‘Abaalaravuu’, the Dagaaba-Frafra peace message the world must learn

‘Abaalaravuu’, the Dagaaba-Frafra peace message the world must learn
Source: Vitalis Aiyeh
Date: 22-10-2016 Time: 04:10:49:pm

When the broth of a dog’s head has ushered and established generational peace between the Dagaabas and Frafras in the Upper West and Upper East regions of Ghana, then there is much for Ghanaians to learn from it as the country heads for the polls in December this year.

It won’t be a surprise for questioners to ask if any valuable thing could come out of a story surrounding dog meat and its connection with these two major ethnic groups. Even the awesome attributes and origin of the savior Jesus Christ, whom Christians deem the most important divine gift to the world, stirred skeptics to question whether something good could ever come from Nazareth, his birthplace. 

But the latter’s strides in human history offers a reason to always discard stereotyped views and re-examine unclear subjects, or issues by according them attention in order to realize their essence and best offerings to society. 

People of the Dagaaba and Frafra stocks are playmates who do not compromise on their relations. The story of the bond between the two tribes centres on a myth about two brothers who suffered the pangs of famine and had to sojourn for food with their treasured pet, the dog.

The account has it that at a point of severe hunger, the two decided to sacrifice their pet for a meal; but, disagreed on the method of preparing it: either to roast it or cook it with broth that could take them days to live on.

Although the impasse caused the two brothers’ parting, their descendants have refused to be captives of their past. They have become refined products of their experience. By recognizing peace as the panacea to their past misery, the sting of disagreement that ruined the relations of their grandpas, which would have continued to enjoy paramountcy in their midst, had been exorcised.

What is refreshing about the transcendence of this story is how the current offsprings of the two brothers appreciate it and utilize its lessons to their benefit. Men and women of the two tribes have resolved to stay glued to each other in harmony with friendship as an active agent of their DNA.

Indeed, the blood of their ancestors’ pet has become a seal of unity that remains undaunted by any circumstance that shows up between the two groups. To incite fury between the two will be suicidal to oneself as the opposite will take place.

It is really intriguing to eavesdrop the conversation of a Dagaati and a Frafra at the first instant. The hate-free debate over the claims of whose grandpa between the two stocks was superior by his actions and the spontaneous smile of excitement that is exuded in the encounter is tempting to join when one has no natural locus to do so.

The fun that greets the meeting of members of the two ethnic groups has taken a new dimension with the introduction of fun games in the regional capitals every year. The games are a delight to watch as the ambiance of the event is often charged with musical tunes of cultural performances.  

The theme for this year’s fun games, “Towards a peaceful election 2016, emulating the Dagaaba-Frafra friendship” is fastened to peace and draws the attention of Ghanaians to the need to prioritise efforts towards national peace.

The friendly tussle in the games: football, tug of peace, and lime and spoon race symbolically reverse the order of competitions where the other side is conceived as an opponent.

During the games, whoever emerges a winner is celebrated. The ancestral pet, the puppy, is offered as the grand trophy to the winning side with the sharing of dog meat and drinks in the spirit of community and fellowship.

There are many lessons to be learned. The sacrifice of the pet signifies the willingness to give off anything in exchange for peace. Again, the outcome of each category of the games is not contested by the losing side, as a sign of tolerance that all must emulate, especially during this political season.

The fever of the games attracts people of all walks of life such as Ministers of state, Members of Parliament, Chiefs, Chief Executives, among others, who do not only throng the venue to participate in the fun, but to also experience the spirit that drives it.

This year, the fun games, which are scheduled to take place on October 23, promise an experience that realigns participants to its core purpose of ensuring peace no matter the storm.





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