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Ancient Mosques of the Northern Region


Nakore Mosque
Most of the communities of the regions of Northern Ghana, especially the Northern Region, are Muslim. Islam, which first entered Africa through Egypt in the 10th Century AD, progressed from Egypt towards the west and the south at the same time as the trans-Saharan slave and gold trade routes. In Ghana, these trade routes were used by Mande warriors, Islamic Traders and Missionaries. Occasionally, these routes were marked by incursions by the Almoravids, a Berber Dynasty, which played a major role in the spread of Islam in the area. At rest points for the Islamic traders along the routes, and in conquered territories people were converted to Islam and this led to the construction of mosques in the Northern part of Ghana. Some of these mosques still exist today and they date as far back as the 17th Century AD.

ARCHITECTURAL STYLE
Banda Nkawnta Mosque
Architecturally, the ancient mosques belong to the Sudanic-Sahelian styles, which can also be found in Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire. This style is characterized by the fusion of the vernacular construction teclmiques with the architectural rules which have to be respected when building a mosque. Two major styles of mosques were the Sudanic style and the Djenne Style.

     The Djenne style features a rectangular building
without buttresses. It has load bearing walls
and a flat roof surrounded by a parapet. It
usually has one tower at one end of the
rectangle. A typical example of this mosque is
the Wuriyanga Mosque located in the Upper
East Region, a town near the Northern Region
and Togo borders, lying between Garu in the
Upper East Region and Nalerigu in the
Northern Region.

The Sudanic style, though rectangular, has
timber frame structures or pillars supporting
the roof. It is characterized by two pyramidal
towers (the minaret and the mihrab), and by a
number of irregular shaped buttresses, with
pinnacles projecting above the parapet, which
enlivens the mosque's elevations. An example
of this style is the Larabanga Mosque located
in the Northern Region, near Damongo on the way to Mole Park.


SOCIAL ROLES OF THE MOSQUES
Apart from their usual role as Friday prayer grounds, the ancient mosques also serve as places of pilgrimage to the Muslim communities in the country. On eventful days, a lot of faithful worshippers gather at these mosques for prayers and listen to Koranic readings. Private readings are also organized on request for individuals who have serious problems to solve, or who seek spiritual protection on their ventures. In return for the readings, the Chief Imam normally requests the sacrifice of a cow and other donations for the community.

RESTORATION OF THE MOSQUES
Mawule Mosque
GMMB has vested interest in the preservation of these monuments. It participates actively in programmes of the World Monuments Fund, CRATerre, ENSAG, UNESCO, and NGOs as well as individuals for the restoration of these mosques. The communities play a great role in the restoration of the mosques.
As a result of successive restorations, which have guaranteed the survival of these mosques, the shape of the walls and the decoration details have evolved. At the same time, the action of prevailing winds and rains on walls have fashioned out natural forms fitting to this earth architecture. This constant evolution of the monument, since its construction, is certainly responsible for its undisputable peculiarity.

    Larabanga Mosque
The Larabanga Mosque is thought to be the oldest mosque in Ghana and West Africa. It is popularly referred to as the ‘Mecca of West Africa’, because of its rich historical and architectural values. The dimensions of the mosque are approximately 8m by 8m. The Larabanga Mosque made it to the list of World Heritage Sites in 2001, and also the World Monuments Fund’s List of 100 Most Endangered Sites. There is some controversy over when exactly the mosque was built, and who built it. The mosque is thought to date back to 1421. It is believed that an Islamic trader called Ayuba, who was travelling through the area, built the mosque. According to one story, Ayuba slept in the area and had a dream in which he was instructed to build a mosque. When he woke up the next morning, the foundation of the mosque had mysteriously appeared, so he continued with the construction until the mosque was complete. The mosque is made of mud and stick, in Sudanese style. Right next to the entrance is a large baobab tree, under which Ayuba’s remains are buried. The mosque has four entrances: one each for the village chief, men, women, and the muezzin who leads the call to prayer. The mosque houses a very old Koran which is thought to have been delivered from heaven to an Imam called Bramah, around 1650, after he had prayed hard for a Koran. The mosque is located in a small predominantly Muslim town, called Larabanga, near Damongo in the Western Gonja District in the Northern Region. The official viewing fee for the mosque is GH¢ 1.00. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque.

    Nakore Mosque
Nakore Mosque is in the Upper West Region.

    Banda Nkwanta Mosque
Located in West Gonja District in the Northern Region, this mosque has very tall parapets.

    Maluwe Mosque
Maluwe Mosque is in the Northern Region, on the way to Bole, in the West Gonja District.

    Wuriyanga Mosque
This 19th Century mosque is in the Upper East Region, beyond Garu, near the Togo Border. Restoration works have been undertaken by the local community.

    Wechiau Mosque
Wechiau Mosque is in the Upper West Region.

    Dondoli Mosque
This 19th Century mosque is in Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region.

    Dakrupe Mosque
This is a 19th Century mosque located in the Northern Region, near Larabanga.

LARABANGA MOSQUE

The Larabanga mosque is one of the oldest mosques in West Africa and is the oldest mosque in Ghana.The mud-built whitewashed Sahelian mosque, said to date from 1421.
Story of the Larabanga Mosque

After Ndewura Jakpa died, and Ibrahim decided to remain in the Gonja kingdom, he realized that as an Islamic spiritual leader, or Imam, he needed a Koran. At this time there were only seven korans in existence, all of them written by hand and bound into no less than sixty Hinzibs each and kept wrapped bulkily in many blankets and stored in large calabash bowls far away in Mecca. Ibrahim decided to consult an old Dhen Zuo man who was a remaining resident of Zuriyir and he learned of the Mystic stone which was already known as a holy spot to the residents of Zuriyir. Ibrahim went to the Mystic Stone and prayed hard for a Koran to be brought to Larabanga and it is said that his prayers were rewarded when one of the original seven Koran from Mecca was delivered to him from the heavens. This Koran is preserved in the village today by a caretaker and it is brought out for special prayers each year during the Fire Festival when the new Muslim calendar year is celebrated. Many people converge at Larabanga from far and wide to attend these readings outside the ancient mosque.
THE STORY OF LARABANGA
The arrival of the first Kamaras to Ghana
The leader of the Gonjas, Ndewura Jakpa, called the first Kamaras to Ghana because he was attempting to conquer the vast lands but was facing great difficulties. Ibrahim and another Kamara, by the name of Fatawu Murkpe, were called to spiritually assist Ndewura Jakpa in his fight. Specifically, Ndewura Hakpa was having trouble conquering Kango, an ancient town in what is present day Cote de Ivoire, and so Ibrahim and Fatawu Murkpe wrote some charms which allowed the Gonjas to conquer Kango. This made the Gonjas so happy with the Kamaras that they were given a special place in Gonja administration. Today, Kamaras continue to play a special religious role in Gonja administration where they are often called to assist the Gonjas as administrators of Islamic law, prayer leaders and conflict mediators. Furthermore, even today, when the Gonjas greet the Kamara people they add "Kongote" to their greeting which means 'Kango is finished,' to refer to the Kamara's role in the conquest of Kango.

The settling of Larabanga
Ndewura Jakpa met his death by a spear in a battle after he crossed the White Volta river against the advice of Ibrahim, which is why still today the Gonja lands end at the White Volta river. As Ndewura Jakpa was dying he told Ibrahim, who was too old to travel back to his home in Saudi Arabia, that he could settle anywhere on the conquered lands. Ibrahim was at Mystic Stone offering some prayers when he took a spear and threw it high into the sky, declaring that wherever it should land would become his home. The spear landed on the high fertile ground at "Zuriyir," a place that had been settled by the Dhen Zuo people and later abandoned by previous invaders from the north. "Yirikpani" or "the landing of the spear," is the name still used within Larabanga to describe the section of its community living around the mosque. Ibrahim then took a wife from the Mamprusi region just north of Mole National Park and their descendants became the people who make up the community of Larabanga today.

 TONGO;WHISTLING ROCKS


if you do come to northern region and u don't steal some time  into the neighboring region upper east their capital is Bolgatanga land of rocks..then you have miss a lot..the people of the region are very friendly and hospitable..but to me there is one town in the region apart from Paga,,you remember the Paga crocodile pond where the croc are harmless,yes harmless,you can sit on them hold them etc..without no training they were created that way.If thier crocs are very friendly why not the real indigenous of the region..the next town am going to talk about is Tongo..land of mysterious rocks


TONGO is a small town in the region, and is the capital of Talensi-Nabdam district, a district in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It is known for the, Tengzug shrine,..yeah the Tengzug shrine
Tucked away in the remote village of Tengzug, in tongo.What makes this shrine so special is its origin and the way in which local people worship in it.
As you make your way into the village, which is set apart from other more remote villages nearby, you discover thatched roof huts that are creatively adorned and painted by the women of the village. During their downtime prior to harvest, the women utilize the sun's baking heat to make very beautifully painted works of art. The huts are an extension of the tribes people's massive cultural hub and craft markets
Long ago, the area was ravaged by slave owners involved in the trans-Saharan slave trade. The Tengzug Shrine was a place where slaves would hide from these aggressive slave owners.
Animal waste and blood are smeared everywhere near the Tengzug Shrine. Men and women share equally in the nudity requirement. Animal sacrifices are made throughout the day and night. With a skilful guide, visitors can be a part of the nude animal sacrifice rituals, climbing the sharp granite rocks..

Also in Tongo another visitor's sight in the town is the Tongo Whistling Rocks. these granite rocks jut dramatically from the terrain. The rocks also make a strange whistling sound during November and December, when the harmattan wind blows from the Sahara throughout the Northern Region.Baobab trees make the Saharan landscape breathtaking to behold.People are so creative and gifted that they even make fantasy coffins for anyone interested. The coffins are made to look like anything one wishes – a bird, a beer bottle, even a cigarette

Despite their strange and unconventional religious rites and the fact that they worship nude in shrines, the people of Northern Ghana are very intriguing and special. They are known the world over for their fantastic art and culture. The architecture in their villages is impossible to beat. This remote area of the world has been left unaffected by technology and modern inconveniences.


 TAMALE


Tamale is a relatively new town which at the turn of the last century was just a cluster of villages known mainly for the numerous shea butter trees -the 'tama' -from which it got the name Tamale.
Dapkema with Ex president Rawlings
In 1905 it became the capital of the Northern Province of the British colony of the Gold Coast. The north played a very important role in the 2nd world war. Two of the vestiges of the period are the old barracks and the old airport, which was built for military purposes. In addition to these there is the monument to the royal wedding between King George V and Queen Elizabeth I.
For the cultural tourist, visits to Jakarayilli and Kukuo, suburbs of Tamale will be rewarding, as they are centres for traditional weaving and pottery.
The north is noted for leather ware and the place to see the complete chain of activities involved from tanning raw cowhide to finished sandals, bags or boots is Zongoni.
tourist dying a sheep leather
The artisanal blacksmiths who make simple tools, musical instruments and bangles can be found at Sabongida. Shea butter is the raw material for body creams. Production of this important cream is undertaken in villages around Tamale and all districts from the shea fruit.
All these traditional crafts and products can be bought in all the markets around the town but the best places to see these crafts are the Center for National Culture and Aboabo Market.
In spite of its status as the fastest growing city in West Africa and the fourth-largest regional capital, Tamale is unique in the coexistence of centuries' old traditional culture and modernity typified by the modern office blocks standing side by side with old round huts with conical thatch along dual carriageways.
pot making in Kukoo
Other cultural features to be observed in Tamale are the numerous shrines spread in all major traditional quarters such as Choggu. However, to get a more practical benefit of shrines, which are usually only used for divination you have to travel some 24 km to Tali near Tolon where a sacred grove has been used to create centuries old virgin vegetation around a shrine, the Jaagbo Shrine, which serves as a sanctuary for birds and wildlife.
To get a better insight into our culture, groups can arrange to pay courtesy call on any traditional chief, the chief of Tamale, the Dakpema or the Yaa Naa 's representative the Gulkpe Naa. Better still get lessons in culture at the Centre for National Culture or the Tamale Institute for Cross Cultural Studies
a Dagomba smock
It is not by any means all traditional culture in Tamale. The central district is a modern avenue of shops lined dual carriageway and so you have the choice to shop for all you need or sit in a bar for a cold drink or eat in a restaurant. There are two paying swimming pools and tennis courts.
24km from Tamale you enter the Savelugu/Nanton District. This is the cradle of the Dagbon. The first capital, Yeni Dabari is found near the shrines of Sitobu, founder of Dagbon, Nyagse who conquered most of present day Dagbon and Luro who consolidated the Kingdom.
Tolon/Kumbungu District is in the southern part of the region. It is a distance of about 24km from Tamale. The district prides itself in natural, historic and cultural attractions.
The scenic beauty of the savanna vegetation is best seen in the flat low lying landscape of this district and a shea butter plantation provides beautiful afforestation near Kumbungu.

 

YENDI


Yendi is a town and the capital of Yendi  municipal  assembly  in the northeastern quadrant of Ghana in the Dagbon territory. As of 2012, Yendi is the thirty-sixth most populous settlement  in Ghana, in terms of population, with a population of 52,008 people.Yendi is the traditional capital of the Dagbon Kingdom with the Ya Na as the Overlord. The people of Dagbon are called Dagombas or Dagbamba. The Dagombas are unique to Ghana.In 2004, proposals surfaced to link iron ore mines in the vicinity of Yendi by rail to the seaports of Ghana at Tema and Takoradi. In 2010, nothing had yet come of this.


regeant of dagbon
The Yendi Municipality cut through by the Greenwich Meridian, which passes through a number of settlements in the Municipality. The Municipality shares boundaries with seven other district; to the east, with Saboba/Chereponi and Zabzugu/Tatale, to the south, with Nanumba and East Gonja, to the West, with Tamale and Savelugu/Nanton and to the north, with Gushiegu/karaga districts.

Yendi which was part of part of the 19th  century   German  settlement  has a lot of tourist destination
leather slippers

 the German  cemetery,Grave of Baabatu(the slave raider),Naa dataa tua,the  Greenwich  meridian and Yendi lively market  which  has a lot to of  handicrafts  to display to your satisfactory.the people of Yendi are very  friendlily  to visitors and are readily to help any one in help.there are quit a number of guest houses which offer 24/7 daily services.if you are planning to come to Yendi for a visit do come when the festival are due (i.e.Damba and Bugum  Festival) cause thats the time you will experiance real Dagbon culture and tradition.
WE ARE WAITING FOR YOUR VISIT

GERMAN  CEMETERY 

The German Cemetery, also known locally German grave, includes graves of German soldiers who died during the Dutch colonial era.or during the wars with Dagombas that preceded this period. Some tombs have however been identified as those of American missionaries in 1900, likely died of malaria

 DATAA NAA TUA

  Site Dataa Na Tua is a place where men who have sex with women of Ya Na were decapitated. Found on this site as well as a sacrificial stone baobab at whose feet they threw the head of the executed.
slave shackles

TOMB OF BAABATU

Tomb of Mahama Issah Dan's Alias ​​Baba Ato ("Babatu") is Yendi. There is a famous warlord who organized raids to capture members of neighboring tribes to sell them as slaves in the nineteenth century. It is native to a tribe located in the territory of Niger and present some relics and instruments he used to chain the slaves were preserved by members of his descendants in Yendi.

TAMMBO KUGA

TAMMBO KUGA

Chirizang is the name of a village situated on the Tamale Yendi Road. Precisely near the Mion District Capital SANG, which is fifty two kilometer from Tamale(52km). It is a big mountain very high and wide, surrounded by valleys and slopes, thick and trees grouped all over.

The stones found in sea sand spread all over, mean while this is a mountain Area and a sea side, wonderful it is. Big flat stones know in Dagbanili as TAMMBO KUGA pile up on each under in an arrangement from, all done by nature, wonderful and one needs to visit and for him/hereself.

MOLE NATIONAL PARK


The largest, oldest and most developed park, Mole began in 1957 as a game reserve. It was upgraded into a National Park in 1964. It covers an area of 4,912 sq. km.

Elephants at the park
The vegetation is savannah woodland with gallery forest along watercourses. 734 species of flowering plants have been recorded in the park. 90 mammalian species including elephant, buffalo, roan, kob, hartebeest, water buck, reed buck and other antelopes.

Lions, hyenas. leopards and monkeys, crocodiles and over 300 kinds of birds, half of them winter migrants from Europe have been recorded in this vast park.

There are 33 camps and 500 km of viewing road. The symbol of the park is the Roan Antelope.

Among the estimated 500 elephants found at the Mole National Park are three relatively “tame” individuals.
Because of the good protection given to animals in the Park, the elephant have generally become used to visitors and allow them to get close during the guided tours of the Park. Moreover, every year, during the dry season, between January and April, when most of the watercourses dry up in the Park, many of the thirsty animals come to a pond lying near the Park’s Motel to drink and bathe.

This permits people to have a good view of them. However, for the three named elephants, their tameness is unique.

Instead of visitors taking the trouble to go down the pond or trek around the Park to watch them, they rather have developed the habit of frequently coming. They wander about the front of the Motel grounds and feed on the fresh grass and shrubs, less visited by others.

antelopes
Apart from the Motel, these friendly elephants would be seen roaming around the backyard of the staff and head quarters compound.

They are like domestic animals and have become very familiar with the people, who have given them different names based on their characters.

tourist at the park
“Old man” the old bull, is known for its matured behavior while “onipa-nua” man’s friend is renowned for its exceptionally cool attitude to those who inadvertently cross its path. When it joined the two at first, young “Action” was inexperienced with people and once got nervous with someone who upset it by getting too close to it.

In response, it made a mock charge on the intruder because of which it earned the nickname, “Action”.

The advantage gained by visitors of these friendly elephants, are the close photographs they can take of them or sometimes posing as near as 10 meters to be photographed with the elephants in the background.

However, caution is required, the animals are still wild

do come visiT

PAGA CROCODILE POND

One of my favorite tourist attraction spots I wouldn't like you to miss when you are in Ghana,
a caretaker
is the Paga Crocodile Pond in the Northern Region, Bolgatanga which is very close to the Burkina Faso border.This famous pond is filled with some of the biggest crocodiles in the world. According to history and some myth, one of the ancient crocodiles of this pond saved the life of the first man who settled in the area, by leading him to the pond to quench his thirst from a long journey.After that incident, the man declared the pond be sacred and the crocs should be treated as royals. Up till now it's a taboo to harm or kill these reptiles. It is believed that the oldest crocodile is about 85years old.Crocodiles are wild creatures but not the ones in Paga. These crocodiles coexist with humans and their friendly interactions with humans baffle the minds of many tourists including myself.It is also believed that the soul of every native of this village has a corresponding crocodile in the pond..

According to reliable sources, the death of most of the important personalities in the town coincided with the deaths of some of the biggest crocs in the sacred pond.Paga crocodile pond sanctuary is visited by millions of travelers from all parts of the globe. There are trained tour guides who performs some exercises before the crocodiles come out of water. A small fee is charged to buy the chicken for the show. Its so beautiful how this works and you wouldn't wanna miss anything so make sure you have your camera ready for the show. This is where you have your closet encounter with crocodiles. Two things normally happen.
tourist
First, the Guide whistles a tune and this excites them and make them come out of
the water and then waves a live fowl in the air for it to come to the dry land. Secondly, he rewards the croc with the fowl and then.......


Now this is the fun part, you can touch, caress or even "sit" on these reptiles. The only place on the planet where you can pose for your memorable photos, sitting and holding the tail of some of the biggest reptiles in the world.

tourist
These crocodiles are harmless and friendly but please take extra caution as anything is possible. Nevertheless, no body has ever been reported hurt or killed by these beautiful lizards since it's inception.
There are other side attractions like the Slave market,
the Kukula mystery dam and Natural game reserves.


After the fun, you can "chill" in some of the affordable but nice drinking spots and

restaurants around. There is

a motel with affordable rates if you decide you want to stay overnight.

Okay, its enough. SEEING IS BELIEVING.

Bugum Chugu (Fire Festival)


dagbon young masquerades
The Bugum Chugu (Fire Festival) is the first Dagomba festival in the year. It is celebrated in the first month of the Dagomba lunar year,[1] the Bugum Goli (the month of fire), and is celebrated on the ninth day of the month

History





display of  fireworks
The origin of the festival dates back to the time the Prophet Noah landed his Ark on Mount Ararat. According to Dagomba traditions, when the Ark of Noah landed at the end of the floods the passengers lit torches to 1) find their way around and 2)to find the son of prophet Noah who failed to enter the Ark when it set out with the believers. To buttress their claim of the origin of the Bugum Festival, the Dagombas further claim that they are descendants of the Aad, a prehistoric Arab tribe that succeeded Noah and his people.

Ceremony preparation

brave spiritualist
The celebration of the festival starts on the ninth day of Bugum Goli. Normally, except essential services such as fetching of water, grinding of flour, sale of meat and taking care of the sick, no work is allowed to be done on any Dagomba festival day. So on this day everyone (men, women and children) stays at home. The men start the day moving round each other's homes to say good morning and Happy New Year. Everyone is heard saying "Ni ti yuun palli" (literally and our new year). After a brief exchange of the new year greetings, people sit at home and engage in normal conversation. The young boys look for dry grass to prepare long torches for distribution to their grandparents, grand aunts, grand uncles and maternal uncles. After preparation, the boys take them to the homes of the recipients. As the afternoon approaches most house owners kill fowl, guinea-fowl, goats or sheep to feast on. The feast is done both in the afternoon and in the evening. Homes that cannot afford animals or fowl may buy meat from the butchers. The most common soup for supper on the night of the festival is made from the leaves of a tree called puhuga (Tamaridus Indica). Even though every home cooks food for the day and the night, everybody distributes food to friends and relatives. There is so much food for the day that not even half of it would be eaten. After eating the evening meal, morsels and pieces of meat are cut and placed on the short walls in the house. This food is said to be for the dead ancestors of the person who put it there. The food is also said to be for God. The people make their vows and declarations while placing the food on the walls. They ask God to give them a long life, or a husband, or children or any other thing. They vow to do or abstain from some action.

 Ceremony ritual

herbs for bathing
The actual ceremony for the festival starts after the evening meal. The drum beater comes to the palace to sound the drum. He, through the drumming, summons the tom-tom beaters and the Elders of the state the palace. As they arrive one after the other, the commoners also come along. When everybody is gathered outside the palace, the Elders of state led by a wulana, the chief liguist, enter the chief's court to invite him outside. Some of the Elders lead the way and the chief follows. The rest of the elders follow the chief. Before the chief comes out, everybody is ready with his or her torch of grass. The chief is the first to light his torch. The chief is led a little distance from where the crowd is gathered to cast away his lit-up torch. He moves back in to the palace as the multitude of people yell and chant in a war-like manner amidst the deafening sound of the tom-tom and drums. There is usually a spot at the outskirts of the town where the multitude of people move to for the celebration of the Bugum Festival. Everybody holds high his or her burning torch. To prevent drops of fire from falling onto their clothes and burning them, many of the celebrators wet their clothes. Except for a few girls who are daredevils, women are hardly seen in the crowd. They usually stay in their homes or at the outside of the palace until the crowd returns. Then they join in the closing chants and dance for the evening.

 Ceremony tools and mood

dagbon youth
The people hold not only their torches but also swords, cutlasses, knives, bows, arrows and cudgels. The mood of the people is war-like. The atmosphere is heavily charged and disturbed. It appears omnimous to any person who has never witnessed the occasion.

 

 

 

 DAMBA FESTIVAL









a chief on his horse
Damba festival celebrated by most of the tribal groups of Muslim origin in Northern Ghana. This festival is celebrated by the chiefs and people of Dagbon, Gonjas, Mamprusis, Nanumbas and the Walas. The main aim for the merriment is to remember the birth and naming ceremony of the Holy Prophet Mohammed. Damba is celebrated in the months of March, June and July, among the various ethnic groups mentioned, thus it varies from one community to the other.
Damba festival is a twin festive namely; “Somo” Damba and “Naa” Damba. “Somo” Damba is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the prophet and Naa-Damba is held to mark his naming ceremony. Approaching the months named, Chiefs, elders and family heads not forgetting the local folk are always on the lookout for the moon of Damba. It is therefore common to see people raising their heads towards the sky each evening desperately awaiting the moon to shoot up. This is the month the Mamprusis call Damba “goori” or “billai”, the Gonjas term it as Damba “be-kuful” and the Dagombas call it Damba “gooli”. It may interest one to know why the ascent naming between the Mamprusis and the Dagombas appears to sound similar, it is because the two tribes were founded by the children of the legend Naa-Gbewaa, a rich history you would want to know more about among the Mole Dagbani states.
Once this said moon is seen in the month that has been chosen for the celebration is due, it marks the beginning of the ten day of the festival which all families happily receives it with smiles and merry making. Most importantly, the festival is also a time of unity amongst all the chieftaincy gates of Mamprugu. All unsettled grudges in the gatesare brought to the chief house for settlement before lifting the ban for the celebration of the festival. Broken marriages are reviewed and settled for the betterment of all.
THE CELEBRATION OF DAMBA

The celebrations

The first day of the festival is the “peebudari”( the day of cleaning) just as it is done for the fire festival. The night before the day, a gong gong beater is sent to all the community sections to announce in the hearing of all the locals that they are supposed to come to the chief palace for the general cleaning exercise. On this day all parts of the town is cleaned such as; cleaning of choked gutters, the lorry station and all public areas. Most importantly, ‘the Dandaba” (the chief priest house) is thoroughly cleaned till it is spotless since it is the abode of all the Gods in Mamprugu. Aside that, the belief is that “Gbang-gbanzeo”, the god of the land will not come for the festival if the land is not clean and will strike many dead as a form of appeasement for disobeying its orders hence the importance of this aspect of the celebration.
The second night is the “Tizaadari” (everybody’s night). It is the first official night of the festival. Youthful folk of Sakorana, Gambaarana, Nagboranaa and most especially Jangdanaa gathers each night at the paramount chief palace for rehearsing of praises, songs, drumming and dancing. It is also the night when all who are visitors are given the opportunity to register their names to partake in the dancing ceremony as well as the nascent ones taught the styles and techniques. If it has always been your long awaiting dream to learn how to dance one of the northern Ghana dances, this is a big opportunity for you. Leave your comfort zone and take a trip to northern Ghana in March.
The third, fourth and fifth night are the “PaabaYunng” (the women’s night). The women’s night is a night one would not want to miss. A night when all beautiful ladies of Mamprugu appears in their beautiful batakali dresses, wonder at the beauty of northern ladies. They gather to plan on how preparation of the visitor’s food will be done. This is followed by the rehearsals of songs and dances. The night is ended by the throwing of “Zaamba”(blackening of the foot of the ladies) led by the princesses of the various paramount chiefs of the land.
The sixth to eighth night are still meant for rehearsals prior to the grand durbar, but for both gender.
The ninth night is always scheduled as the night of historical account of the land of Mamprugu. This normally start in the afternoon usually 3.00pm after the Moslems of the land had prayed. A night meant for old historians of the land to gather to orally present in the hearing of all the historical underpinnings of the land. The names, ages, achievements of all the past chiefs are chronicled.Come and hear more about Naa-Saa, Naa-Zuulum, Naa-Sheriga, Naa-Gamni and many more.
children during damba
Whatever that has a beginning has an end, of which Damba is of no exception, the grand durbar to the ceremony is the “Gengani”which closes the activities of the ten days ceremony of Naa-Damba. Early in the morning the ceremonial bullock is slaughtered accompanying the pouring of libation, incantations and other rituals. This is followed by the rice picking ceremony where some quantity of rice is cleansed for the ceremony. Later in the evening, invited guest, all and sundry, princes, princesses, rich and the poor are seen in their richly and decently worn smocks ( “batakali”orfugu) to grace the occasion. The horses of the various chiefs are dressed in rich regalia and well decorated with gold ornaments differentiating the king’s from his followers. The Kambon-naaba beats then “Tinpani” (a big drum) for the start of the “Gengani. This is a ceremony when the King exhibits his powers by turning gunshot bullets into pebbles or water, varnishing and turning into different forms of creatures. It is also a day when the best Damba and “Takyi” dancer is chosen. It must be acknowledge that this is actually the best part of the festival which attracts large number of people. It is usually not surprising to see people on trees or roof tops in quest to catching glimpse of the paramount chief’s dance. It is also a day for the Bawku dancers. These are dancers who dance to the tune of the drummers as it is supposed to be done. Come and witness styles of dancing which makes memories worth repeating. Their dancing closes the evening “Gengani”and ushers in the “Waaniabeoo”
Damba “Waaniabeoo” is a ceremony of the night, meaning dance till the next day. This starts around 12.00am. This is because, after the evening’s program, all and sundry go back to relax and to prepare for the night program. This is the time people consult their ancestors, gods and also performs rituals for guidance during the program. Getting to 11.30 pm the gong gong beater beats the “Timpaani” three times indicating that it is time for the ceremony. Different forms of dances such as “Taakai”,”Durunga”,” Toowaa” among other dancing forms from different traditional villages troop to the site setting the grounds for dancing. All have the liberty to participate. Getting to 5.00am the paramount chief is brought out on his horse for dancing display. The dancing continues till the last Timpaani is played and the chief prays and brings Damba to close.
a tourist at damba
After the ten days period, the nest two days ushers in the Naa-Damba, marking the naming ceremony. On thetwo days there is merry making with all sub-chiefs amidst dancing groupsfrom the surrounding villages paying homage to the paramount chief. It is also a period of home coming where all northern indigenes all over the world travel that were not able to come for the Naa-Damba come home to join in the celebration of the festival. In closing the ceremony, an amulet is tied to a tree indicating that all witches are rendered useless.


The second day is meant for the Muslim community to commemorate the birth of the prophet Muhammed. A big ram, free from any form of defect is slaughtered as a sign of his moving into the world. This is followed by a congregational Muslim prayer led by the Imam to thank God for a successful ceremony. This brings the closure of both Naa-Damba and Somo-Damba.

 

12 comments:

  1. من الان تابعوا معنا شركة تنظيف خزانات بمكة وهى شركة العنود التى تحتل الصدارة من بين الشركات لتقدم لعملائها المزيد من الخصومات لجميع اعمال التنظيف ونقل العفش للمزيد من المعلومات تابعونا على الفور

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  2. من خلال شركة نقل اثاث بمكة نحن الاهم ,الافضل, الابرز لما لدينا من فنيين لديهم القدرات الخاصة فى جميع اعمال النقل وغيرها للمزيد من المعلومات تابعونا على الفور

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  3. للاعلان عن الماركات و القيان ب تسويق الكترونى لها بالمزيد من المعايير العالمية للوصول الى نتائج الصفحة الاولى بجوجل للمزيد من المعلومات تابعونا على الفور
    002_01008745590

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  4. خصومات وعروض تقدمها صيانة كلفينيتور لعملائها الكرام فى حالة حدوث الاعطال فى الاجهزة المنزلية ومن خلال التقنيات والمعدات المستخدمة تمتعوا بالمزيد من الخصومات ةوالتخفيضات للمزيد من المعلومات تابعونا على الفور

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  5. شركة مزايا تقدم لعملائها المزيد من اعمال مكافحة الحشرات فى ابو ظبي ولمساعدات ربات البيوت على التخلص ىمن الحشرات التى تسكن المطابخ والحمامات بصفة خاصة حيث انها تفضل الاماكن الرطبه للمزيد من المعلوما تابعونا على الفور

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  6. تحذر صيانة كاريير من التعامل مع مراكز غير معتمدة فى صيانة الاجهزة الكهربية لديها وانها غير مسئوله عن تبديل قطع الغير الاصلية باخرى تقليدية للمزيد من المعلومات تابعونا على الفور

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  7. شركة ال صالح لنقل العفش والاثاث افضل شركة نقل عفش بالدمام تقدم اليكم خدماتها فى مجال نقل العفش والاثاث لديها افضل الادوات والمعدات والمحترفين فى نقل العفش انها حقا افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام لديها كافة الخدمات المنزليه فىمن نظافه عامه ومكافحة حشرات وتسليك مجارى وبلاعات وعزل اسطح وتنظيف خزانات افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام لديها افضل الشاحنات المتخصصه فى مجال نقل الاثاث انها حقا افضل شركة نقل عفش بالدمام يمكنكم التواصل معنا افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام انها حقا افضل شركة نقل عفش بالدمام تقدم اليكم خدماتها

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  8. نحن لدينا افضل الخدمات فى جلى البلاط والسيراميك وتنظيف الارضيات الخشبيه كالباركيه
    افضل شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    لدينا افضل الالات المتطوره وشديدة الكفاءه فنحن
    افضل شركات نقل عفش بالدمام
    فتقوم تلك الالات بأزالة الطبقه الباهته والمنطفئه من الرخام والسيراميك افضل شركات نقل اثاث بالدمام تقدم اليكم تلك الخدمة بأسعار زمزيه
    افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    لا تتأخرو ولا تبادرو بالاتصال فنحن خياركم الامثل والافضل .

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  9. Estou em Yendi, Gana. Aqui vai uma rápida observação coisas da cidade. Vejo motos de carroceria apsonic ou hadjin. A drenagem das ruas é feita superficial apenas com canaletas laterais. O aspecto pobre contrasta com alguns carros caros. Vejo 2 mesquitas, estou de partida de volta ao Brasil...que o Deus Allah os ouça e os conduza...:)

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