Mamprusi tribe boy wearing Batakari dress dancing to traditional Mamprusi drum beats at a public function at Nalerigu,Northern Ghana. Mamprusi also known as Mamprugu are Mole-Dagbani speaking ethnic group of people found mostly in the northern and upper east regions of Ghana and northern part of Togo.
The Mole-Dagbani ethnic group comprises the Moshi (Mossi), Mamprusi, Nanumba and Dagomba. There are some 450,000 Mamprusi living in Ghana, and approximately 11,000 in Togo. In Ghana, the Mamprusis live mainly in Nalerigu and Gambaga in the northwest of the Northern Region but also inhabit parts of the Upper East Region.
MAMPRUSI PEOPLE: ONE OF THE GHANA`S UNIQUE AND ANCIENT PEOPLE IN THE NORTH AND THE ELDEST OF THE MOLE-DAGBANI ETHNIC GROUP
The people now known as the "Mamprusi" occupy the East and West Mamprusi districts of northern Ghana. Their name is linked to "Mamprugu," the name of the kingdom with which they are associated. Until recently, "Mamprusi" was a term mainly used by outsiders. They called themselves "Dagbamba," a term also used by their southern neighbors, known in English as "Dagomba." Mamprusi called these people "Yooba" (people of the forest) or "Weiya," in reference to the marshy areas also occupied by these neighbors.Similarly, their northern neighbors, the Mossi, were named for the grassy bush ( moo ) that characterizes the ecological zone to the north. Mamprusi usage of the term "Dagbamba" as an autonym, combined with their reference to their neighbors in terms of a characteristic habitat, reflects their view of themselves as inhabiting a central and civilized place in the universe of peripheral peoples. Since their southern neighbors have appropriated the name "Dagbamba" and its English equivalent "Dagomba," the former Dagbamba have become Mamprusi.
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah