Jirapa Chiefs

When a Dagarti man’s wife commits adultery, the man who slept with the woman may be asked to pay a fine, known locally as ‘passani’ which may include; a ram, goat or a cow and some amount of money depending on the status of the man whose wife is involved.

That notwithstanding, it is said that after the rituals are performed, the said woman becomes a legal wife to both her husband and the man she committed adultery with.

The Dagaaba people are an ethnic group in Ghana whose descendants are believed to have migrated from neighboring BurkinaFaso. They speak the Dagaare language and their main occupation is farming.

They are predominantly located in the various districts of Nandom, Lawra, Jirapa, Lambussie, Nadowli-Kaleo, Daffiama-Bussie-Issa and Wa West in the Upper West Region while some Dagaabas are settler farmers in other districts across the region.

Some Dagaabas have also relocated to other parts of the country to engage in farming activities while others do some circular jobs.

Most Dagaabas belong to the Christian and Traditional religious faiths while a little percentage also practice Islam.

The Dagaabas celebrate various festivals basically to mark the end of the farming season and to thank their gods for a good harvest. Some of these festivals include; Kakube of the Nandom people, Kobine of the Lawra people, Wilaa of the Takpo people, Bong-ngo of the Jirapa people and the Kaka festival of hippos celebrated by the people of Wichiau. Some Dagaaba communities also celebrate the Duuye festival which is characterized by the use of ashes to mark the walls of households to symbolize the eviction of evil spirits from their homes.

By: Bamie Tahir-Ahmed

3 thoughts on “Customary Fines by Dagaabas in Breach of their Marital Vows”
  1. I have long that the Dagaaba are part of the Mole-Dagbani group of people. Dagaare shares a lot of words in Dagbanli, Mamprurili and Moshi. This write up has confirmed that.

  2. Thank you for the brief history given. I wish you dig into the history of the people of Dorimo next.

  3. Informative, but rather too brief.
    Also, the word “Dagaaba” is already the plural of “Dagao”; no need to add “s”to it.

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