This year’s Fire Festival was the rowdiest I’ve experienced. Normally I just attend the main events with the paramount chief – parade, torch throwing, praising singing, water distribution – and then go back home. This evening I hung around for about an hour after the NaYiri returned to his palace and I observed all the […]
Gun-Related Injuries in Mamprugu
The Mamprusi sure do love their guns. Unfortunately, this sends some to our hospital with traumatic injuries. With the Fire Festival coming up this weekend, here’s a cautionary tale of the wounds inflicted by guns that Heidi deals with.
Magic & Modernity
Magic, divination and the belief in spirits imbuing material objects and ancestors, is hardly ‘a hangover from the past’ but rather an attempt to locate meaning and prosperity in a modern, postcolonial world characterized by monetary forms and global market economies.
I yi wubsi bii ka u nyina buli, ŋɔn gba gɔsim i ka i nyina voaai.
If you care for a child while his teeth come out, he must also look after you when you teeth come out. – Mamprusi Proverb
Traditional Mamprusi Hunting Songs
Zɔkri of Nalerigu, Ghana is a soothsayer but also plays a two-stringed banjo and flute that his late father passed down to him. The guitar is made of goat skin over a gourd with the strings being rubber strips. We visited him on July 17, 2017 with musicologist Sarai Brinker and our language teacher Philip Jangdow. […]
Mɔkyeeriba or The Chief’s Horse Grass Cutters
Mɔkyeeriba means “grass cutters” in Mampruli and is a slang term for young men who are eligible for chieftaincy. The label comes from the fact that chiefs used to send their young sons and grandsons out every day to cut grass for their horses. Very few chiefs own horses these days, but the paramount chief […]
Timbizooma sɔ saana nimbirimira.
A blind local is better than a stranger with big eyes. – Mamprusi Proverb
Beem daana tuya kabiri la dukku ni.
A mean man’s beans burn in the pot. – Mamprusi Proverb
Catching a Deadly Girigantoori
This morning I finally saw (and caught) the mysterious gyirigantoori that I’d heard about from my Mamprusi friends over the years. Turns out this “deadly” creature that they say can cause lightning to strike and inflict leprous wounds on anyone who touches its toxic tail is, in fact, just the harmless Hemitheconyx caudicinctus or African […]