Dagbanli Riddles – Riddles among the Dagomba people:

Dagbanli Riddles : Among the Dagomba people, riddles, just like folktales, assume a significant part of their culture. Riddles are seen as a tool for teaching speech to the younger ones as well as preparing their minds towards critical thinking.

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However, despite the significance riddles play in lives of the Dagomba people, it is highly discouraged during the day time. The Dagomba people regard the day time as time for work.  And anyone who spends such a precious time, telling riddles or folktales is seen as a lazy person. Riddles are therefore told in the night, after supper.

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Dagbanli riddles are in three categories; Yoodara Salinlɔha,  Tuya duɣibu and Binkɔbiri kubu.

 

Riddles In Dagbanli – Yoodara Salinlɔha:

These type of riddles involve questions and definite answers.  One must have heard a particular riddle in order to be able to give a response or an answer.

 

The questioner begins by saying

” N kpaanjo” ?

and the respondents reply by saying

” Bo balibu?”

The Yoodara riddles are in two forms. In some instances,the questions which are posed are somewhat onomatopoeic.  An arrangement of sounds which have no lexical meaning in Dagbanli language. The meaning of these riddles are only seen in their answers.

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Here are a list of some of these riddles and their appropriate responses:

  1. ” N lii” —–Yili-bil’ buɣim

 

  1. ” N vim” —- Katiŋ taani

 

  1. ” M piliŋ ka liŋa” ——- tɔli

 

  1. ” Baʒi molimoli baʒinta” “– Nahu yi chihi naɣ’kpaa ni o bi lahi ŋubiri mɔkuma

 

  1. ” N ku firi kun tu” — ŋuni m min ŋooi mopilli mɔɣu ka lahi labisi li tu?

 

  1. “Wa chuchulaachu wa naali naali” — Paɣapuulan kpiri kɔre kun ŋubi nɔŋa.

 

  1. “Opiitorooro opiitorooro” — Binasanjɛrigu n yɛli, ni binsa’nyarili ŋun bi mi ni bindi kpulimbu to.

 

  1. “M pirim pirim ku nyaan du” — ŋuni m min piri namda n du tia?

 

  1. ” N fii kalaaka fii laaka” — Faralan zala o zaani, bundan ka balima.

 

10.” N sasariga saa” — Noo ni nyuri ŋɔ o duuna?

 

In other instances, the wordings of the riddles provide cues for the respondents and involves critical thinking to unearth their answers.

Examples of such riddles include:

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  1. Daboli zuɣu tuya gurinyɔŋ — barikɔɣu nya nimdi n kpaŋ diŋ!

 

  1. Daboli zuɣu taan kpeeni — A shee kpaŋ ka tinkpaŋ shɛbili

 

  1. Mani n chana ka di be n-nyaaŋa ka be n tooni– Soli

 

  1. Mani n tim bia ka o bi labina — Kuɣili labbu

 

  1. Kaɣa pu kpe ka pu kpe — A nyiriga vooi kpe ka vooi kpe

 

  1. Mani n chana ka di doli ma — Shilinshia

 

  1. Gaa wula kpe nee wula ni– Kum luya ka nabihi kɔhi tab’ n di

 

  1. N ko’piɛlim lapilaɣi ʒe baɣingi gbunni — Bihim

 

  1. ŋme-n-ŋme ku lɛbigi — ŋun min ŋme dundɔŋ ka lahi lɛbigi li ŋme?

 

  1. ŋman’kara tam kpaliga zuɣu — Nabi’kara kpaɣiri nam zuɣu.

 

  1. A yi ʒɛya, a bi ʒiina? — Daantaliga

 

  1. Mani n sɔŋ n laɣifu ka bi lahi nya li — Nintɔri

 

  1. Mba m mali bihi, o yi kuli boli yino, bɛ zaa dolimi na — Nyukansi

 

  1. Tuŋa tuŋa ti kaai yɔɣu — Dagorili chaŋ o maam yiŋa n ti tuui kabi o yoli

 

  1. N ti’kuŋ piɛlli laɣilaɣi ʒe mɔɣu sunsuuni — Goli

 

  1. ŋuni n lee kpaai sim’paɣiri che gooni ŋɔ? — ŋuni n lee zaŋ paɣ’viɛlli ŋɔ n-ti zɔm ŋɔ.
  2. Daboli zuɣu tuya yɔɣiyɔɣi- A tuzopaɣa yi viɛli ka bo, a kutooi zaŋ o leei a paɣa

 

Riddles In Dagbanli – Tuya duɣibu

Aside the Yoodara riddles, as earlier posited, another popular riddle lines among the Dagomba people is what is known as Tuya duɣibu( loosely translated as preparing of beans).

 

Tuya duɣibu is a line of riddles which follows a peculiar line of questions, in which the answer is used to ask further questions.

One gets it right if he or she is able to complete the pattern correctly, without mixing them up.

The respondent who answers them correctly then hoots at the questioner.

Participants then rotates, with the respondent becoming the questioner.

 Examples of Tuya Duɣibu

Bo n lee be n noli ni? — Tuya

 

Bo tuya?—tuya bandi

 

Bo bandi?— Bandi kulo

 

Bo kulo? — kulo kpaam

 

Bo kpaam- kpaam dirigili

 

Bo dirigili? — Dirigili Sangali

 

Bo Sangali? — Sangali Suɣulo

 

Bo Suɣulo?– Suɣulo Kunkpe

 

Bo kunkpe? — kunkpe yɛmba

 

Bo yɛmba? — Yɛmba paɣasara

 

Bo paɣasara? — paɣasara dii

 

Bo dii? — Dii lam

 

Bo lam? — lam tara

 

Bo tara? — tara wubsi

 

Bo wubsi? — Wubsi chaɣila

 

Bo chaɣila?— Chaɣila fiio

 

Bo fiio? —- fiio gɔŋ

 

Bo gɔŋ? — gɔŋ piɛti

 

Bo piɛti? —– piɛti zaa m bala ka a bi nya

ayaa yoo!

Abdul Malik Abukari

I have a strong passion for the diversity which exist between people from all walks of life. And same in the similarities which binds them together as human from the same ancestry. Indeed, I'm trilled to share with the rest of the world, the heritage of my people, the Dagbamba ethnic group from Northern Ghana. My name is Abdul Malik and I live in Tamale -Ghana

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