Trevor Wiggins Ghana Music Collection

Lambussie I: Women

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  • Subjects

    Women's songs

  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    Trevor Wiggins Ghanaian Music Collection

  • Recording locations

    Ghana, Upper West Region, Jirapa/Lambussie District, Lambussie

  • Recordist

    Wiggins, Trevor

  • Abstract

    (1) and (2) Short practices; (3) Kabri jen jen jen, nasala lio la tor para (Kabri our land god, you should help the white man to develop Lambussie.) Song for women, accompanied by their clapping and drum playing (ganna and longor), sung after harvesting to celebrate safe gathering-in of crops. A day is chosen, pito is brewed, shea nut oil extracted, and the whole village comes out to sing and dance, at the place of the village land god; (4) A ele naba bulwie ba ha wa ne ba ha wor ti yor ka ba chie kuke le a bullor (Our grandfather advises us to unite but they do not heed. They have only themselves to blame as tomorrow they will sit here and see the truth of it.) Women's song, as 1, also sung to celebrate harvest. (5) Busiilo ne helli ne anya, ba si tonene yie, ba ha wi cho ni ka anya ba si tonene yie.(Lambussie people, when they don't like you, they say you are a bad person). Women's song as 1 and 2 sung to celebrate harvest or at any time that women gather together, perhaps at market or at funerals. (6) Ba mgowe ka benge ka nitog ka mie holor ria (I am a bad person in the family, and am beaten and thrown out, like the guinea-corn husk after threshing). Women's song, as 3. (7) I se n li jame n ken gya ton le eleo ina bala ha saaken yor me. N'yaa wo nyei (The man is sacking me from the house, I do not know what I have done. Does he expect me to carry all the gods of the house before he will like me.) Guola dance and song for women, played to celebrate harvest, as 1 and 2. N'yaa wo nyei is a repeated refrain, around words which are improvised, continuing the theme. The dance (called hanyei) is particularly for older women and is always the first one in the harvest celebration. During the dance, the women take turns to fall backwards into the arms of several others, and then be thrown by them as they jump up and forwards, towards the centre of the circle. (8) Gyanga gyanga ye kuo belle lollo ba tolle a pi pa gyang. (The wealthy people prefer their daughters to marry the gyanga dancers) Gyanga is a type of dance, very difficult. The gyanga dancers are very skilful, they dance at very special occasions.Women's song and Guola dance, as 3 and 4. (9) A lol bie ka wa di yie suu ma laglo zenduo yie (You give birth to a child but don't enjoy the benefit of the child's birth because death is also hanging around, ready to give out the xylophone beaters) Xylophones are always played at funerals. This song is a plea to the gods to allow the children to stay, ie to live. Women's Guola dance and song played to celebrate harvest, as 1 and 2. (10) N ma chor illi panwa gengelen, a bul n tag di na gengelen, n tag di torse illa gengelen. (My mother has boiled some breast milk for me and told me to dip my finger in and taste it. I tasted it and vomited milk.) In this dance, two women hold a stick on the ground lifting it up and down while a third dances onto and off it. The stick symbolises the wooden pestle which will be used to pound the recently harvested millet crop. Women's Guola dance and song played to celebrate the harvest, as 1 and 2. (11) Kabri Kabri menmilla longo Suheyara hawukwei (Kabri, your wife has run out naked crying, while death which has brought so much poverty on our families has not yet come.) The suggestion here is that it is a bad sign for Kabri's wife to be running about naked and crying - this could mean bad luck, ie death, for the village. Kabri is the name of the village's land god. In the dance, the women imitate the way Kabri's wife walked, holding their knees together with their hands and jumping! Women's Guola dance and song, played to celebrate harvest. (12) Repeat of 8. The dance is for young girls particularly, to show happiness, which they do by jumping up high and knocking hips or bottoms together. (13) A nin lokin kuro ku nyarin ana nawulle a nin lokin kuro ku nyarin ana nawulle. Ku nya nya a nin lokin ana nawulle (I am scratching my body, my body is itching, my father spider) My father spider is chicken pox. In the dance the women run their hands up and down their bodies, as if washing or scratching themselves. Women's Guola dance and song, played to celebrate harvest. (14) Doo benye ngmaam saa ko, Doo benye ngmaam saa ko, Bebouole ngmaadaa sa koe, koe, koe, koe saa hii (Man, having seen the monkey, it is about to rain - repeat, They are calling the male monkey, it's cloudy, cloudy, cloudy, cloudy, the rain should stop.) This is a song, borrowed from the Dagaare people, to stop the threatening rain which would spoil the harvested crops. The monkeys also want the rain to stay away as it prevents them finding a good hiding place from which to steal the crops. The dance imitates the antics of the monkeys as they steal the cobs of corn, then run away to hide and eat them - highly amusing for all involved. This is a woman's song and dance, particularly for the younger women, played around harvest time. (15) Busiolo ha chuoli fole bole bole la tor para. A ha chuola fole bole la tor para. Busielo hala chuole fole bole bole la tor para.(Lambussie thanks you for coming to promote our music. We thank you very much for promoting us. Lambussie women thank white people for promoting us.) Women's Guola dance and song, played when strangers come to the village, sometimes used to express thanks.

  • Description

    Songs sung by women, with drums and clapping.

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User notes for this item

African harmony *unison and octave parallelism used extensively from 0:00-20:30 *Rhythmic harmony and parllel dyads used from 20:30- on ward parallel dyads in this recording include parall 5ths, 4ths and octaves African Rhythmic structures: *Hand Clapping used to set timeline *drums play pulse and emphasize time-line rhythm

Posted by Daniel jones, Researcher on 17/03/2019 00:06:00