Gonja Essay

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HISTORY OF GONJA
INTRODUCTION
To the south-west of Mamprugu, Dagbon and Nanum emerged the kingdom of Gonja. Gonja also known as Ghanjawiyyu is a kingdom in Northern Ghana. The people of Gonja speaks The Gonja Language, which is a North Guan language spoken about a 3rd of the populace that resides in the Northern part of Ghana. It is known that Gonja are Guan people who have been influenced by Akan, Mande and Hausa people.
Precolonial Gonja society was stratified into castes, with a Ruling class, Muslim trader class and a Commoner class. Its economy depended largely on trade in slaves from Central Africa and kola nuts particularly in the market town of Salaga sometimes called the “Timbuktu” of the south.
The Gonja people whose true name is Ngbanye (meaning Brave Men) derive the name Gonja from a corrupted Hausa phrase Kada Goro-Jaa (meaning land of Red Cola).
The Gonjas have no distinct tribal marks on their own. Each person has a different mark either on the cheeks, chest or arms. Some Gonjas have a dark triangle tattooed between their eyes and ears. The above picture depicts a Gonja woman with tribal marks on the face.

POLITICAL HISTORY
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They were attracted by the southern trade which had developed in the area between the Black and White Volta. Nabaga was believed to have been sent by the Mande Chief to find out why there was a fall in the supply (export) of gold to Mali. As rebellious as Nabaga appeared to be, he failed to carry out the orders of the Chief, rather set up a military base at Yagbum around AD 1554. With help from Dyula Muslims in Begho, Nabaga launched an army of Ngbanya horsemen against the

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