Chief John Bawa Zuure of Tengzug



Chief John’s enormous family concession sits in a small saddle between two hills. His home is close to the trail leading to the cave dwelling of the Tengzug’s main spirit, a trail frequented by villagers. The village is highly visited by travellers to the Northern Region with an impressive eco-cultural tourism project. The chief’s compound, surrounding shrines, and sacred cave are the obvious sites to visit with an introduction and welcome by the chief himself. Chief John has twenty wives and over a hundred children, with a few small sons always hanging close-by.

The community practices animism and the chief has his own major alter and elevated grave sites to the major ancestors towards the northern side of the compound. Numerous shrines and bones strung throughout the cryptic alleys of the intriguing, open-air family neighborhood, where even the roof space offers a breeze and a view. Chief John says the whole area has become sacred ground and that the mysterious boulders that surround the valley offer a protective energy to all that come to visit and to see them. The degree to which the chief floods the air with cultural pride and truly lives within his landscape is impressive and respectable.

See all metadata and notes (pdf)

  • Ethnic Group: Frafra (Talensi)
  • Language (dialect): Frafra (Talni)
  • Country: Ghana
  • Recording date: August 20, 2015
  • Recording location:
    Chief’s Compound Kolsumkumalebeog, Tengzug, Ghana
  • Total Recording time: 12:30
  • Technician: Brian Nowak
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