Invocations

When the lunga drum and gung-gong drum are slung on your shoulder and you are ready to play, it shows respect for the Dagomba heritage to start with these items. The phrases are challenging, however, so newcomers should have patience!

English Dagomba Spelling All Materials
Nawuni Mali Kpam Pam View
Jebo View

Group Dances

As the label suggests, these items of repertory goes with dances choreographed for by groups of performers. This site presents the group dances in chronological order on the basis of when in Dagomba history they were created.

English Dagomba Spelling All Materials
Tora View Suite
Ayiko
Tora
Takai View Suite
Kondaliya
Nunda Nyuli
Takai-Nyagboli
Takai
Tanchili Gong
Baamaaya View Suite
Baamaaya
Dakoli Kutoko
Maje
Naa Daa
Nyagboli

Solo Dances

The items of music, below, go with dances that are performed solo by individuals. The music is classified in three categories.

Praise Names

Each praise name dance honors a chief who played a significant role in the history of the Dagomba people. Drumming for the Paramount Chiefs (Yaa Naa) comes first (up to and including Sanmari Gon), followed by drumming for important regional chiefs and elders in the palace of the Yaa Naa. Drumming for the Paramount Chiefs is presented in chronological order.

English Dagomba Spelling All Materials
Nantoo Nimdi View
Nagbiegu View
Naani Goo View
Tampima Dundong View
Zim Taai Kulga View
Sangmari Gong View
Jenkuno View
Jerigu N-Dari O Salima View
Zambalantong View
Dambobugo View
Suligu View
Dogu View Suite
Tuli
Mahili

Occupational Lineage Dances

In Dagomba society butchering and blacksmithing are more than jobs: they are existential conditions that are determined by one’s birth. Like drumming, these are kinship-based professions that one inherits through the father’s line. At occasions for solo dancing like weddings, drummers play these items of repertory for individuals in these kinship groups.

English Dagomba Spelling All Materials
Nakohi-waa View
Dikala View

Festival Dances

Life in Dagbon is marked by a cycle of festivals that are determined by the lunar calendar. Drummers provide special music for many festivals. One such item is presented here.

English Dagomba Spelling All Materials
Damba View Suite
Sochendi
Mahili

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