Yaa Naa enskinment sets Dagbon agog
After the eventful enskinment of Yaa Naa Abukari Mahama II as the Overlord of Dagbon in Yendi last Friday, the atmosphere in the area now is that of gratification and expectations on the way forward for the Dagbon State.
Most people have expressed satisfaction over the successful untangling of the bottlenecks that had held back the development drive of Dagbon for decades.
“I never thought we could cross the bridge so soon, but thank God everything is now over. My fervent prayer is that, we put whatever held us back into the dustbin of history and work towards sustainable unity to fast track development in this part of the country,” a Yendi-based trader, Alhaji Masahudu Abu, said.
For his part, a teacher in Tamale, Balkisu Issah, 36, observed that even though the processes were over, there was still much work ahead of Dagbon which when handled well, could further strengthen the harmony the area was currently enjoying.
“We must not be complacent and go to sleep. Issues on the enskinment of Kampakuya Naa Abdulai Andani and Bolin Lana Mahamadu Abdulai including the performance of the funerals of some major chiefs such as the Mion Lana, Karaga Naa and who occupies those Gate Skins and the Yo-Skin (Savelugu) are matters that should be handled with care,” she added.
Display of rich culture
For the past six weeks, the Dagbon State held the nation spell-bound with an abundant display of rich cultural and traditional heritage that had not been witnessed in the country for decades.
There were rare spectacles that marked the performances of the funeral rites of Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai and Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II and the eventual enskinment of a substantive Yaa Naa last Friday in Yendi.
Among the age-old customary practices that awed the people was the carrying by the Dagbon Chief Warrior, Kumbung Naa Yiri II’s war machinery (Logu) and accompanying bees to Yendi.
There was also a display of fireworks by a group of blacksmiths (Mache-le) in Yendi where some of them either comfortably sat on or walked through sweltering fire amid the gritting of metals.
Dagbon is a class society with various clans. There are the Royals, the Butchers, the Machel-les, the Gbanzabas (Cobblers), the Wanzams, the Lunsi (Drummers), the Sapashinis (Warriors), among others.
Also significant was the consultation of oracles to guide the Kingmakers led by the Kuga-Naa to select a suitable candidate for the Yani Namship.
The three-times circumambulation of the Gbewaa Palace by the Regents in their war regalia and specially designed hats (Bugu) was also a sight to behold by the hundreds of observers who thronged the area to have a feel of the tradition.
Display of Smock
There was a display of immaculately woven smocks of different sizes, colours and shapes to commemorate the action-packed day.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was not left out in the parade of the traditional apparel as he was garbed in an unusual yellow smock with corresponding trousers (Kurugu). Former President John Mahama including the leadership of various political parties and Parliament were all robed in their beautiful smocks (Bin-gmaa).
Even though President Akufo-Addo’s apparel is usually worn by royals or persons with high social standing, it can also be garbed by people with financial wherewithal.
The Kurugu (Trousers) and Mugri (Leather boots) with a hat and white towel to match are usually worn over the smock as befitting attire for important occasions including the Damba festival.
On the colour (Yellow), some elders described it as appropriate for the occasion since it signifies peace.