Waala Traditional Council in 2016

The Waala Traditional Council is composed of Several Chiefs and Government Appointees with the Overlord of Waala Traditional Area Naa Fuseini Pelpuo IV being the Leader of the Council.

The term Waala refers to the natives of Wa in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Like many other ethnic groups in Ghana, Waala are people from diverse backgrounds who as a result of living together for long and being guided by some culture and a traditional political unit have bonded and have become a unit. In the words of Wilks (1982:16), “people may identify themselves, or be observed by observers in one context by reference to historical origins, in another to language and culture, and to yet another to traditional political affiliation.” To Wilks (1982), “the Wala were those who not only recognised the authority of the Wa Nas but who identified with the whole system of governance of which the Wa Nas were themselves a part.” According to Nabikpong of Busa, Waala refers to “the people whose origin can be traced to these four segments of Wa; Tendaamba, Nabihi, Limanhi, and Yarihi.” In the same vein, Bin Salih (2001) is of the opinion that “the term Wala means people of Wa. In other words, it is a reference to those who are natives of Wa”.
This research paper has revealed that Waala is made up of Tendaamba (they are of Lobi origin), Nabihi (they are of Manprugu origin), and the Limanhi and the Yarihi (they are both of Mandeka origin).

According to Bin Salih (2001), of the three traditional estates of Waala, the Nabihi are at the top of the kingdom, the Yarihi constitute the other estate, and the Tendaamba are at the bottom.

According to a key informant “Over the years, there has been much focus on finding out exactly how the Naang(chieftain) of the Waala originally developed. In fact, contemporary explanations and answers have been provided in the form of early studies, interview transcripts, and focus group sessions. From this evidence, it is
now clear that the Naang of the Waala was not a side branch of the Naang of the Mamprusi.

It is also known that the very first Naa (chief) of Wa was named Soalia. He was a royal from Mamprusi, but he relocated to Wa from Nalerigu” (an interview with a key informant on 2nd May, 2016). This does not mean, as might be thought, that Wa belonged to the Mamprusi.

Prince Soalia only arrived in Wa during the 17th century. His position and status were, initially, a traveller. However, with the help of the Tendaana of Wa and the Muslim cleric, Yamuori, he ended up establishing the Waala chieftaincy as an autonomous domain.

Hence, it is true to say that the Naang of Wa originated from Wa, by the Waala. When Soalia travelled to Wa, he arrived as a Nabia of Mamprugu (a
Prince of Maprugu), rather than as a Na of Wa (Daanaa, 1992).

The point to remember is that the “Wa-Naang is not an extension of the Naang of Mamprugu, except that the first Wa Na traces his roots to Maprugu.

It should also be noted that, as Soalia was already of Mamprugu royalty, there was a clear blood tie between the Naang of
the Mamprusi area and the Naang of the Waala” (an interview with a key informant, 2nd May, 2016). To begin with, when Naang was first introduced as a source of influence and power in Wa, the area was controlled by just a single, unified royal clan. There were no conflicts or questions over the issue; nor were there any attempts to split power between different family groups (or gates). As the years progressed, these circumstances gradually changed.

In the words of a key informant, by the close of the 18th century, the ruling clan in Wa witnessed both conflicts and gates. These gates or ruling sections – were each given a title. There were four in total; Jarri,
Kpaaha, Yijihi, and Joyonhi (an interview with a key informant on 2nd May, 2016).
The four gates were named after influential Naa figures who had established them.

Nature of the Traditional Political System of the Waala The Wa Naa serves as the ultimate traditional authority over the numerous Waala ethnic groups and clans under the traditional Waala system. Traditionally, “Waala chieftaincy system is in layers with the position of Wa Naa at
the apex” (an interview with a key informant, 2nd May, 2016)).

Divisional chiefs, such as those serving Gulli, Busa, Kperihi and Sing, are appointed authorities under the Wa Naa. Beneath these divisional chiefs are the lower chiefs,
appointed as junior chiefs down to the least rank. All junior, lower and divisional chiefs ultimately aim at an eventual succession to the Wa Paramountcy. Under the traditional system, the highest position is that of the Wa Naalung. As an example, the Joyonhi royal gate’s last station before ascending to the Wa paramountcy is the Sing
Divisional Headquarters, with Boli, Chansa, Loggu, Jayiri and Chasia as subdivisions.(Credit, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih

Updated List of Members(2022)

1.Biihee-Naa Naatasung Jaafar Pelpuo
2.Sing-Naa Mahama Adama(Paramount Chief of Sing Traditional Area)
3.Ducie Naa Salifu Jongara(Divisional Chief of Busa Traditional Area)
4.Jeyiri Naa Darimani Yakubu(Divisional Chief of Sing Traditional Area)
5.Dr. Rashid Hassan Pelpuo
6.Guli Naa Nubalanaang Seidu Braimah(Paramount Chief of Guli Traditional Area)
7. Naa Ali Seidu Pelpuo ( Paramount Chief of Busa Traditional Area)
8. Konjiahi Naa Nupaya Yussif Mumuni(Divisional Chief of Guli Traditional Area)
9. Wa Naa Fuseini Pelpuo IV (Overlord of Waala Traditional Area)
10. Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih
11.Samuel Kofi Ahiave Dzamesi

12. Issahaku Tahiru Moomin

Source: Upperwestmedia.net

By Upper West Media

Ghanaian Blogger

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