS WHO WERE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THE NAME "SUMA" ARE NOW IN THE NORTH-EAST NUBIA, NOW KNOWN AS NORTH EAST AFRICA, THEY ARE THE "SUMA-LI" PEOPLE NOW "SOMALIA" AND "ERITREA". BEFORE THEY WERE INFLUENCED BY THE PHOENICIANS AND THE PHOENICIAN LANGUAGE, SOME OF THEM MIGRATED TO THE PRESENT WEST AFRICAN TERRITORIES. BY THEN THE TWIN MALE BROTHER OF "SUMA" WHO WAS "FU" or "FU-LA" WHO GENERATIONS LATER BECAME KNOWN AS THE "FULANIS" HAD ALREADY MIGRATED TO VARIOUS AREAS. MASSIVE SPECIFIC GROUPS OF THE "FU"/"FULA" GENERATION SETTLED IN SUB-SAHARAN WEST AFRICA AS THE "MALI NATION" AND IN THE VAST REGION . THEY THEN MINGLED WITH SOME OF THEIR RELATIVE NATIONS.
THE NAME "FU"or "FULA", WHOM THE GREEK CALLED (TEFNU) "TEFU-NU" WAS THEN NAMED TO THE RIVER LATER KNOWN AS THE "EUPHRATES RIVER'", WHILE HIS TWIN SISTER "SUMA" WAS NAMED AFTER THE RIVER LATER KNOWN AS "TIGRIS-RIVER".
PORTIONS OF THE “NU-PEOPLE” NOW PHONETICALLY CALLED “NUBIANS” GROUPED AND MERGED INTO THE NATION CALLED “GA-ADAGBES" (GA-ADANGBES) WHO MIGRATED TO THE SUMA REGION FROM THE BANKS OF RIVER NILE'S UPPER TERRITORIES AND THE TERRITORIES OF THE LAKE NYANZA’S VAST REGION. AT THESE AREAS THEY WERE INTERMINGLED WITH THEIR OTHER RELATIVE SUB-NUBII NATIONS.
THOUGH THE BIRTH OF THE FULL NAME “GA-ADANGBE”, OCCURRED SHORTLY BEFORE THE BRITISH COLONIZATION OF THE PRESENT GHANA, THE INDIVIDUAL SUB-NATIONS OF THE GA-ADAGBE NATION EXISTED BEFORE THE BRITISH NATION AND EUROPE IN GENERAL. HOWEVER, SINCE THE COLONIZATION OF THE WEST AFRICANS BY THE EUROPEANS, MANY WEST AFRICANS HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY THEM AND PORTRAY MORE OF A EUROPEAN ATTITUDE, EVIDENCED BY SPEAKING MORE EUROPEAN LANGUAGES THAN THEIR OWN TONGUES AND DRESSING MORE IN EUROPEAN FASHIONS THAN THEIR OWN STYLES.
HOWEVER, THOUGH INTELLIGENCE IS FAR DIFFERENT FROM EUROPEAN EDUCATION, SOME OF THE FEEBLE-MINDED (LACKING THE NORMAL MENTAL CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE OR POWER) AMONG THE "NUBIANS" NOW AFRICANS, HAVE DAMAGED THEIR TRUE BIRTHRIGHTS IDENTITY AND HAVE BECOME LIMBO MINDED, “LESS CULTURED "NUBIANS",BY ADOPTING EUROPEAN CULTURES YET NOT QUALIFIED TO BE EUROPEANS”. (AFRICA IS A NAME OF A ROMAN GENERAL, PART OF THIS GENERAL’S FULL NAME WAS CYPIO AFRICANUS).
AS YOU READ ON, YOU WILL FIND THE GA-ADAGBES AUTHENTICITY IN CONFLICT WITH AN ONGOING LIVE DAMAGING CULTURE OF SOME OF THE GA-ADAGBES.
THE GA-ADAGBES AND THEIR ANCESTORS MASTERED IN THEOLOGY BEFORE THEY STARTED PRACTICING MONOTHEISM PRIOR TO SETTLING IN THE PRESENT GHANA, AMONG THEIR RELATIVE NATIONS. OVER MANY RELOCATIONS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS, AFTER THEY HAD FOUND MOST OF THEIR SUB-NATIONS THEY IMMEDIATELY ESTABLISHED WHAT HAD ALWAYS BEEN IN THEIR POSSESSION BEFORE AND AFTER THE NILE RIVER BANKS MIGRATION,WHICH IS THE OLD KNOWN LEGACY: “THE HOLY TESTIMONY OF THE OSA’S ASAFO WITH THE ASAFOATSEMEI HOLY PRACTICES OF THE “KPA” DOCTRINE. THIS RESURRECTED THEIR ANCIENT “HOMOWO” ATONEMENT FESTIVAL THAT THEY HAD KNOWN SINCE THEIR ANCIENT SETTLEMENTS ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER NOW CALLED RIVER NILE.
A GA-ADANGBE FAMILY, PART OF MANY ANCIENT NUBIAN DESCENDANTS
WITHIN THEIR PRACTICES OF MONOTHEISM (“NUMO or NYUMO”), THEY INTRODUCED THE DOCTRINE OF HONORING ANCESTORS AS DIVINITIES, BY INDUCTING THEM INTO THE SPIRITUAL MONOTHEISM HALL OF IMMORTALITY. THOSE WHO WERE INDUCTED HAVE EARNED THE DECENCY OF HOLY PRACTICES TO A VERY OLD AGE. SPECIFICALLY, IT IS THE FIRST AND THE LAST SPIRITUAL WEDDING CEREMONY FOR THOSE QUALIFIED, INTO THE MONOTHEISM DOCTRINE, KNOWN TO THE GA-ADAGBES AS "MUMO MLI KPEEMO" OR “AKPEE LE AWO MUMO MLI”, MEANING; SPIRITUAL WEDDING WITH THE SUPREME DIVINE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE. THE GA-ADAGBES BLESS THEIR DIVINITIES AND REQUEST BLESSINGS FROM THEM BY MEANS OF MONOTHEISM (NUMO or NYUMO).
WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE GA-ADANGBES PASSIONATELY DEMONSTRATED THEIR ANCIENT SPIRITUAL INTEGRITY. THEY CAREFULLY CONSTRUCTED ANCIENT SACRED SHRINES OF THE CONE STEPS STYLE, INSTEAD OF THE LATTER PYRAMID STEP STYLE. THESE CONE STEP STYLE SHRINES WERE CONSTRUCTED AT LOCATIONS OF INTENTIONAL DEGREES (ANGLES) AND DISTANCES BETWEEN THEM. THEY ATTENDED TO THE SHRINES ACCORDING TO THEIR REPRESENTATION AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES. EACH SPIRITUAL NAME OF THE CONE SHRINES BECAME A MAJOR COMPONENT WITHIN THE THEOCRACY AND THE LITURGY SYSTEM PRACTICES OF THE GA-ADANGBES AND THEIR DESCENDANTS.
CONE STEP "OTUTU"(SHRINE) OLDER THAN THE PYRAMID STYLE. LOCATION: EGYPT, FOR A NUBIAN ORACLE-KING DJOSER (A-DZE-OSA) CONSTRUCTED BEFORE 3500 BC. ANCESTOR OF MANY NUBIANS INCLUDE THE GA-ADANGBES.
BELOW IS THE LATEST PYRAMID STYLE"OTUTUI", OF ANCIENT ORACLE NUBIAN-KINGS; KHUFU (KUFU), KHAFRA (KAFRA), AND MENKAURE (AMEMKAULE)
CONE STEP "OTUTU" (SHRINE).OF THE DIVINITY "BENTUM". EARLIEST STYLE BEFORE THE PYRAMID STYLE. CONSTRUCTED 1459, ONE OF MANY AMONG THE LA-ASAFO OF THE GA-ADANGBES, GHANA
THESE CONE STEP SHRINES OR ANY OTHER NON-CONE STEP STYLE SHRINES ARE NOT KNOWN TO BE SHRINES AT WHICH SACRIFICES OF BLOOD ARE MADE. HOWEVER, IF AN OCCASION WHERE A RITUAL OR FESTIVITY ACTIVITY REQUIRES AN ANIMAL SACRIFICE, THAT ANIMAL WILL BE KILLED, BUT NOT NEAR OR ON THE SHRINE. THE MEAT WILL BE USED FOR COOKING A MEAL, OR THE FRESH MEAT SHARED AMONG THE FAMILIES INVOLVED. OTHER RITUAL ACTIVITIES MAY OCCUR WHICH MAY BE BLOOD SHRINE RELATED. THOSE ARE NOT RELATED TO THE GA-ADAGBE’S YEARLY “HOMOWO” ATONEMENT FESTIVAL.
TO PUBLICLY EXPOSE THE DETAILED PROCEDURE OF THE FULL ENHANCEMENT OF THEIR DOCTRINES AND ATONEMENT FESTIVALS WOULD NOT BE FAIR TO THE GA-ADAGBES, DUE TO THEIR SACRED SECRECY THAT IS MANDATORY TO THE “KPA”= (HOLY TESTIMONIAL DOCTRINE).
HOWEVER, PRACTICES OF “THE LA-ASAFO” PEOPLE, ONE OF THE SUB-NATIONS OF THE GA-ADAGBE NATION “HOMOWO” ATONEMENT FESTIVAL IS BEST KNOWN, AS THE FESTIVAL’S ROLE MODEL. NOT SURPRISINGLY, THE LA-ASAFO PEOPLE WHO MIGRATED TO THE PRESENT GHANA FROM ‘ILE-IFE’ OF THE YORUBA NATION, DEMONSTRATED ONE OF THE REASONS WHY ‘ILE-IFE’ BECAME THE CRADLE OF THE YORUBA NATION SOME TIME AGO. IN ESSENCE, THE GA-ADAGBES BELIEVED THAT THE LA-ASAFO PEOPLE BEING MORE IN TUNE WITH THEIR ANCIENT NUBII (NUBIANS) SPIRITUALISM, ARE VERY PRECISE AND VERY ANCIENT IN THEIR HOMOWO ATONEMENT FESTIVAL WHICH THEY HAD BEEN PRACTICING SINCE THEIR NILE RIVER MIGRATION THROUGH “ILE-IFE” TO THE PRESENT GHANA AMONG THEIR NEWLY CREATED OF THE “GA-ADAGBE” NATION.
THE IGNORANT, INNOCENT, BELIEVER OR NON-BELIEVER GA-ADAGBE IS SPIRITUALLY MANDATED TO THE FESTIVALS KNOWINGLY OR UNKNOWINGLY, DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE SPIRITUAL MATRIMONY OF THE GA-ADAGBES AND THEIR SACRED DIVINITIES AND FESTIVALS ARE BURIED IN THEIR NAMES. THESE NAMES ARE SPIRITUALLY CODED TO THEIR ANCIENT ANCESTORS WHOM THEY ARE NAMED AFTER AS THEIR RESURRECTION. THE GA-ADAGBE NAMES ALSO PLAY AN ACTIVE ROLE WITHIN THEIR THEOCRACY AND LITURGY SYSTEM, WHICH INVOLVE NAME COMMUNICATIONS SPIRITUALLY. ON ISSUES ABOUT THEIR SPIRITUALISM, AMONG SOME OF THE GA-ADABGES, DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE TO THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO HARBORED FEAR, COUPLED WITH PREJUDGMENTS OF THEIR OWN ANCESTORS, MAINLY DUE TO OTHER BELIEF PRACTICES AND INFLUENCES.
THERE HAS BEEN SPECULATION ABOUT THE GA-ADAGBE’S HOMOWO ATONEMENT FESTIVAL AMONG THE NON-CULTURED GA-ADAGBES WITH LESS SELF ESTEEM, THAT THE HOMOWO FESTIVAL CAME ABOUT DUE TO FAMINE. ONE CANNOT IMAGINE A FAMINE THAT OCCURRED ONLY TO THE GA-ADAGBE TERRITORIES WITHOUT AFFECTING THEIR RELATIVE FANTES ON THE WEST, THE AKROPONGS ON THE NORTH AND THE EWES ON THE EAST. THESE RELATIVE SUB-NATIONS OF THE GA-ADAGBES DO NOT CELEBRATE THE HOMOWO FESTIVAL, YET, THEY SHARE DIRECT BORDERS WITH THE GA-ADAGBES, (AND THE FAMINE DID NOT AFFECT THEM?!!….). THE HOMOWO FESTIVAL AS ALWAYS SPOKEN OF, BY THE PREVIOUS AND THE PRESENT ELDERS OF THE GA-ADAGBES, IS A HOLY NEW YEAR AND A HOLY HARVESTING OF ATONEMENT. THIS FESTIVAL HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE LAKE NYAZA’S AUTHENTIC CALENDAR CHRONOLOGY, (THE GA-ADAGBE CALENDAR). THIS FESTIVAL WAS NEVER SPOKEN OF AS A TRAGEDY AND DID NOT HAPPEN ACCIDENTALLY BY MEANS OF FAMINE. THE “HOMOWO” ATONEMENT FESTIVAL IS AN OLD LEGACY PRIOR TO THEIR SETTLEMENT IN THE PRESENT GHANA.
Paddyreus, Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei
Omnia Vincit Labor
Posted 14 June 2005 - 08:12 PM
The word "ACCRA" was poorly derived from the name "NKRAN" (Ga word for Red Ants). The Ga-Adangbe Nation dressed in red to a battle (war) which they won, so many years before the Gold Coast regime and their opponents described them as "NKRAN". Though the Europeans poorly spelled the word "Nkran" as Accra, both words "Nkran and Accra" is unacceptable to the "GA-MASHIE" and the Ga-Adangbe Nation in general, who are the indigenes of that area.
First, let us define "NATION or ORIGINAL NATION" ? :- A body of people associated with a particular territory and its environment, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to have it own civilized law abiding rules, regulations, beliefs, culture, speak the same language and have a leadership of King, Queen or an Oracle. The roots of a Country are its Original-Nations and must be cherished and preserved.
GA-MASHIE is a sub-nation of the GA-ADANGBE Nation, whose identity is transparently overshadowed by the word "ACCRA", an alien government name given to the Ghana Nation's capital and to the Ga-Mashie sub-nation itself. The word "ACCRA" is not part of Ga-Mashie’s culture (spiritual doctrine) and cannot be one. Based on the ancient legacy of the "ASAFO" doctrine practices, it will be against spiritual rules of the GA-ADANGBES, their blood and spiritually bonded part GA-MASHIE, and its priceless theocracy, which is already in danger, to accept the name Accra as a replacement of their name GA-MASHIE.
The sub-nation Ga-Mashie has a unique format, it consists of other Chiefs within its Asafo Doctrine practices. The following Districts have chiefs :- Otublohum, Asere, Abola, Alata, Sempe, and Akanmaiadze are directly under the Gbese King, which makes the Gbese King a Paramount King within the Ga-Mashie geographical territory only. The other sub-nations of the Ga-Adangbe nation : Osu Asafo, La-Asafo, Teshie Asafo, Tema Asafo, Nungua Asafo, and Ga-Mashie Asafo, etc. are NOT under any other king, or under any Paramount king indirectly, directly, on contract, on agreement, or by means of any battle among them (as suggested by some but which never occurred). The Ga speaking sub-nations are all "Ga" proper, some of them named their sub-nation after an Ancestor Divinity of the Ancient Nubian regime as a Legacy.
However, the name "GA" reflects mostly in the "Anglo-Ga" Language which means ;- the Eldest, the Oldest, or the First. While to the Ga-Adangbes "OTE, TELE, TETE or TETTEY" represents ;- the Eldest, Oldest, or the First. The Ga-Adangbe Nation; Like the Akan Nation, the Hausa (Ahusa) Nation, the Dagomba (Dakumba) Nation, the Anglo-Ga Nation, and many more, are relocated sub-Nations of the Ancient Nubian Dynasty of the Divine Asa, Sai, Osa, Osei, or Esiri Doctrine, which is alive and intact up to today.
These historic member nations of ancient Nubia have maintained their genuine culture in a testimonial legacy that portrays live transcripts of an ancient apocrypha of the ancient "Nubian Empires". The structure of the Ga-Adangbe Nations are systems of theocracy; Divine spiritual governmental rule led by their highest priests and like many of the Ga-Adangbe nations, they are deeply cultured and highly specialized in divine spiritualism which they cherish, live for, and die for as their destiny.
In reality, the people of the Ga-Adangbe nation are the spiritual entity and are themselves the tools for their ceremonies. They are life transcripts in flesh, blood and death that reincarnate themselves through generations to generations. They also possess a questionable unsolved puzzle of the missing mysterious ancient covenant. The question is whether the powers of that covenant were once and still in a group of nations in flesh and blood as the covenant, or that covenant’s power is in a priceless precious material box.
Since dawn, Species of the Ga-Adangbe sub-Nubian Nations; Ga-Mashie, Osu, La-Asafo (La), Teshie, Nungua, Tema, Kpon, Ningo ( Nungo ), Ada, Manya-Krobo, Yilo-Krobo, Shai, Gbugbla, [ Medina of La-Asafo, La-Gon of La-Asafo, Atshimota,] and many more, are in possession of their own rural towns and villages culturally and geographically. Each sub-nation of the Ga-Adangbes consist of a group of clans, with each clan’s own rules and regulations that are in the interest of the sub-nation they are under or part of. And each sub Ga-Adangbe Nation has its own rules and regulation that are also in the interest of the entire Ga-Adangbe Nations. An example of systemized practices of their yearly "Asafotufiam" & " Homowo" atonement festival which they respectfully perform in a legacy manner from one sub Ga-Adangbe nation after the other.
Notwithstanding, each special named Nubian Nation has its own language, rules and regulations which relate and reflect other Nubian Nation’s doctrine of the same "Asa, Sai, Osa, Osei or Esiri’s doctrine of the ancient Nubian Dynasty.
The name Nubi (Nubian) was derived from the Divine "NU" of the primeval celestial waters where the Supreme Divine Creator of the Universe created itself and became known by the spiritual name NYU-MO, NUn-TSO, A-NU-KYE, and NU-TEM according to the ancient Nubians. "NU" father of many Nubian Nations is also the primogenitor of the "Ga-Adangbes" and like many Nubian nations they are predecessors of "NU", while few of them are progenitors of "NU".
These particular "Nubians (Ga-Adangbes, Nubii ) inherited their name after "TE" the first Spiritual divinity name of "NU". Due to the legacy of "NU", the Ga-Adangbes SPIRITUALLY classified and named all first born male "TETE, TE, OTE or TETTEY", and the first born female; TELE, LE etc. Both named after "NU's" spiritual name "TE";- The first creation that came from "NU", which makes the GA-ADANGBE'S the "FIRST" Born of the DIVINE "NU" now known among the Ga-Adangbes as "NYUMO, NOOMO, NUNTSO or NUMO. "NU" is also phonetically pronounced NUTEM, NETERU, or NUTERU, by Arabs, Greek, Romans and a few African Nations.
The first and the original name known to mankind of the "SUPREME DIVINE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE" was "NU" after which water was named and "NUBIANS" (BLACK SKIN people) were also named after. This is a known fact by the ancient "NUBIANS or NUBII" and a confirmation fact by "The Ga-Adangbes" who still speak the tongue of their ancestors "The Ancient Nubians" as a legacy.
THE "LA PEOPLE" (LA-ASAFO)
Like many of the Ga-Adangbe sub-nations with the same common practices of the "Kpa Doctrine" of the "LA" People (LA-ASAFO) ;- a Sub Ga-Adangbe Nubian nation of the Ancient Nubian Dynasty, and the Resurrected home of "ASAFOATSE TUTU-ANI"; head of the Osa’s, Asa’s, or Sai's, "Kpa" Divine doctrine of the La-Asafo. The "LA-ASAFO" people do not know about " BUDGE WALLIS'S " SO CALLED ( BOOK OF THE DEAD ), but the ( BOOK OF THE DEAD ) carries more about the ( LA- ASAFO people) of the Ga-Adangbes and their ASAFOATSE TUTU-ANI. He is known in the (BOOK OF THE DEAD) as "ANI" with his wife as"TUTU". He was the spiritual faculty and the coordinator of the OSA/ASAR (OSIRIS) Testimonial Doctrine include the "42-Declarations Of Innocence", now calved down to the "10-Commandments".
" NI or NII " is a singular description title for an ancient "DIVINITY " which is being used for both Spiritual leaders and Kings not "Chiefs" as illusioned to most in the English translation. However the leader of all " NII's or NI's " uses the Ga-Adangbe's pronoun plural letter "A" to the Spiritual title "NII or NI" to become "ANI".
ASAFOATSE TUTU-ANI was a spiritual title of a royal stool of theocracy system and a leader of the "OSA, ASA, (OSIRIS) or ASAR " Divine Testimonial Doctrine of the LA-ASAFO. Based on the ancient Nuubii or Nubians legacy, the LA- ASAFO people COULD NOT and will not spiritually separate the divinity title names "TUTU" from "ANI", always spiritually joint as "TUTU-ANI", just like their relative " AKANS " once spiritual leader and a King with the divinity names " OSEI-TUTU ".
"LA" a nation of Nubians who are also known spiritually as "LA-ASAFO" originally consist of seven sub-divisional clans and are spiritually the warriors of the Divine "HUNU" (SUN). The name "LA" (RA) which literally means Fire, Flames and Heat. As a legacy their existence and functions in life is to protect the Divine "HUNU"(SUN) spiritually with Fire, Flames and Heat, a duty in their legacy before 12,000 B C.
Note: This Spiritual duty is part of their "Kpa" Doctrine, whereby the "Kpa" ( Holy Testimonial Doctrine) represent as the "HUNU" (Sun), the dwelling place of "NU" (The Supreme Divine Creator of the Universe) whose protector is "La" (Ra), the fire part of the Divine "NU" whom one has to go through to "NU" (NUMO or NYUMO) when qualified as a holy person by means of practicing the Holy 42-Declarations of innocence.
During the ancient times of the present LA-ASAFO Nation, and presently among the deep cultured, the LA-ASAFO people believe the reason of them being the "Divinity-LA" in one nation body, the "Fire and the Heat" that protects the "Divine-Kpa", the counter part of the "HUNU" (SUN) is due to the fact that "HUNU" is the spirit "NU" made of water with shining Spirit-Soul. For "NU" (the Waters) is the dwelling place of the Creator of the Universe who spiritually made the waters powerful and illuminating. The LA-ASAFO people are the divine-spirit "LA" (Fire-Heat), the foreigners so-called "RA". "LA" surrounds and protect the dwelling place of the Divine Creator of the Universe, which makes them again the children of "NU" ;- NUMO / NYUMO "The Supreme Divine Creator of the Universe".
The Ga-sub-nations call the Sun "HUNU" which literally means the "Shining Waters", which is among one of the perfect reasons why they address to themselves as; NUBI, NUUBI, NYUMU-BI, or "HII-A-BII" < plural of NUBI. The name-title "NUU" or NYUMU is also used among the Ga-Adangbes for their male born child. And can be use for both male and female of the same father for the clan of their father’s as a direct descendent of that clan. However, " NU "/" NYU " is also honored as a name to "WATER" among the Ga-Adangbes and their ancient ancestors, "The NUBIANS" (NUUBII).
According to the First Original Divine Testimonial Scriptures of the World Creation and Culture of the Nubians (Nubii), the actual " MATERIAL SYMBOL’S " name of the Supreme Divine Creator is "HUNU", "PHU" or " PU". "HU " meaning " shining soul," and "NU" or " NYU" means waters (the primeval celestial waters). The unified names of HU and NU = "HUNU", which literally means "SHINING-Soul WATERS " (SUN). This information was found on the coffins of the ancient Nubians (Nubii), from their papyrus transcripts, and on the walls within their holy shrine-pyramid tombs. Other information ;- The believe practices among the Ga-Adangbes, and other Nubian descendant Nations. When compare these cultures with the Ancient Nubians (NUBII) the relationship link becomes innocently honest. That means the ancient Nubians (NUBII) and their culture were never lost since 12,000 B.C. and beyond.
Theocratically the LA-ASAFO still practices the "ASA" or "OSA Doctrine". This Divine practice which few can now be found in their Divine symbols - language (hieroglyphics) in Nubia (the present North East territory of Africa) and most preserved Nubian cultured area; West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.
Those few and most of the Divine Symbols Languages of the Osa- doctrine that is not known by outsiders are of their daily culture that they practice, cherish, live for and die for as their way of life. This Osa Divine Doctrine is which (the LA-ASAFO) call in their Ga tongue; "KU-SUM, KU-SU-HU, or KHU-SUN".
KU, KHU,= Body-soul. SA = Spirit- invincible. SU, SHU, or HU = Shining-Soul. Therefore KUSUn, KHUSHU, KUHU or KUSUM = Body- Soul (spiritual). And SAHU means; shining "Spirit Soul". Practices of the Supreme Divine Creator through; our KU (KHU) or SA (OSA) = Spirit, and through "HU" = our Shining "Soul". So the name "SA-HU" (Spirit soul) is the title name for the Supreme Creator’s only representative in human form. One who practices Holiness, and recognized as the Divine over the District Divinities, as a Spiritual leader and a King, with the title "SA", "OSA", "ASA" or " OSEI ", which means; Spirit Soul (of the Supreme Divine Creator). In essence "ASAFO" is a person or persons ( member or members ) who practices the "Doctrine-of-Holy-Practices" of "Nyumo" (Numo) represented by "OSA", the so-called "Osiris".
The pronouns "O", "A" and " E "added to "SA" and "SIRI ", result in O-SA, A-SA, O-SEI or E-SIRI, the names which most Africans used then and now. Sadly the Divine name title OSA, OSEI, ASA, and ESIRI is now illusion phonetically to the word "OSIRIS" and many like that, typically doings of the Greek tongue.
As the name title OSA, OSEI, ESIRI, SAI or ASA represents life and death for humans spiritually, it welcomes and represents humans into the world in flesh soulfully and represents humans into the unconditional spiritual world spiritually. So the Divine title name " OSA" remains to be on earth for both our "SA" (Spirit) and our "HU" (Shining -Soul), as the divine key word in our functioning in life to our functioning after flesh life. The Divine key words;" OSA" and "ASA" is attached to the Divine Doctrine of the Supreme Divine Creator of the Universe. ASAFO is a MEMBER of the "Divine Doctrine", ASAFOATSE is the LEADER of the "Divine Doctrine" practices of; SPIRITUAL SOUL OF THE DIVINE SUPREME CREATOR;- NYUMO (NUMO).
The Ga-Adangbes sing "ASAFO" war songs in the name of "OSA". They sing joy (Celebration) "ASAFO" songs in the name of "OSA". They sing "ASAFO" songs in the name of "OSA" during enthrone of a King, a Queen or an Oracle, and they sing "ASAFO" songs in the name of "OSA" during funeral and burial ceremony-services of a King , Queen or an Oracle (WULOMO) etc.
The ancient cultural-Divine doctrine of A-SA, O-SA, SAI, E-SIRI, O-SEI or O-SAI practitioners and followers are known as:"ASAFO"and "OSOFO" among Ghanaians. The title OSO-FO is a singular of ASA-FO, e.g.:-All Christian priests were named by the ASAFO-Ghanaians; of the GA-ADANGBES and the AKANS etc., in their language as "OSO-FO" and the Christians members as "ASA-FO". This title names "ASA-FO" and "OSO-FO" has been in use by the Ga-Adangbe nations and the Akan nations before Christianity, and beyond 10,500 B.C. The title "ASAFO" and "OSOFO" is still being used in a non-Christian form as a legacy of the "OSA" practices among the Ghanaians.
The Nubians (now called Africans) of the Ga-Adangbes, the Akans, and the (A-Hu-Sa) Hausas etc; These nations and several others believed that any person or persons who practices holiness must be with the O-SA or A-SA divine doctrine. They have long known about ASA or OSA, so they saw a reflection of their ASA/OSA divine doctrine practices within the Christians, which is to them had been tampered with.
To the Nubian (African) the true practices of the ASA/OSA DIVINE doctrine is based on a legacy without bending the legacy rules. So they called the Christian priest as a member of ASA or OSA "OSO-FO". They did not name the Christian Priest the name of the ASA or OSA doctrine leadership name, which would have been "ASAFO-ATSE".
ANALOGY OF " LA-KPA "
The Ga-Adangbe word " KPA" or " KPAMO" which in the English language means:- Testament, Divine Law, or Divine Testimony, was addressed as a title to the Christian Bible by the cultured "GA-ASAFO" Ghanaians in their tongue as;-" KPA-MO MOMO " ( OLD TESTAMENT ) and "KPA-MO HEE" ( NEW TESTAMENT ).
This ancient Nubian word "KPA" (TESTAMENT or DIVINE - TESTIMONY) of the Ga-Adangbes is specifically used for the "OSA DIVINE DOCTRINE " Practices known as "ASAFO". While the title "LA-KPA" means; "LA-ASAFO DIVINE-TESTIMONY". Not to forget the description;" KPA-MO ADEKA" ( DIVINE-COVENANT ). The word "KPA" is used in the formation of compound words, as a Command, Oath or Pledge.
For example:- "Oto Kpa" = You are of a bad case or You are a bad Testimony. "Kpa" = Stop or Don't do it. "Kpa ta mo ame"= Stop them from fighting or Stop them. "Kpa ke dze mino" = Take it away from me . " Kpaoooo!"= Off me, Away from me, or Isolate me of ….. in the name of the Divine Testimony"KPA",and many more. Philosophically they all have common understanding, which is swearing in the name of "ASAFO'S Divine Testimony" the "KPA". This Divine Testimonial Testament "KPA" is part of THE LA-ASAFO'S LAW which makes them to be a Nubian Nation of Ancient Legacy. "KPA" is also their "LITURGY"; public divine worshipping within their atonement Language.
The Spiritual title "LA-KPA WULOMO" the (ORACLE): Is used for the spiritual leader who represents the"LA-ASAFO"Nation as the conductor of the"LA-KPA",which is the (LA-ASAFO DIVINE-TESTIMONY) of the Supreme Divine Creator. "The practices of "LA-KPA" is within the LA-ASAFO NATION'S permanent established institute. It is the culture and the daily Divine Communication, in Testimonial Language of the Supreme Divine Creator with the Supreme Divine Creator and their Ancient Divinities.
"Atonement Language": The true ingredients of the Nubian Languages ( Afrikan Languages ) are collective names of nature, and divinity names of their ancestors. The believe power of their spiritual reincarnation is the energy drive within their atonement languages . The Ga-Adangbes speaks the Language of "Kpa" ;- Divine Testimony. This has been the legacy Language of atonement- communication, and part of their well-defined system of Theocracy.
All of the above information was based on a living legacy of "NU" or "NYU" ( The Divine Name of The Primeval Celestial Waters ) and the (CUSTOM) "KUSUM"of the OSA /ASA DIVINE doctrine of the Ga-Adangbes who are one of the PRIMOGENITOR of "NU" ( NUMO) or "NYU" ( NYUMO ). Like a mother breast milk scent on a baby breath, so does the linguistics of the Ancient Nubian's Language on the tongue of the Ga-Adangbes. In realty, the Ga-Adangbes were NOT illiterate to their writing and reading of the "Kpa" Doctrines, the so-called "hieroglyphic holy writings". " ONE CAN SPEAK WHAT HE OR SHE WRITES AND READS ".
Paddyreus, Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei
Omnia Vincit Labor
Posted 14 June 2005 - 08:13 PM
Paddyreus, Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei
Omnia Vincit Labor
Posted 14 June 2005 - 08:15 PM
Posted 14 June 2005 - 08:21 PM
The Twins' Spiritual Mother arrived like an Eagle, tall with a gentle domineering figure. She seemed spiritually thirsty and ready to Lecture, possibly to conduct the Twin-Born Children's Ceremony. She possessed and posed as the sitting Spiritual Judgment Authority of the Twin-Born Ritual-Ceremonial Doctrine. When she sat down her eye balls rotated in an accuracy of multiple angles with sharp movements, yet bold with observation decently welcoming my presence. As four of us were sitting in a small size family house that is over two-hundred and twelve years old (212 years old), with the intention of listening to a lecture of the "Twin-Born Children's Ceremonial Doctrine", slowly the environment felt heavier, full of the passion of Ancestral feelings present, as though we had been taken back two-hundred years into the past.
Before the introductions amongst us begun, water was poured gently on the ground as a peaceful gesture to our spirits and to the spirits of our Ancestors, since "Nu" (now named after water) the originator of life, who never rejects anything but rather gives us the benefit of the doubt, that the Ga-Adangbes have always known that the basic key to communicate to or with a spirit is through the Divine "Nu" (water), which is the most free and essential priceless material in our lives. I was introduced to the sitting by my aunt "Adai", also present was my other aunt "Oboshie", both from the "Sai-shie"(Saishie) clan, then the bold Eagle character was introduced as "Ataa-Dzani Klan-naa bi Tawiah" ( The Grand-Elder Dzani of the "Klan-naa" clan, his child Tawiah ). The introduction of the eagle character was not enough for me, in fact I felt innocently provoked about it after listening to her lecturing, for I was listening to and seeing an "Institution Faculty of Authentic Twin-Born Children Ceremonial Doctrine" in one person. I had no choice but to classify her as Dr. Tawiah-Dzani of the "Klan-naa" clan" of the La-Asafo sub-Nation of the Ga-Adangbe nation of Ghana.
Just like the Universal Spiritualist and the Universal Spiritualist Professors, who are known by the Ga-Adangbes as "Won Yoo" for Female or "Won Nu" for Male, whose institutions are sacred and freely exist within them spiritually, through their spiritual Doctrines and in their communities, so also does Professor Tawiah-Dzani have within her Spiritual-Specialty in the Twin-Born Ceremonial Doctrine. However, she is not a Universal spiritualist. She is a living symbol of the Twin-Born Ceremony, for she is also born after twins; "Tawiah-Apiadzei", the spiritual domain name for the male or female born after twins, or the third of triplets. Most of these Spiritual Doctrines cannot be taught in your average Western or European school system, they are taught, as members, within a special spiritual domain.
As she begun to release the Ancient voice of Legacy words, an alert reddish rooster and a whitish hen were present, approximately seven feet from us, wandering freely around as if they belonged to the sitting, with the Hen posing as having complete protection from the Rooster. Within their husband and wife posture the Rooster will occasionally crow for a good length during the lecture, without interruption to our concentration, and was repeated every five to eight minutes. Before we realized it, the rooster's crowing intermission was alerting our concentration and the feeling was that they were part of the sitting, while at the same time the crowing became a hail of affirmation to the lecture, then I realized that Dr. Tawiah-Dzani's lecturing of the Twin Ceremony Doctrine had turned almost into a live ceremony without the presence of any twins.
The lecture released Divinity names and some of the Divinities' names are mentioned in the songs which are sang as part of the Doctrine. The unique reason why the ceremonies of the Ga-Adangbes and other Nubian spiritual ceremonies and rituals cannot be staged as a play is due to the "Decency of Ethics",especially when a "Nubian" now (African) is to act in a ceremony or ritual as part of that play. It is only appropriate to witness the live ceremony or be an authentic member of that ceremony.
In essence, to the Nubian, since a birthday is celebrated on that day once in the year and child bearing cannot be repeated of the same child, death cannot be repeated of the same death, age or words cannot be recollected, so also their ceremonial spiritual occasions, which were always accompanied with their Ancestors' resurrection only on that occasion as a live event, cannot be repeated. Their judgments are solely based on the past, the present and the future. They have vowed not to wrong nor provoke an Ancestor or a descendant because their reputation, which spiritually keeps them alive from generation to generation through resurrection of "THE END AND THE BEGINNING", is on their tongue and that of their generations.
Analogy of the spiritual code/names “Akikrafoi, Shwebii, Wuobii (Sacred Twin Domain Names)” used in the next part of the ceremony:
Akikra (noun) – the word Akikra represents an ancient spiritual universal doctrine of laws affiliated with the twin-born ceremonial doctrine.
Akikrafoi (adjective) – practitioners of the Akikra doctrine of laws.
Shwebii (adjective) – fruitful descendants (of the Akikrafoi).
Wuobii (adjective) – descendants of the spirits of twins. (Represented by the spirit and the horns of the African Buffalo).
The word “haadzii” is often interpreted as the word “twins” in the English language. However, Nubian (African) philosophy considers “haadzii” all multiple births (twins, triplets, quadruplets etc.) and those born after them as one whole structure and, therefore, the English language has no comparison to the Ga-Adangbe word “haadzii”.
As it was spoken into my ears by the "Lady-Eagle" Dr. Tawiah-Dzani ; "Since you came from the United States of America, you will have to tell us your mission then we will know how to approach and to handle your mission, otherwise we will both be wondering in illusion. Twin-Children are also on a similar mission, but theirs is special because they always have a spiritual tag. As a Legacy, it has always been known by the Ga-Adangbes through their Ancestors that twin-born Children are not just seen as ordinary babies or children but are identified as reincarnations of old spirits and are honored accordingly, so their families including the Twin-Children will be at peace."
The "Lady-Eagle" Dr. Tawiah-Dzani speaks:- "A pregnant woman within the Ga-Adangbes is always closely observed and when the size of the pregnancy appears to be oversize approximately three to two months before her delivering, elderly "Nubian" (African) women who are traditional maternity practitioners and counselors specialized in child delivering and pregnancy monitoring hand bounce the pregnancy gently and spiritually from experience, detect if twins are about to be born. Then to further confirm this, the pregnant woman’s belly is marked with "ayilo"on the middle of the pregnancy, from the breast-bone to just below the navel. While the practitioner is in a spiritual mode with the pregnant woman, the pregnancy forms a division from the breast-bone to just below the navel, showing the formation of two separate fetuses in the womb. "Ayilo" is a white clayish substance formed into little oval balls, which quite often pregnant women mainly of (African) Nubian or Nubian descent crave to eat, specifically pregnant women.
If the woman is carrying twins, a special spiritual doctrine to communicate with the twins while inside the belly will be conducted. However, this method of communication which can be before or after delivering is optional to the parents. For example, after the birth of the twins, while they are still in the hospital, the practitioner calls the twins spiritually to find out what they want to be done for them and where they came from etc. Some of the twins ask for their "sanctification ceremony" on the eighth day, (the so-called out-dooring ceremony). During this ritual the twins are bathed with special herbs seeped in water. Also within this ritual, the male child is circumcised and the female’s ears are pierced on that same eighth day. The communication with the twins is to benefit both the parents and the twins."
Once this ritual bathing has been performed, the twins are again called spiritually. This time the twins ask why they are being called. Then the practitioner, who is the respondent, informs them that they are being called so that they can be welcomed into this world officially, to seat them comfortably and to let them express their mission for coming into this life. The twins are accorded this respect and honor so that they feel welcome and encouraged to say what their mission is – why they came, what they came to do and how they should be handled. It opens the door for the twins to bless their parents with good fortune.
Conversely, if this is not done, the door will not open for the twins to offer blessings of good fortune to their parents. This creates a situation in which instead of blessings, the parents may encounter difficulties and they may perhaps wonder why such misfortunes are happening to them after having twin children.
The ““Shitoo”” stage of the twin ceremonial doctrine; this is the ritual, which is of the utmost priority and is for welcoming the twins to settle. The ““Shitoo”” is performed right after the children are born to avoid misfortune/unhappiness and to bestow fruitfulness on the parents. Quite often, the “Shitoo” is performed when the children are perhaps 1-2 months old. Some parents perform the entire twin-born ceremony at once but others perform the “Shitoo” immediately after the birth of the twins and wait for some time, but not later than a year, when they have enough funds to perform the “Yeyeeyee” which is the final stage and involves sacrificing a goat. It is also acceptable for the entire ceremony to be performed later, if the twins are born outside the country. Despite these ceremonies, twins go through the sanctification ceremony (naming and so-called out-dooring ceremony) on the eighth day just like other babies.
However, if after a year following their birth, the “Shitoo” has not been performed, neither the parents nor the twins will be at peace. Not only that but the entire life of the parents could be troubled. If the parents don’t have enough money to perform the ceremony, the twins could ask the parents to borrow some and if they do borrow, the twins will bless them with even more. In effect, the twins will do anything possible spiritually to assist the parents in the performance of their “Shitoo” so that the parents will have a problem-free and glorious life. If for any reason the parents are doing something wrong which could stop the “Shitoo”, the twins address this before the ceremony.
In one instance during the “Shitoo” ritual performance where chicken are sacrificed, the chicken did not die when they were supposed to. Due to these unusual circumstances, the twins requested that the “Kpa” dance be performed because spiritually they were from “Kpawe”(house of “Kpa”), even though physically their biological father was from Krobo, another part of the country. Linguistically, “kpa” means “holy testimony”, therefore, the “Kpa” dance is a “holy testimonial dance”, and “Kpawe” means “house of the holy testimony”. The twins explained that spiritually they had followed their grandfather from a previous life who was from “Kpawe”. As soon as the dance of “kpa” was performed, the chicken died. Another example tells of twins who claimed that spiritually they were Hausa Moslems in a previous life, although their biological father was Ga-Adangbe, and asked that their parents be taken to a mosque to beg, before the twins felt welcome enough to take their spiritual domain stools within the family. Thus, even though physically and biologically the twins are born of specific parents, yet spiritually they could belong to another ethnic group.
The “Shitoo” is very important and every request made by the twins is honored to ensure that their settlement is securely provided. For instance they may ask for white calico clothing, four puna yams (sweetish, mushy, tasteful yam), a crate (dozen) of both white and brown chicken eggs. Some may ask you to borrow the horns of “Wuo” (horns of an African buffalo), which are then placed in anointed water seeped with special distinct herbs/plants in a “sese” (a large bowl carved out of wood), over which prayers (libation) have been said and rituals performed. The African Buffalo horns are also essential to the ceremony and have to accompany the spiritual practitioners of the twin-born ceremonial doctrine, who are themselves “haadzii”, otherwise without them the entire ceremony is rendered null and void and to be of no effect.
An elder of the house then invokes the divinities and names of the ancestors and elders of that house after which the practitioner prays, pours libation and performs rituals, also invoking the divinities, both above and below.
The twin-ceremonial practitioner, Dr. Tawiah-Dzani, calls on the twins spiritually invoking all the sacred twin domain names, as well as the names of siblings born or yet to be born after them (Tawiah, Ago, Aban), into the “sese” as follows:
"Akikrafoi, Shweebii, Wuobii. Okatso, okate. Toi kpawo, toi kpawo. Ke Akwele lo Akuorkor, lo Oko ke Akweley”.
MEANING : “Practitioners of the Akikra doctrine of laws, fruitful descendants (of the Akikrafoi), Descendants of the spirits of twins, (Represented by the spirit and the horns of the African Buffalo), swear on wood, swear on stone, seven times, seven times, if you are Akweley or Akuorkor, or Oko and Akweley”
Continuing, the practitioner tells the twins that “the reason why we are seated here today is to receive you as strangers into our midst, into this family, to give you spiritual seats within the family, to give you food to eat so that you will feel welcome enough to deliver the message of your mission”.
She then calls the twins into the “sese”, saying: “Akikrafoi, Shwebii, Wuobii, today we are presenting you with your spiritual domain stools and blessing you with blessings, to give you “kle” and “mamian” (maize foods???) so that you in turn can eat and vomit (return it in fruitfulness and multiplication in health and wealth and all other good things); when we drink we will be at peace; everything our hands touch will be fruitful and we will not scatter. When you grow up, you will be fruitful and become people of stature. Drive back all “musu” and “oshla” (results of curses and unfortunate incidents) and in their place embrace “aflo baa” (leaves of fortune) so that by this time next year we will still have multiplication of blessings.”
If only the “Shitoo” is performed at this time, then the water from the “sese” is used to bathe the twins both morning and evening for a week before the leaves are thrown away. The twins are washed with their regular soap and rinsed with the water from the “sese”. To ensure freshness, the water is changed daily and sweet herbal scents added to it each day as well.
The final stage is the “Yeyeeye”. After the “Shitoo”, one can go ahead and perform the “Yeyeeye” especially since at this point the twins would have blessed the parents and they should be able to afford the “Yeyeeye” portion of the ceremony. In essence, the “Shitoo” opens the way for the “Yeyeeye” to be performed and therefore, the opportunity to offer a sheep to the twins.
The father of the twins buys one sheep, 2 red and 2 white chicken, 2 crates (2 dozen) of both white and brown eggs, 2 pieces (12 yards per piece) of white calico, 6-10 “puna” yams, six cooking pots and one bottle each of “Akpeteshie” (indigenous gin-like clear alcohol), “ten daa” (palm wine - sweet fermented sap of the palm tree), “pito” (fermented millet drink) and soft drinks (“shito daa” – sweet pepper/ginger drink and “nmer daa” –sweet corn drink). These items plus an amount of money for prayers (libation) are placed on the sides, left and right, of the “sese”.
After the prayers the following nine leaves, spiritually affiliated with the Twin-Born Ritual and Ceremonies used since ancient days for this purpose are plucked for the ritual/ceremony: “nyanyara”, “ogo”, “konoma”, “gbobilo-Amu”, “Oko ke Akuetteh baa”, “abele-tso”, “tsaalai”, “sho-tso” and “noko-tso”. Of these great leaves, all can be substituted for others except “gbobilo-Amu” and “Oko ke Akuetteh”, which must definitely be among the leaves used for the ceremony. All the leaves are used for the different sets of twins (male and female; two males; two females) yet some of the leaves must be substituted with others from the same group. These substitutions are upon the discretion of Dr. Tawiah.
The leaves are divided into two groups and together with the African buffalo horns are placed in the empty “sese”. Once this has been done, the performance of various parts of the ceremony are shared amongst those present. The “sese”, with the leaves and horns in it, are lifted towards the heavens three times. Eggs are then placed on the leaves.
Following this, the ends of the yams are cut to enable them stand upright and are placed on either side of the doors of the house. The father then pours water in front of the “sese”, behind it and to the left and right of it. He then pours water into the “sese” three times. After doing this twice, he finally pours a whole lot of water into the “sese” to cover the leaves and adds sweet herbal scents to it. Next the practitioner, who is also the “Spiritual Mother of Twins”, performs rituals and calls the spirit/souls of the twins into the water and onto the horns. The practitioner, then stands the father of the twins behind the “sese” and pours him some clear alcohol to perform ritual prayers (pour libation). He calls the names of the twins and asks them to bless him, for instance he tells them that today, he is giving them their spiritual domain stools or performing the “Yeyeye” for them. He requests that they return in kind, all that has been expended on the ceremony so that he in turn will have enough to raise them properly. They are asked not to let him borrow or run out of money but instead that they should be fruitful and vomit (return wealth) etc. Finally, he may ask for whatever good things he needs in his life.
Next, the practitioner hands the two red chicken, which are for the set of twins, to the father to hold by the scruff of their necks while the following song is sung three times if the twins are two males, Oko and Akuetteh:
Oko Onukpa yee nu dzoo ke nu mba ee ye nu dzoo
Akuetteh Okulo ye nu dzoo ke nu mba ee ye nu dzoo
Tackie Tawiah ye nu dzoo ke nu mba ee ye nu dzoo
Nyankuma Ago ye nu dzoo ke nu mba ee ye nu dzoo
Aban Kofi ye nu dzoo ke nu mba ee ye nu dzoo
Ke nu mba, ke nu mba, ke nu mba, ke nu mba Afugbogbo,
Afugbogba Akwele, gbogba Akuetteh
Yee ye yee, yee ye ye.
If the twins are two females, Akwele and Akuorkor, then the following song is sung:
Akwele Suma, yee yeyee yeyee
Akuorkor Suma, yee yeyee yeyee
Tawiah Apia-Adzei, yee yeyee yeyee
Nyankuma Ago, yee yeyee yeyee
Aban Kofi, yee yeyee yeyee
Mitawo ame aahu minaa ame
Mina aame aahu mikwotso
Mikwo tso aahu mi kplekeshi
Mi kplekeshi Akwele
Mi kplekeshi Akuorkor
Awoawoo awoo awoo awoawo
Yee yeyee yee yeye
During this time the chicken are expected to die by spiritual means and not by slitting their throats or strangulation but if they are not dead, the following song is also sang about 3 times or until the chicken die:
Aban Kofi mabo yawa ye di di afio
Aban Kofi mabo yawa ye di di afio, osee di di e
Aban Kofi ye di di afio osee di di
Akwele Deedei ye be di afi ne, osee di di
Oko Nukpa ye be di afi ne, osee di di
Mabo yawa ye di di afio
Aban Kofi mabo yawa ye di di afio, osee di dio
Aban Kofi mabo yawa ye di di afio, osee di di
Once the red chicken die, with the father still standing behind the “sese” he is given the two white chicken to hold by the scruff of their necks until they also die by spiritual means. The two white chicken are for Tawiah and the song for that which is also sung if the chicken don’t die quickly, is as follows:
Ntaoo Tawiah ma wo Aban mo
Ntaoo Tawiah ma wo Aban mo
Ntaoo Tawiah ma wo Aban mo
Ntaoo Tawiah ma wo Aban mo.
The process for both sets of chicken to die will be delayed by the spirit of the twins if their father is stubborn or wicked in anyway. This delay may appear to be a punishment to the father. When they die, it means the sacrifice has been accepted by the twins. This is done both for the “Shitoo” and the “Yeyeeye”.
In addition to this a white sheep is sacrificed for the “Yeyeeye”. The father stands in front of the “sese” and lifts the sheep up above the ground, then brings it down to touch the ground. He does this three times, each time mentioning the names of the twins and those born after them e.g. “Ataa Oko and your sister Akwele or Oko and your brother Akuetteh or Akwele and your sister Akuorkor, then Tawiah, Ago, Aban, today, I am sacrificing a sheep for you.” Afterwards, the throat of the sheep is cut a little and some blood is let into the “sese”. Then the sheep is led to the door where its throat is slit fully. At this point, the jaws of all the chicken are slit and their backs tapped so that some blood is also let into the “sese”. Both the sheep and the chicken are later cooked as a feast for the entire family, friends and well-wishers for witnessing and participating in the ceremony.
The parents of the twins, the twins and their siblings born after them and the practitioner fast from food and drink on that day but if the twins are very young they are given something little to drink.
“Otor” (mashed “puna” yam mixed with palm oil, piled in a bowl with boiled eggs placed on top) is sprinkled on to the freshly scrubbed African buffalo horns which have now been placed on a table. Some “Otor” is also sprinkled on the leaves in the “sese” and on the doorstep. The practitioner then eats a little of the “Otor” and hand feeds both the mother and the father of the twins thus breaking the fast and therefore, they allowing them to eat anything they may like.
At this stage “fotoli” is prepared for the next part of the ceremony. “Fotoli” is porridge-like and is composed of light soup into which balls of corn dough made from dried corn are placed. While it is cooking, some of the balls of corn dough are crumbled and mixed with the soup to form a porridge. Palm oil is then poured over the mixture and cooked further. Once it is cooked, it is poured into a bowl and allowed to cool. Consequently, young children between the ages of 3 and 8 are assembled to eat the “fotoli”. With the twins (children) seated naked or only in their underwear, the children rub their unwashed hands all over the twins. Adult twins will be covered from the waist down to the upper knee in white calico and the women will have on white brassieres in addition. The “fotoli” is washed off the “haadzii” and they are then seated on the leaves in the “sese” and washed with the leaves. This is the last time they are bathed during the ceremony.
When the children have been bathed, they are decorated with “krobo”, ancient deodorant-like aromatic herbs formed into balls and used as perfume/cologne to culturally decorate the whole body during celebrations and ceremonial occasions. It is also used for perfuming and decorating dead bodies for burial. For this particular purpose, though, the “krobo” is mixed with “tum” and “ayiloo”. The children are then dressed in white clothes after which they sit at table to eat. Very young children are wrapped in small pieces of white calico while older ones and their parents might have clothes made from white African print material for both all the “haadzii” and themselves. If the parents can afford it, the twins may change their clothes a couple of times during the ceremony. They may wear one set of clothing to eat the “Oto” and another to eat the rice and the chicken killed for Tawiah. The chicken for the twins are usually used to make soup and eaten with fufu.
The “haadzii” are also dressed with special beads on their right wrists and around their necks so that is clear to everyone that the “Shitoo” and “Yeyeeye” have been performed for them. On very young children, three rows of white beads and three rows of black beads are placed around their necks and two rows of black beads with a row of white beads in between, are placed on their right wrists. The white beads are called “afili” and the black ones are called “ayibibi”. These beads are threaded by white “lorn” (thick white cord )or white thread. Some of the twins ask for gold necklaces and bracelets (“apokwa”) in addition to the beads.
At about 6:00p.m. that same day of the “Yeyeeye”, the mother of the twins carries the “sese” on her head to throw the leaves and water into the nearest body of water, usually the sea. Together with the family, she goes to the nearest "Y" foot path or street intersection and they follow the trunk of the "Y" leading to the sea. The purpose of the mother carrying the “sese” to the nearest body of water, or the sea is to throw away, once and for all, the misfortunes spiritually washed off the “haadzii”.
The horns, even though they may be his or borrowed, are sold to the father for a token fee. The horns are presented to him three times by the practitioner who tells him each time that the horns are being sold to him. Following this, he takes the horns to his house to cherish them so that he will receive whatever “shade” (rewards/benefits), comes from the horns but if he borrowed them, and the owner comes for the horns, then there is a possibility that the “shade” will go to the owner of the horns instead of the father of the twins.
A barrel is placed at that Y-intersection and at this time, the mother of the “haadzii” and her siblings fetch well water (bu mli nu or jubli), which they pour into the barrel. She is then led back to the house where a mat is laid in the middle of the courtyard for her, and she sits on it surrounded by all the “haadzii”, the twins and their siblings born after them. Her head is then wrapped in four yards (2 lengths) of white calico. They all wait in anticipation for the next event.
Together with an entourage who are singing, the father of the twins fetches well water and continues to fill the barrel. They go back and forth with “kulos” (clay pots) until the barrel is full. Rituals are then performed and a number of people, who carry 6 “kulos”, are chosen to fetch the water from the barrel at the intersection to the family house where the ceremony is being conducted. All this time, everybody is singing while water is fetched from the barrel with a calabash and each person with a “kulo” steps forward for the “kulo” to be filled, then steps back for the next person to come forward with the “kulo” until all the “kulos” as full. Still singing, the water is taken back to the family house and with the mother and the “haadzii” sitting on the mat, all six “kulos” of water are poured on them. This process is repeated three times until the people doing the pouring, the “haadzii”, and their mother go into a trance in contact with the ancestral spirits, which confirms the ancestors’ acceptance of the “Yeyeeye”. Sometimes, those fetching the water are the first to go into a trance. For the first two trips, the song “Oko Onukpa yee nu dzoo” is sung and on the third trip, “Nta o Tawiah o mawo Aban mo” is sung.
The “Shigben”, which is an anniversary of the “Yeyeeye” is performed a year after the “Yeyeeye”. “Otor” is cooked for the twins and some of it sprinkled on the horns. Additionally, their father may, if he is able, have a sheep or chicken killed to prepare a meal for them.
This ceremony is usually performed after “Homowo” (The Premium Atonement Festival of the Ga-Adangbes celebrated yearly) when the “Kpele” (a spiritual dance and music of the “Kpele Won Yee”, the Universal Spiritualist) has been played and “Minna” (Ritual Dance and Music of Thanksgiving) completed and the spiritualist officially concludes the “Homowo” festivities. Even if the “Homowo” is over and “Minna” has not been played, the “Shigben” (anniversary of the “Yeyeeye”) cannot be performed since there is clapping involved and this is banned until the “Minna” has been completed.
All twin-born ritual ceremonies including both the “Shitoo” and the “Yeyeeye” are performed only on the spiritual day Friday for all twin-born, the day for “haadzii”. However, they are NOT performed on Fridays on which major spiritual and religious activities are being held, yet it will be perform on another free Friday. This is due to the uniqueness of the Ga-Adangbes’ ceremonies which are distinctive in their own ways and do not interfere with each other as a spiritual thumb of law: "THE DECENCY OF ETHICS".
Paddyreus, Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei
Omnia Vincit Labor
Posted 15 June 2005 - 12:41 PM
My question is are you sure that the Dangbes are happy to be joined up and mised up with the Gas'? Reading through and apart from the information on the twins which is priceless and the sort of things we should lnow about and teach to our children, I became alarmed by the mixing and matching and confusing way the the Dangbe history is blending in with the Ga history.
I know you got the information from somewhere and parts may be true, but I and others I know were not happy with the information being imparted.
Ga's have their own history on how they came to live on the shores of Ghana nd the Dangbe's made up of the Krobos and people from Ada also have their own true and factual history and where they settled. They did not arrive with the Ga's and settled in the Eastern Regions mountains where they fought the Ashanti's etc.
To Blend theie histories together erodes some of the real and true historical data which they are individually very proud of and have upheld for all these years.
History although good if not carefully imparted can cause a lot of confusion.
Posted 15 June 2005 - 02:48 PM
well, i will look out for the dichotomy
and release the information soon...
Paddyreus, Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei
Omnia Vincit Labor
Posted 28 July 2005 - 02:04 PM
JOSHUA N. KUDADJIE
We live in a changing world; change is evident all around us. Yet not everyone likes change: change is not easy or comfortable.1 Some people are even scared of change and new things; others are tickled by it and rush in for every new gadget. Our purpose in this essay is to uncover the attitudes of the Ga and Dangme towards change and modernization as far as can be seen from their proverbs.
The Ga and Dangme people live in the southeastern corner of Ghana in a triangular shaped region along the Atlantic coast. For a long time they were regarded as a twin ethnic group called Ga-Adangme, but at present they function for all practical purposes as two ethnic groups. They form 9 percent of the population of Ghana.2
As in all cultures within Ghana, the proverbs of the Ga and Dangme function somewhat like moral codes, conventional wisdom and explicit rules of conduct; proverbs both describe and prescribe. They state the experiences, moral intuitions and guidelines for living that people generally have found to be noteworthy and helpful. At the same time, they contain the wisdom of the sages in the form of prescriptions and counsel for a successful life. We shall study only a small number of representative proverbs. We intend (i) to distill what Ga and Dangme proverbs actually say about the use of old and new things, about maintaining the status quo, and about accepting change; and (ii) to indicate what resources their proverbs provide — as repositories of the collective wisdom of the people — for forming attitudes towards change and modernization. Thus we shall be stating both what is the case regarding people’s attitudes towards change and what ought to be or what they regard as the correct attitudes. The approach adopted here is that of an exposition rather than a critical analysis of the selected proverbs. We shall consider the literal or primary meaning of the proverbs (in English) as well as its deeper meaning and the moral lesson or principle enunciated by their application in a particular circumstance.
Change is inevitable, it is natural, normal and perpetual. Yet the phenomenon of inertia is no less real. There is thus a paradox in the attitudes of various people towards change. The use of new technology and tools as well as the adoption of new values, practices and institutions are all aspects of change and modernization (i.e. the adoption of theories, beliefs and practices characteristic of the late 20th century). This being so, the people’s general attitudes to change as such are extended to modernism and new technologies in general — the electronic mail, other high tech equipment, television, in vitro fertilization, neo-charismatism, new learning and teaching methods, female ordination, males plaiting their hair and wearing earrings, agitation for gay rights, or whatever.
There is a commonplace view that in societies with relatively more rural populations than urban and city dwellers there is a lower level of tolerance of modernization and that urban and city dwellers accept modernization more easily. Sometimes attitudes to change are intimately linked with religious beliefs. One of the variety of effects that religion can have on adherents is to make them conservative. The more religious a people are, the more conservative they may tend to be and consequently the less favorable may be their attitude towards change, especially towards ‘modernity’. This is because modernity is seen — not entirely without justification — as an iconoclastic and corrupting intrusion upon well-established, age-old values, while it fosters values and practices that tend to incite upheavals and disequilibrium in society.
It is commonly held that standards of education3 (by which is often meant European classroom type of education) determine attitudes towards change and modernization. The more ‘education’ people have, the more easily they identify with modernity; the less they have, the more negative and suspicious they are of modernity and consequently the more resistant they are to change and modernization. Like all other Ghanaians, the majority of Ga and Dangme people are rural.4 Those with European type education are only about 40 percent.5 Also, like other Ghanaians, and for that matter Africans overall, they are justifiably dubbed by Mbiti as "incurably" and "notoriously religious." If one takes these three indices seriously (religious adherence, European ‘education’ and the rural-urban divide), one might conclude without further investigation that the Ga and Dangme are conservative and therefore, at best, indifferent towards modernization — even hostile to it. But one would be mistaken, both on logical and empirical grounds. One would have over-generalized, perhaps under the influence of the "cultural unanimism illusion" to which Hountonji has drawn attention (1983: 152, 165). He argues against the claim that people in certain geographical regions of Africa hold unanimous positions on important metaphysical, moral or aesthetic issues. He denies any such homogeneity, pointing out the truism that there is never any society where everyone agrees with everyone else.
Hountonji’s contention cannot be dismissed wholesale. Nevertheless there exists the equally obvious truism that a consensus or dominant view prevails even in a vast culture where people express diverse views at every opportunity. So one can legitimately refer to dominant views of the Ga and Dangme towards modernization and change without necessarily being guilty of the ‘cultural unanism’ illusion.
What, then, can we discern from Ga and Dangme proverbs about their attitudes towards change and modernization? Before looking at specific Ga and Dangme proverbs, let us consider some general features of African proverbial discourse of which the Ga and Dangme proverbs form a species.6
GENERAL FEATURES OF AFRICAN PROVERBS
Much of the idiomatic language and reflective thought of Africans is expressed in proverbs. In many ways, African traditional proverbs are like those of the people of other cultures. Although there exist long proverbs — which seem more like short stories or poems — the overwhelming majority of African proverbs are short, pithy statements that contain ancient wisdom and experience.
African proverbs usually have two meanings: the literal or primary meaning and the deeper or implicit meaning. The implicit or normative meaning of African proverbs is not always apparent. This is precisely why they are called proverbs. For instance, the Ghanaian Akan, Dangme and Ga expressions for ‘to cite a proverb,’ bu abë, means ‘to bend,’ ‘curve,’ or ‘to twist words,’ to make them complicated (Yankah 1986). Similarly, the Lugbara (Uganda) term that is used to designate proverbs, e’yo obeza, literally means ‘mixed words,’ ‘twisted speech’ or ‘indirect talk’ (Dalfovo 1995). The meaning of a proverb is not fixed and so it can be modified. The user is free to reconstruct a proverb in order to make it appropriate for the particular context in which it is being used. To modify a proverb, one may delete, paraphrase, elaborate or transfer elements in it (Yankah 1986). The hearer must be clever to interpret and grasp the meaning of a proverb.
Another important feature of African proverbs is that for a proverb to be appropriate when cited, the situation depicted in the primary meaning, as well as its deeper meaning, must match that of the context and situation to which it is being applied. Take for instance the Bassa proverb: "An elder knows where to locate a crab’s heart." The proverb is pointing to difficult and complex problems whose solution can barely be imagined. They are like a crab’s heart, which can hardly be located. Yet in both cases an elder has the solution: from his store of knowledge and experience he can locate a crab’s heart. And from his experience and wisdom coupled with patience and careful scrutiny, he can get to the root of a complex problem and offer solutions. This characteristic of the African proverb and its application calls for a technique that comes with long periods of training and practice, whether formal or informal. Similarly, to understand a proverb correctly is also a task calling for discernment; for those who hear the proverbs do not always understand them. This is because the truths and advice expressed in the proverbs are always stated in figures of speech, metaphors and images, rather than in plain common language. Sometimes things that are alike or antithetical are compared or contrasted. One needs to reason and use one’s imagination in order to understand a proverb’s intended meaning (Dzobo 1972).
Source and Authority
In Africa, proverbs are not usually ascribed to any particular individual, but rather to the ancestors collectively, the wise men and women of old. In most cases it is not known who composed a particular proverb. But whether or not the source is known, all proverbs are credited to the elders of old, even if a particular composer is still alive. In many African societies, when a proverb is cited, it is preceded with a statement like, "So said the elders. . . ." This is a way of according authority to proverbs. It is also a way of saying that all the people own the proverbs (Dzobo 1975); and that they contain experience, wisdom and valid counsel that is acknowledged by all. Thus, the collective thought, beliefs and values of an African people can be discerned from their proverbs.
Scope and Content
There are thousands, perhaps millions, of African proverbs. New ones are still being composed and old ones are adapted or given new meanings to suit new situations. Anyone who is ingenious — that is, anyone who is creative, observant and has the ability to reflect and deduce a moral lesson from common happenings — can compose a proverb (Dzobo 1975).
African proverbs contain observations gathered from common everyday events and experiences concerning the nature, life and behavior of human beings as well as those of animals, birds, plants and other natural objects, even supernatural objects and beings. Some of the proverbial sayings are statements of historical fact about the people, while others contain information about their culture. For instance, the Ewe proverb, "When Nötsie chief sends you to war, you yourself have to find a way of hiding from your enemies," tells of events in their history some 600 years ago when many Ewes lost their lives in wars that they fought for the chief of Nötsie, an ancient walled city situated in present-day Togo (Dzobo 1975). A great number of proverbs express philosophical thoughts, religious beliefs and values. The Akan proverbial saying that "God pounds fufu for the one-handed person" is a theological statement of the Akan’s perspective about God’s provision, loving kindness and gracious dealings with humankind. Other proverbs reflect the social structure of traditional African societies. For example, there are proverbs that suggest how to deal with elders, children, a spouse and so on; and there are some that indicate the position and role of various members of the society. The Ga proverb: "When a woman rears a goat, it is a man who slaughters it," shows the position and role of the woman in Ga traditional society as a nurturing subordinate, but indispensable companion and partner of the man. Similarly, the Dangme proverb, "The stream-side drinking gourd does not make one die of thirst" (i.e. it saves one from dying of thirst), shows the importance of women in the created order; for it means that a man who has a wife at home will not die of hunger. At a deeper level, it means that a man finds his complement and his fulfillment in woman, his wife.
A close look at African traditional proverbial sayings shows clearly that the main concerns expressed in the proverbs relate to every aspect of human life. The ultimate purpose of the proverbs is to teach wisdom and moral lessons. Thus they contain, and are used to convey, moral lessons and advice on how to live a good and prosperous life. The proverbs touch on all conditions of life: wealth and poverty, health and sickness, joy and sorrow; occupations that include farming, hunting, fishing, building, trading and other kinds of activity like healing, cooking, walking, sleeping, marrying, childbearing, child-rearing. There are proverbs that concern all manner of people: kings and citizens, nobles and slaves, women and men, adults and children, apprentices and master craftsmen.
African proverbs contain observations and good counsel against undesirable vices like anger, backbiting, greed, ingratitude, laziness, lying, pride, procrastination, selfishness, stealing and so forth. The Ugandan proverb, "Anger killed a mother cow," warns against anger, while the South African proverb, "Horns which are put on do not stick properly," condemns hypocrisy and arrogance. Many other proverbs also praise and advise people to cultivate virtues that promote progress and ensure wellbeing: circumspection, co-operation, gratitude, humility, patience, perseverance, prudence, respect and unity. Two Igbo proverbs: "The palm wine tapper does not say everything he sees from the top of the palm tree," and, "If the mouth says the head should be beheaded, when it is beheaded, the mouth follows it," both teach prudence and the need to avoid speaking out carelessly, and to avoid saying everything one sees or knows.
Context and Use
In traditional African society, one can hardly hear anyone speak a few sentences without citing a proverb. For the initiated, the citing of proverbs comes naturally, without any conscious or special effort. This is as true during ordinary conversation as during formal and solemn discourse. However, proverbs tend to be more purposely cited during serious or formal discourse, such as during proceedings of the council of elders, a chief’s court, an arbitration, family meetings or during exhortations on how to live a morally good life.
A cursory examination may suggest that some proverbs contradict others. For example some proverbs counsel self-reliance while others counsel community effort. The truth is that, in its own context and particular situation, each may be apt. For in real life situations there are paradoxes and apparent contradictions. For instance in certain situations the best thing to do is to be silent, while in others speaking out is the wise thing to do. Thus, although the counsels of silence and of speaking out may appear to conflict when juxtaposed, in their appropriate distinct contexts each is straightforward. It is no wonder, then, that since proverbs relate to real life situations, they sometimes seem to contradict each other; but these contradictions are only apparent and not substantive. This fact underscores the need to use proverbs in the right context and appropriate situation.
It is also important to note that one proverb can have several meanings and can, therefore, be applied to different situations. For instance, the Ga proverb, "If you want to send a message to God, tell it to the wind," can be used in different situations. It teaches that God is everywhere. It also teaches the correct Ga procedure when you want to see the chief (you must first see the linguist). And it advises that when you have a bothersome matter about which you cannot speak out, you have to tell it to those who can pass it on.
On the other hand, in some cases many different proverbs teach the same moral lesson and can thus be used for emphasis. The Gas say: "A kitchen that leaks (or a shed in ruins) is better than a thicket." The Ewe have a proverb that says that: "Even a good-for-nothing fellow can carry a pot of palm wine to the funeral." The Dangme say: "Mud-water also can be used to quench fire." All these proverbs teach the same moral lesson, namely, that every person is of some use; therefore everyone should be given due regard and people should have a sense of their own worth and be contented with their role.
African proverbs can be used for several scholarly purposes. They can be used for the linguistic analysis of a particular language or dialect. Historical information as well as the thought, customs, beliefs and values of a society can be obtained through their proverbs. Besides, African proverbs are a literary device used to embellish speech. This is because many of the idioms of an African language are embedded in its proverbs. As it were, African proverbs are used as sweeteners to communicate effectively. As the Ga writer, Nee-Adjabeng Ankra put it (1966): speaking without citing proverbs is like eating soup that has no salt in it. Proverbs are cited to confirm, reinforce or modify a statement; to heighten and attract attention to a point or message; or simply to summarize a speech. Sometimes, too, they are used to communicate a fact or opinion that might be impolite or even offensive to state in direct speech or in plain language. They are also used to make people appreciate speech or to facilitate understanding and to generate conviction. As one Yoruba observation has it: "A proverb is the horse which can carry one swiftly to the discovery of ideas." Although all these varied uses are significant, they are in fact all means to a common end. The ultimate purpose of proverbs is to impart wisdom, to teach moral values and good social conduct, to warn against foolishness, to influence people’s choices and to help them succeed in life.
The statements made in the proverbs reflect true everyday occurrences, but as noted above, they usually have two meanings — literal or primary meaning, in contrast with the deeper or implicit meaning. Take, for example, the Ga proverb: "Kë onyië shuö sëë lë owuuu bö." (If you follow in the trail of an elephant, you do not get smeared with the dew.) The statement is literally true. The elephant is a very big animal, and as it goes through the forest it steps on the grass and destroys the shrubs, clearing a path behind and getting smeared with dew. Therefore, if you follow in its trail, you stand less risk of getting smeared with the dew, since the elephant has already cleared it off the grass and shrubs. And the proverb has a real or deeper meaning: if you associate with an important personality, say a rich, knowledgeable or powerful person, you will not lack. It can also be applied to mean that if you believe and trust in God, you will not be disappointed but will succeed.
This feature of proverbs having both a literal and a deeper meaning sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish proverbial discourse from sayings, idioms, riddles and puzzles. In particular, there is no cut and dried demarcation between proverbs and sayings. All may have hidden meanings that are difficult to discern. Nevertheless, it is possible to distinguish one genre from the other. A key difference between them lies in how they are typically used. Riddles and puzzles are usually cited for fun and entertainment, but proverbs are cited in serious discourse. Another contrast is that, among the Dangme and Ga, words or sounds used in some puzzles are onomatopoeic; that is to say, they sound like or describe the thing talked about in the puzzle. Idioms are usually used in public when it is impolite or indecent to say something in plain words; in such cases similes or idioms (euphemisms) are used to make the topic respectable. For example, it is incorrect to ever label someone a ‘thief’ but you may say (literally in Ga) that ‘his hands pick things.’
Perhaps the most important difference between proverbs and these other forms of speech is that every proverb contains some wisdom and good advice. Take for instance the proverb: "The one who is clothed in cotton wool does not hover over a flame." This has to do with temptation and discretion; it warns against foolishly exposing oneself to things that will ruin one. As in other traditional African societies, the Ga and Dangme use proverbs to embellish speech, to emphasize or summarize a point, or to make it succinct. But always the ultimate purpose of composing or citing proverbs is to counsel people about how to live good and successful lives.
PROVERBS REGARDING CHANGE
With this background, we shall now look at thirty Ga and Dangme proverbs and sayings that give wise counsel regarding change and modernization.
Ga and Dangme proverbs and sayings show preference for the old and proven. It would not take long for an observer of ancient or modern Ga and Dangme society to discover that Gas and Dangmes are lovers of tradition. They have great respect for the age and the wisdom of the elders; some of this wisdom is preserved in their proverbs and sayings. Some of the wise sayings and proverbs explicitly stress a preference for what is old and proven. They contain counsel against abandoning old ways and extol the virtues of continuity. They exhort people to preserve their culture — the customs, beliefs and practices, values, institutions, technologies and all that goes into making people who they are. The proverbs caution against embracing just any new thing that comes along. Witness the following:
The Ga say:
(1) Blema kpaa nö atsaa.
[The ancient twist of a rope is the one on which to pattern yours.
This proverb teaches that the ways of the old must always be followed by later generations, if they are to experience success and the good life. The sages of old were convinced that the old ways are better than modern ones — as this Dangme proverb puts it:
(2) Bë momo bëö pe bë he.
[An old broom sweeps better than a new broom.]
Not only does this particular proverb extol the old broom; it compares it with the new, grades the old one higher and even discourages use of the new broom. Like many proverbs its message is general; it may be interpreted as anti-modernist and conservative. For example, it is better to continue with one’s spouse no matter the problems, than to look for another in the hope of finding a better one; such a hope may turn out to be an illusion.
Dangme proverb that is more commonly used to express order of precedence in society but which is also used to show the priority of place for ancient things over the relatively new and modern. It says:
(3) Nömo ngë loko aba fö nökötama.
[There had been people of old before old people were born.]
Just as there were already elders before those who are now old were born, so too there were equally good tools and ways of doing things before new tools or new methods of doing things were fashioned. Therefore, the new and modern are not necessarily superior to the old; for the old have proven their worth.
There are similar proverbs that have been used to defend or to justify the status quo. For example, the following two Ga proverbs:
(4) Beni ahuko Lañma tëi anö lë jëi aduji lë yeö nii.
[Before Lañma (i.e. a stony hilly area on the western boundary of Ga land) was cultivated, the monkeys that lived there had food to eat.]
(5) Beni sikli nako aba lë, taami wöyeö.
[Before sugar was invented we ate wonder sweet berries.]
One of the several meanings of these two proverbs is: we can do without the so-called improvements of modernization. We can manage without modern innovations and not be any worse for it, just as we have done all along. All the foregoing proverbs express the Ga and Dangme people’s respect and definite preference that they have for old-fashioned, reliable things and time-proven ways.
Lovers of the old ways can be so convinced of their surpassing excellence that they may do more than idolize ancient things; they may view them as irreplaceable. They may imbue old things with the qualities of invincibility and survival over whatever is new, since the latter is destined to disappear soon from the scene. For example the Dangme proverb:
(6) Koku ngë loko gbogbotle ngë.
[Before the chewing-sponge plant came (or sprouted), the anthill was.]
Similarly, the Ga say:
(7) Gbötsui ashigbëñtë, mima shi dani kanya ba.
[I am Anthill the immovable, the irreplaceable. I was there before the shrub kanya came into being.]
These two proverbs have the same meaning. At the primary level, they teach that the anthill is superior to the shrubs that grow on it because the shrubs are dependent upon the anthill. The anthill will remain when the chewing-sponge plant or kanya is weeded or withers. At the deeper level, these proverbs mean that before the world came into being, God existed. When the world passes away and is no more, God will still be. But they are not only cited to teach God’s eternity. They are also used on occasions when one wants to say that some new teaching or ideology or party that is currently in vogue may only be a nine-day wonder, leaving the old to survive it; or that a new person in authority throwing his weight about will not last in that position. Thus, the two proverbs are used to express priority, seniority, superiority and prevalence of the old over the new and incoming — even though the new and modern may give the impression of being more civilized or refined, and therefore superior. It is against the background of such teachings and lessons of experience that the elders caution against trying just anything or embracing every new fashion. As Dangme wisdom has it:
(8) Apee we nö fiaa nö këkë.
[Do not follow or embrace just any (new) thing or fashion.]
A Call for Balance
With some justification, one may be tempted to conclude from the foregoing that the Ga and Dangme have an unambiguously rejecting mindset against change and modernization. But such a conclusion would be too hasty. For there are other proverbs and wise sayings that display an open and positive attitude towards novelty, even if it is also a critically reserved and cautious attitude. In fact the people are not typically narrow-minded and rigid in their views and ways. On the contrary, they are typically broad-minded, objective and circumspect. They generally appreciate that there are two sides to an issue, and that to do justice one must weigh the merits and demerits of both sides. This predilection for balance and avoidance of bias is witnessed by the Ga proverb:
(9) Kë okëë ñwëi nö lë, okëö shikpö hu nö.
[When you have said what there is in favor of heaven, you must also say what there is in favor of earth.]
In other words, you must always weigh all sides of an issue carefully before you can arrive at a good judgment or just decision. The status quo may not always be the best. There may be some good in an alternative; a change may turn out to be an improvement; so it is worth finding out.
Positive Attitudes towards Change
Despite the fact that change is sometimes viewed with caution, suspicion and even hostility, it cannot be denied that the Ga and Dangme people seem always to be on the lookout for something new. They welcome novelty and the unfamiliar and display a joyous acceptance of that which is new. This love for novelty and for anything exotic is reflected in the Dangme proverb:
(10) Nö fini të Ablotsi.
[There is no lack of fine things in Europe (the whiteman’s land).]
Here a ‘fine’ thing implies something that is both of high quality and pleasingly different from what is familiar. The saying means that a person should be open-minded and accepting of change; for something good may come out of it. This preparedness to assimilate something new into things that are already familiar indicates both a dislike for stagnation and a yearning for change.
There is an advantage in change that has to do not so much with the introduction of new things as valuable in themselves, but rather with the avoidance of stagnation. Incessant delays and perpetually doing things by rote lead to retrogression and contempt. These attitudes are expressed in various proverbs. For example, from the Dangme:
(11) Ke nyu se kë ngë tö mi ö de e saa.
[If water keeps too long in a gourd (or bottle), it goes bad.]
And in Ga:
(12) Kë loofölö tsë yë tso nö lë, belë eebi të.
[If a bird perches on a tree for too long, it is asking for a stone, (i.e. for trouble).]
Because familiarity breeds contempt, frequent change is advantageous in some situations.
Another reason change is desirable is that it is natural. No one can successfully stifle or suppress it.
The Ga proverb:
(13) Añmëëë gbömö nö të,
[No one puts a stone (a weight) on a person],
This is not merely an observation of the biological fact that no physical pressure bearing down can prevent a person from growing taller. It is also an admonition against trying to resist change, especially change in the form of human development and progress. The proverb is usually cited in contexts where there is some resistance or controversy concerning a change in someone’s attitude, life style, circumstances or fortune — in order to press the point that the change should be tolerated or even encouraged because it is deserving. A person cannot remain the same throughout life, but must grow and progress.
New Situations Demand New Approaches
Accumulated trial and error have taught the Ga and Dangme people that new situations demand new responses, and that one cannot always use old solutions to solve new problems effectively; hence there is need for change. The conviction that there is wisdom in abandoning obsolete measures when dealing with contemporary problems is expressed in the following proverbs:
(14) Ga: Ajötö tsofa tsaaa kanto.
[The cure for yaws will never cure rickets.]
(15) Ga: Akë blema ñme ehooo wonu.
[You do not prepare soup with rancid palmnuts.]
(16) Dangme: Kpaku fëë kpaku ngë e nya nö.
[Each calabash has its own fitting lid.]
(17) Ga: Akë blöfo kpaa eñmööö shwuö ni agbala lë.
[You do not tie a thread around an elephant to pull it.]
From these, people may learn that in order to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness, they must use the appropriate tools and measures, since every tool, cure or measure is suited only for certain things and not others. Inappropriateness and obsolescence pertain not only to the efficacy of some tool or measure to yield a desired effect; time and vibrancy are also factors. What was once appropriate and effective may no longer be so and must give way to the new. Thus the Ga saying,
(18) Blema bë döñ.
[Ancient times are past and gone; the old order has changed].
This is not merely an assertion about an historical state of the world. It is a demand for vitality, a call for change.
Hope in New Circumstances
Owing to the uncertainty of what may come from new things and the familiar experience of mixed blessings that ensue from new things, the Ga and Dangme are rather cautious about embracing certain types of change. In spite of this caution, they have an optimistic philosophy of life by which they rise above ambivalence and trepidation. The Dangme say,
(19) Aka’yë ji Nugo yam’.
[It is by trying — or by adopting the attitude of ‘let’s try and see’ — that one can reach Nugo (Ningo)—one of the Dangme coastal towns far from most of the other towns.]
In the olden days when travel was by foot, it took some effort to go to Nugo. But those who tried eventually got there, hence the saying — Aka’yë ji Nugo yam’ — which has now become proverbial wisdom that is used to counsel perseverance in all things. There is a similar Ga saying:
(20) Ka akaa akwëö.
[It is worth the while to try and see; let’s make the effort and see what happens.]
The coastal Ga and Dangme in particular have learned from their fishing experience what blessings can flow from exercising the virtues of hope and adventure even in the most uncertain circumstances. Sometimes during the lean fishing season when the stock of fish seems to have been exhausted, the fisherfolk go to sea expecting only to catch a few tiny herrings; but to their surprise they catch large mackerel, turbot or kingfish. Such twists of fortune have made them rather hopeful and less skeptical. Out of this experience, their elders composed these proverbs:
(21) Ga: Atsiö kañfla ta ayaa wuo ni ayagbeö eka_katsa.
[Fishermen sometimes go afishing for herrings but return with large turbots.]
(22) Dangme: A woö ma bi ta në ke a ya wo ö a gbeö yayi.
[One may mention (or expect) tiny herrings and yet go fishing and catch mackerel or kingfish.]
These proverbs provide hope in times of skepticism and despair, or when people are tempted to ask, ‘Can anything good come out o’ Nazareth?’ One may also cite them when faced with anxiety about a new situation.
Accepting Change Out of Necessity
The point has already been made that one of the most common reasons for refusing to accept change is simply inertia. Sometimes, however, reluctance to accept change is due not to inertia but to pride and prejudice or mistrust. When these stand in the way of accepting change, the wise sages draw attention to practical wisdom that transcends pride and helps one to survive. Such wisdom abounds in the animal kingdom. Dogs normally eat bones and lions feed on prey. But in times of necessity they adapt to their changed situations; when necessary they feed on grass. Such lessons from mammalian nature led the Dangme and Ga sages to compose these proverbs:
(23) Dangme: Ke efi jata a e kpeö nga.
[When a lion is in dire need, i.e. starving, it eats grass.]
(24) Ga: Këji efi gbee lë, ekpeö jwëi.
[When a dog is in dire need, i.e. starving, it eats grass.]
These proverbs resonate with the saying that necessity is the mother of invention. New measures and solutions, even if they are unusual and not particularly acceptable, may turn out to be the most appropriate responses and solutions to current problems. Hence in Ga and Dangme society, change may be accepted, for better or for worse, on both rational and prudential grounds.
The Dangme have a proverb that attributes to the common housefly an insightful observation about life, which has a bearing on change:
(25) "nunuhi a matsë bu abë ke, AJe ngë se kë nya."
[The chief of the flies told a proverb saying, "The world (i.e. life) moves backwards and forwards" or, more literally: "The world has a back and a front side."]
This proverb was created from the keen observation that whenever a fly perches somewhere, it stretches its hind legs backwards and rubs them against each other, then stretches the forelegs forward and wipes its face with them. The fly is saying that the world moves backwards and forwards. The message of the proverb is that those who want to avoid being caught up in life’s deceptions and who wish to be happy, must be cautious, tolerant and prepared for setbacks; for things do not always go smoothly. There are ups and downs; nothing is perfect in all respects. Every popular ideology, slogan, revolution and revival has its progressive aspects and its backward features. For instance, there are advantages and disadvantages in using the latest technologies of modern industry and telecommunications systems. Both healing and adverse side effects may result from the use of even the best medicines. No one can deny the mixed blessings that have come from modern developments such as nuclear technology, reproductive and genetic engineering, long distance travel and tourism, the print and electronic media, to cite just a few. These innovations have brought about improvements in agriculture, longer life and fertility, intercultural penetration and understanding, an explosive distribution of information and knowledge. But they have also introduced many kinds of lethal toxic waste, diseases hitherto unknown, corruption of cultures, increased violence, exploitive sex tourism and so on.
Their experiences with these dualities and incongruities make some people skeptical about innovation and pessimistic about change. Given such experiences in everyday life, proverbs and other sayings have evolved for the purpose of cautioning people not to be overly enthusiastic or overly optimistic about modern innovations. The following Dangme proverbs serve as reminders of the fact that no monolithic progress nor miraculous developments can be claimed for modernization. The Dangme wise people learned long ago that nothing in this world remains the same; rather that things are in a constant state of flux, and that in the ebb and flow of life the state of affairs changes and fortunes change. One thesis passes on, is met by an antithesis, and the two are swallowed up into a synthesis. The pendulum swings and opposites change places. Hence one must be wary of the myth of monolithic development or progress. This is a fact of experience common in nature and in human history, and from which no type of modernization is exempt. To keep aware of these truths and to be cautious about change is the message of the following two Dangme sayings.
(26) He në je naa ngë ö, lejë ö në dibli woo ngë.
[Wherever the day breaks, the sun also sets (or: darkness also falls).
(27) He në pëë hoo ö, lë nöuu në e pëë hóó.
[Where there once is the noise of celebration and festivity, the same becomes a muted place.]
CONCLUSION: BALANCE ACCORDING TO
If proverbs and wise sayings are a window into a people’s culture and philosophy of life, then on the basis of some of their proverbs and wise sayings the Ga and Dangme appear to be ambivalent about modernization and change. On the one hand, there is a clear counsel to resist change as well as justification for continuing in the old ways: Blema kpaa nö atsaa. On the other hand, Akë blema _me ehooo wonu: the old order must change and yield to the new and modern.
Are these proverbs essentially contradictory?7 They appear to be, but in fact they are only superficially so. The proverbs of people everywhere are composed from real life experiences, and so they reflect the mystery and duality of the universe as it is encountered in human experience. Apparent contradictions between proverbs exhibit the fact that people’s attitudes to issues in real life situations are complex. The proverbs expressing these attitudes are verbal representations of the nature of human reality, and so they reflect its paradoxes and apparent contradictions. Proverbs are extremely contextual and situational. When the face values of two proverbs are placed side by side and out of context they may seem inconsistent, nonsensical, absurd. But each in the particular context in which it is used may nonetheless enunciate a valid guiding principle for successful living.
Ga and Dangme wisdom suggests that modernization is neither to be avoided as untouchable, nor to be uncritically embraced. New equipment and tools, procedures and methods, systems and technologies may be adopted after careful consideration on utilitarian grounds with respect to a particular situation. Otherwise, the Ga and Dangme view would be to stick to the old ways. When a change is made from something old to something new and the change worsens one’s situation, the Ga or Dangme might ask: Te wötee loo ba wöba? De wa ya loo de we ba? [Did we go or did we come?] The question expresses disapproval of the change, and advises a reversion to the previous status quo. According to Ga and Dangme wisdom, if there is any choice in such a situation, it would not be wise for a person, institution, society or nation merely to follow the fashion and adopt the change. Change is good only if it is appropriate in a given context. One must do what suits one, as a Ga proverb advises:
(28) Këji oyitso tamööö Tëtë yitso lë, Tetteh Tëtë sama.
[If your head does not have the shape of Tëtë’s head, you do not copy Tëtë’s hair style — i.e. you do not barb the same style of haircut which makes Tëtë look handsome.]
Again, the sages have given the advice:
(29) Akwëëë mö kroko joo ajooo.
[You do not dance according to the steps of another dancer.]
You should dance to the steps and rhythm with which you are familiar. For you may not be as adept as the person you want to copy, and you may embarrass yourself in the process. In other words, you should be yourself and not allow yourself to be unduly influenced by others whose circumstances may be different from yours.
After all, there is nothing really new or unique under the sun. A Ga or Dangme might say:
(30) Nö ni bako da lë, ñshösëë eyöö.
[That which has never occurred is beyond the seas.]
That is to say, however new or different something may seem, its kind has been seen before. One can speculate upon its usefulness, and neither be so scared by it as to shy away nor fall over for it without deliberating first.
In the final analysis, then, the dominant Ga and Dangme view seems to be this: When an individual, family, community, institution, or nation is faced with an option to adopt some new tool or equipment or system or technology, those likely to be affected by it must make a rational and responsible choice about its use. In their wisdom the Ga and Dangme sages did not prescribe any a priori, predetermined stance that must be uniformly assumed in every confrontation with change. In practical, contemporary day-to-day living, their progenies do not do that either. Sometimes they are guided by the wisdom of ‘Akë blema _me ehooo wonu,’ and at other times by the proverb, Bë momo bëö pe bë he. In one case, the wise thing to do is to embrace a change unreservedly. In another, the best decision is to resist change. In yet other situations, it is best to accept a change tentatively in a wait-and-see frame of mind. In all cases, a rational choice must be made which is sensitive to the particular situation, context or circumstances.
* Orthographic note: ö = a backward c; ë = a backward E; ñ = an n with a hook to the left at the end.
1. Dr. C.F. Garbers, Chancellor of the Univ. of South Africa (Unisa) made the remark that change is not easy or comfortable, in his address to graduates at a commencement ceremony on 26 Sept. 1997 at Unisa. He had reminded the audience about research concerning the secrets of life in the natural sciences and in other disciplines, and the role that the universities and their products are expected to play in the changing society of South Africa and at the global level.
2. The Dangme are made up of people residing in eight traditional areas: Ada, Ningo (Nugo), Prampram (Gbugbla), Kpone, Shai, Yilo Krobo, Manya Krobo, and Osudoku. All of the eight Dangme sub-groups speak dialects of Dangme which are linguistically similar and mutually intelligible, with only slight differences of usage and pronunciation; but there are more significant differences in the noun vocabularies. The Ga traditional area comprises Ga Mashie, Osu, La, Nungua, Teshie and Tema, where all speak Ga with few differences of dialects.
Although the Ga and Dangme languages are related and similar, they are not mutually intelligible. It is easier for a Dangme to understand Ga than the reverse. Both Ga and Dangme are taught in schools in Ghana up to the diploma level at the university. Discussions have been going on to teach them to the baccalaureate degree level. These are two of the 42 or more distinct languages of Ghana.
According to Dangme and Ga traditions, which are preserved in old songs as well as in some written records, the Ga-Adangme came from a far distant land, east of their present settlements. Some traditions mention Chad as their original home, and others mention Dahomey (now the Republic of Benin), though most traditions say that their original home was Benin—commonly identified as a place in the south central part of modern Nigeria. Whichever the actual location, it is commonly said to lie somewhere on the eastern side of the Volta River, to the north and east of present Togo, probably somewhere within Nigeria.
It is said that some 700 years ago, the Ga-Adangme were driven out by invasions of the Fulani tribe under a chief named Dafoleo. They wandered through Nigeria, Yorubaland and Dahomey. After various stops, they crossed the Volta and most of the tribes founded the Lanimo Kingdom in what is present-day Osudoku. After bitter war that arose among them, they broke up some 300 to 400 hundred years ago and went in several directions until they settled in their present locations.
The Ga and Dangme have a great deal in common in their cultures. They both have a patrilineal system of inheritance. Originally their societies were ruled by traditional priests, but later under the influence of their Akan neighbors, they came to be ruled by secular chiefs. In many respects their cultural outlook is similar to that of other Ghanaian groups and for that matter other African ethnic groups. Their traditional occupations are fishing and farming, but they can now be found in every kind of occupation. Although they are quite enterprising, the Ga and Dangme are notably modest and abhor inordinate ambition, especially for material gain.
3. There is a common tendency to confuse literacy with education. The term ‘education’ comes from the Latin word ‘educate’ and means to bring up,’ or ‘to teach.’ It involves a process of providing and developing knowledge, training, skills. Such education could be theoretical or practical. Africans had been doing this before the advent of European type schools and colleges. A person may not be literate but highly educated in farming, hunting or fishing technique. There is need to be more careful in describing people as being educated or uneducated.
4. About 68 percent of the population of Ghana live in rural areas. See National Population Policy (Accra: National Population Council, 1994), p. 9.
5. According to the latest available figures which are for l988/l989 the overall education statistics for Ghana are: 41 percent can read; 39 percent can write; 50 percent are numerate. Overall, about 39 percent Ghanaian adults can read, write and do arithmetic. A net of 94 percent school-age children are enrolled. See Ghana Living Standards (Accra: Ghana Statistical Service, 1995), pp. 37-43.
6. These notes on the features of African proverbs are taken from my abridged book, "Ga and Dangme Proverbs for Preaching and Teaching" (1996) in CD-ROM, African Proverbs-Collections, Studies, Bibliographies, Volume I Record 1/420.
7. See my paper, "Are African Proverbs an Ambiguous Source of Wisdom for Living? A Case Study of Ga and Dangme Proverbs," (1996) in Willem Saayman (ed.) Embracing the Baobab Tree: The African Proverb in the 21st Century, CD-ROM: African Proverbs-Collections, Studies, Bibliographies, Volume II, Record 1/169.
Accam, T.N.N. (1972) Dangme Abë Gbi, Accra: Bureau of Ghana Languages.
Amartey, A.A. (1985) Namöale, Accra: Bureau of Ghana Languages.
. (1989) Beginner’s Ga (Ga Kasemö Shishijee), Accra: Ga Society.
Ardey-Acquah, Monica. (1982) "Ga Proverbs" A long essay submitted to the Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana.
Caesar, C.T. (1982) "The Cultural Content of Dangme Proverbs" A long essay submitted to the Language Center, University of Ghana, Legon.
Dalfovo, A.T. (1996) "The Proverbs and the Gospel: From Experience to Allegory" in CD-ROM: African Proverbs—Collections, Studies, Bibliographies, Stan Nussbaum (ed.), Colorado: Global Mapping International.
Dzobo, N.K. (1972) African Proverbs: Guide to Conduct, Vol.I, University of Ghana, Cape Coast.
. (1975) African Proverbs: The Moral Value of Ewe Proverbs, Vol. II, University of Ghana, Cape Coast.
Hountondji, P. (1983) African Philosophy: Myth and Reality, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Kudadjie, J.N. (1996) "Ga and Dangme Proverbs for Preaching and Teaching" in CD-ROM: African Proverbs—Collections, Studies, Bibliographies, Stan Nussbaum (ed.), Colorado: Global Mapping International.
. (1996) "Are African Proverbs an Ambiguous Source of Wisdom for Living? A Case Study of Ga and Dangme Proverbs" in CD-ROM: African Proverbs—Collections, Studies, Bibliographies, Stan Nussbaum (ed.), Colorado: Global Mapping International.
Nee-Adjabeng Ankra, E.A. (1966) Agwaseñ Wiemöi Kë Abëi Komëi, Accra: Bureau of Ghana Languages.
Yankah, Kwesi. (1986) "Proverb speaking as a creative process: the Akan of Ghana," Proverbium 3.
. (1989) "Proverbs: Problems and Strategies in Field Research," Proverbium 6.
Paddyreus, Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei
Omnia Vincit Labor
Posted 01 August 2005 - 09:20 AM
Paddyreus, Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei
Omnia Vincit Labor
Posted 22 April 2006 - 08:43 PM
it is great to learn of one's ancestry.
saa ena Ewiase etee?
is this how the world is?
if a lie takes the lift and the truth the stairs, the lie will be faster, but the truth will get there too.
Posted 16 May 2006 - 04:59 PM
-Henry Berry-(Virginia 1832)
Posted 29 April 2010 - 09:44 PM
Posted 29 April 2010 - 09:52 PM
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