Tumu, (UW/R), May 11, GNA - A 190-page book detailing the cultural values, norms and history of Bondia clan of the Sissala people has been unveiled in Tumu, the Sissala East Municipal capital, to help preserve the people’s cultural heritage.
The book titled: “The Bondia Clan of the Sissala people,” emphasises the importance of documentation in human history and attempts to trace the Bondia clan cultural values, history and norms that encapsulates their unique names, way of marriage and food.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, who launched the book at Kanton Senior High School, called on the people to cut down “huge expenditures” on funerals and invest in preserving their rich cultural values for transmission to the younger generation.
“The practice of honouring the dead with huge resources at the expense of the living now calls for redirecting of resources into educating our children and family wellbeing,” he said.
“Such written [referring to the book] forms would always provide the referencing point for others and make clear issues of the history of any group of people”.
Mr Issahaku lauded the initiative saying “this is part of the many efforts put up to address the long term efforts to make the Sissala Language an examinable subject of learning as this has the potential to preserve the sanctity of the language’.
He called on traditional leaders to help purge the area of outmoded cultural practices like female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage and several other practices that were degrading human dignity and has become inimical to social cohesion and progress.
The Deputy Minister bought a copy of the book at GH₵1,000.00 and pledged additional GH₵3,000.00 for the activities of the Sissala Heritage Foundation, the organization that supervised writing of the book.
Several copies were also sold to the audience at the cost of GH₵2,020.00, bringing the sold copies of the books auctioned to the public to GH₵3,020.00.
KandiaKuoro, KuoroBamulaBasinjia Chiemina III, the Author and Chief Executive of the Sissala Heritage Foundation said, “The Sissala's culture is sick and needs to be seriously taken care of”.
The book does not only chronicle Bondia history but have information about the entire Sissala people and clan system and other vital aspects of Sissala history.
The book also covers a broad range of topics including belief systems, etiquettes and taboos, social organization, marriage and funeral practices, styles of living and working as well as festivals and games.
The book also explores the origins of the Bondia clan, analyses and the ways that it has adapted over time.
Photographs and drawings in the book provide a glimpse into the lives of the Bondiala clan, past and present.
“The book serves as an excellent primer on Bondiala cultural heritage,” Kuoro Chiemina said, but questioned, “when are we gathering to launch a single book of the entire Sissala people, their culture, beliefs and history”.
He added, “Very soon our children would ask questions about our history and until we write it, it might be difficult to say something”.
He attributed lack of zeal to work towards documenting “our history to a new craze for wealth at the expense of our culture”.