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Who stole the ‘dog head’?- How this delicacy brought separation between Frafras and Dagaabas



The two share a rather unique bond that didn’t just begin in recent years. Their bond dates back to several hundreds of years when they shared direct relations.
Dagaabas and Frafras are said to have been brothers or rather cousins who used to move together and history has it that the two ethnic groups trace their roots to the Dagombas.

Today, the two ethnic groups always share jokes about the dog head with the question; “who stole the dog head”, a question that stems from a story that has been told over and over again.

The story speaks about two brothers; a Dagaao and Frafra who were travelling together at a time when there was famine with their companion; a dog.
So bad was the situation that at a point, both of them decided to kill the dog for meat to survive.

However, an argument about how each brother wanted their meat – boiled or roasted, got them divided.

While seeking to explain the details of this story during the 25th-anniversary celebrations of the Dagaaba-Frafra games, Gordon Wellu, a Committee Member narrated what happened, during an interview with Metro Sports.

“The two tribes had the same ancestor. There was a time that there was hunger, famine, and the brothers had to travel long distances looking for food and then along the way, it was not possible for them to get food to eat. But they had a pet which was a dog.

“So when it was impossible for them to get food to eat, they had to agree to kill the dog and either boil it or roast it.

“But one said he wanted it boiled, the other one said he wanted it roasted. As it whether it was the Dagaao who wanted it roasted or the Frafra who wanted it boiled, we are not sure.

“But they killed it and divided it into 2 equal parts because if you wanted yours roasted, then you can take it and roast it and if I want to boil, I’ll take my own and boil.

“So they cut the head, they wanted to deal with the meat and then attend to the head. However, along the process, history tells us that the head got missing. So once the head got missing, they were only two, so who stole the head?” he noted.

According to Mr. Wellu, this has become a thing that has stayed with both ethnic groups; the Dagaaba who now live in Upper West, and the Frafras from the Upper East.

“Is it the Dagaao or the Frafra? Till now we cannot tell, but the Dagaao also believe the Frafra stole it. So they separated but because of the head which was supposed to be the dichotomy between the two of them, ended up uniting them.

“So when you see a Frafra meeting a Dagaao, he will say ‘you stole the head’ then you’ll hear the other one saying ‘Baazu’ which means dog head in Frafra, the other one will also say, you stole the head,” he mentioned.

Mr. Wellu’s point was to buttress the point about why a puppy is used as a trophy in the Dagaaba-Frafra games which is marked annually as comradeship games.
According to him, the games seek to unite people from both ethnic groups through fun activities and games.

“The whole objective is to bring the Dagaabas and the Frafras together wherever they are because we believe we are from the same ancestor; same mother and father, just that along the way, we separated, one went to the West – Upper West, and the Frafras are in the Upper East Region; Bolgatanga being the capital,” he noted.



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