Friday, February 20, 2015

CULTURAL PRACTICES-- Tradition And Culture Of The Butchers' Family Of Dagbon

Tradition And Culture Of The Butchers' Family Of Dagbon

 We all know Na Sitobu was a hunter and a great one as hunting was one of our main occupation every household had a hunter..we never had butchers in our trade forms..

It happen that we had a traveler from the Hausa land,which is now part of Nigeria,during the olden days,if a traveling and you don't know anybody in the town,you go to the king's house.this man told the king he is a butcher.he started doing his work in Yendi under a tree..

When ever this man went to work several boys followed him,including a one of the young princes(the young Naa Dimani)The Hausa man use to cut the meat put it in a plate for the to go around and sell.At first people didn't know the name of the Hausa man so they started to cal him "baaba" Baaba means father..he was also called "Naa K)hiwa" k)hiwa means trader.because he was trading in the chief palace  they called him Nak)hiwa which means the king's trader"

The young prince Dimani and his friends started to learn how to do the work,the Hausa man grew very old in Dagbon,when the old man was preparing for death,he gathered all the tools he use to for his trade and presented it to the boy princes Diamani and told him."when am no more continue my work.don't leave it"the young Prince Dimani accepted the tools.When he became an adult he kept if but he wasn't in our custom prince don't want such jobs..


When he became Ya Na,he started to get troubles.The extend that his brother Yenkana who wanted to be also a king took his people and went to the Gonja land--planning with them to came and fight..they invaded Dagbon but they couldn't win..he became very worried why these problems so he decided to our normal thing..he went to "soothsayers", for the answers Lol....the soothsayers then told him "You accepted somebody's tradition before the person have not been doing it. that is why you have been getting these troubles" Na Dimani asked the the soothsayer "Now what am i going to do?" they said "you have to make a blood sacrifice to the knives and other tools he gave you and then start doing the work. After that..,the troubles will leave you"NAA Dimani said "i will do the work".

Na Dimani had gotten troubles from the chiefs of Dagbon,Because they made him suffer,he decided to trouble them in return..He summoned the elders and told them "i will not start the the butcher work a house cow,Bring me a "YUINGA"a wild animal from the bush.Go to Sunsung and tell the Sunsong Naa to get a Yuinga for me to sacrifice for the  butcher's knife"He wanted a live bush cow,but he didn't tell them exactly what he wanted.he talked in Proverbs.

the elders had brought their hunters to Sunsong  because it had a great forest with big and wild animals..they went and kill a big bush cattle and Na Dimani said "this is nit the Yuinga i need" they said we thought you wanted a bush cow, we have brought it but y refuse to accept it" But because he was the Ya Naa they couldn't challenge him.

really the elders and the chiefs suffered, they brought many animals including "K)hu,elephant,antelope, deer, etc..finally went back and was thinking "every time we bring an animal the king refuse it what is this YUINGA AT ALL"
so they decided to use the NAAZOONIMA(the kings closest friends in the palace)

Sunsong Naa contacted one of the kings favorite friends "we want you to find out what does the king meant by Yuinga.if you are able to find the meaning i will reward you"

One night when the Naazo was massaging the chief,he said "As for you,you are wonderful! You have been calling for Yuinga.Only you know the Yuinga.No matter what animal,they bring you say.No this is not the Yuinga i need. You are a nice friend to me.but i don't know what Yuinga haven't told me.Apart from you,no body knows.what is this Yuinga at all..? Na Dimani started laughing " so you don't know Yuinga? A live bush cow-- i want alive bush cow  alive i don't want a dead bush cow.they must not kill it that's my yuinga" Nazoo quickly released the info to the Zohe Naa and he took it to Gushe Naa and Gushe Naa told Sunsong Naa,,they finally  brought thr live bush cow to him

When they brought it ,Naa Dimani ask :how did you catch it?i want to know. how did you manage to bring it to me? Gushe naa said "we got together and caught it" ,,Na Dimani ask did it kill anyone Sunsong Naa said "no one.because we were many"
 Na Dimani suspected  his naazo and how did you get know it..Gushe Naa said" a spirit bird cried out in the night while i was told me"

He accepted it and send for his boyhood friends who was also helping baaba,the Hausa butcher..the King said "I am ya na,but soothsayers say i must be doing the job we learned from Baaba. I must continue doing that work so that my troubles will calm down,You know it as well as i do.i want to make you chief of the butchers" The Ya na had spoken he couldn't refuse, He said i am going to make you baaba. I am going to given you that name.get people to do the work for me"..
Ever since that day the chief Nak)hi is called baaba.
Na Dimani and and his friend now called baba use the bush cow for the first ever butchers tradition in Dagbon..they killed it in the courtyard of the Ya Na,cut the meat and put it into a pan..Na Dimani then took the pan of meat around the palace compound to the doors of his wives' room..we called this kind of selling "pipihiya-pipihiya"

the wives started saying Our king has started his butcher work" all the wives came for their share,some put money down,others just pretend to pay.and it became part of butchers can buy meat from butchers on credit and they cant deny you or complain.Na Dimani the wash his hand and wore his King's attire,,it is against our tradition for the Ya Na to do such when the lunsi sing they give the credit to Baaba and his friemd.Baaba then took the meet and started selling them.

Baba asked help from their old friend who was also part of them when baaba the Hausa man was working in Yendi..baba to his friend to the King and told him about it and Na Dimani then ask what title should we give him  adn baba propose NAK)HI-NAA  ( k)hi naai..literally meaning i have sold chief of K)HINAAI,,"i have sold finish " but in other towns of Dagbon the senior is called Nak)hina and the 2nd in command is Baaba..

baba and Nak)hinaa began selling in full scale for the Na Dimani


Butchers and drummers have a very good relationship in Dagbon,fridays are the official visting of the Ya Na.the drummer will be druming until the butchers have prepared all the meat for sale.every buctcher present will cut some of the meat and put it into a pan for the drummers after they finsih the chief buthcher will then cut his own and add money on top of it  and he will give it to the drummers saying "please go home and prepare food"..the chief drummer whom we call Namo-naa will go to the butchers tree and tell them "i also want to take some meat home because i am the first wife of Ya na..drummers(lunsi) are regarded as the wifes of the yaa naa..and butcher are regared as the traders of the Ya Na..when ever a butcher slaughter a cow they some meat from the tigh thats the "Boligu" and present it to the Ya Na.

after the butchers finish  selling thier meat they will go home and take their bath and eat.when they are returning to the palace in the afternoon the drummers will then start playing thier drums annoucing the arrival of the thr butchers "Naa k)hiwa ne ti zana"

the firts music for butchers is called "Nak)hiwa Nim'so chendi" (the buchers walking rhythm.during festival  in the morning drummers go to the slaughter house to drum for them again..the leading drummer plays this" who prepared this cow"2x and the answer drummer asnwers "it is the chief buthcher who prepared the cow".the drummers dont say cow they say Yuinga..because of naa dimani..

for the dance they start by playing "ma ti naa nim pil-li(it is our chief who started it"2x then the anwers drummers will answer "Naa nye Diman"(our chief Dimani)..

drummers started from the story of butchers from Na Dimani then to baba then to Nak)hina..etc

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