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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Culture

CULTURE

Culture is the way of life of particular group of people living in a specific geographical area. This includes the way the dress, the food they eat and the language the speak. Culture varies from one ethnic group to another. And it’s good for everyone to respect your culture because it is said that “He who uses his or her left finger to point at his house will find it difficult to locate it anytime he is lost”.
The Dagomba people are a large group that populate the northern regions of Ghana and Burkina Faso. They are Muslim and traditionalists with the most common local languages being Dagbani and Hausa. In Dagomba villages, the chief's house is usually a dome-shaped hut located in the center of the village or above the others. Drummers play an important role as both musician and court historians.

The overlord of the Dagbon traditional kingdom is known as the Ya Naa, literally meaning the King of Absolute Power. The court of the Ya Naa is Yendi where his cow skin throne is located. His court can usually be seen on Monday and Friday mornings in Yendi.

Dagomba villages honor their ancestors with a festival called Bugun, which means "fire" or "hell". The celebration begins with a great feast and culminates when the people gather together with lighted torches where they remember their ancestors and throw their torches.

Ghanaians are well known for their cultural heritage more especially the people of the northern part of the country. Majority of the people of the northern region are Dagombas and the main language spoken there is Dagbani. As a Dagomba born in a typical community its always important for me to share some of the cultural values and practice of my people which am proud of.

I will like to start with the way we dress in our culture. There is always a prescribed dress for both male and female. The prestigious dress for male is the smock and that of women is the kente cloth. It is highly offensive for a woman to wear a smock in the Dagbani culture. Both the Smock and kente are made up of cotton and are waved by manual (hand) or machine. In social gathering you can observe that the men are in smocks and women in their Kente cloth. Both the dagbani smocks and kente cloth differ from other cloths from other ethnic groups.

Another cultural value is the way we greet each other our society. When greeting an elderly person it always good to squat as a sign of respect. When one wants to greet a parent he or she has to squat before the parent and wait for the parent to ask him or her how you are. It’s rude for a child to ask the parents how they are doing first. When talking or greeting someone older the you it’s advisable to remove your cap or hat if you are wearing any. Using your left hand to shake hands, eat, wave, or even point at someone is rude in the dagbani culture since the left hand is used for sanitation purposes.

One cannot express his or her culture without talking about the food they eat because it is said that food is life. There are a variety of food in the dagbon traditional area such as Tz, banku, tubani, wasawasa,porriage,nyonbeka and fufu. These are just a few of the nutritious foods served in my ethnicity. It is believed that Tz is an energy giving food since its mostly served with vegetable soups which are very nutritious thus making it the most liked food in the dagbon traditional area. Guinea fowl is killed to prepare a meal when a particular home has a visitor.

The most interesting part of our culture is the way we visit and greet at our palaces. The people of dagomba usually do not talk to their king facing them but will squat and keep clapping your hand a little while talking. For the palace to accept your visit cola is served to you as a sign of their acceptance to your visit. You have to remove your footwear and hat when greeting the chief.
I am proud of my culture and people . And hope to learn more about it. God bless Dagbon traditional area.

Prepared by Mohammed Alhassan Fusieni
ICV with RCPWD





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