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Gbolo's thread: Tracing Nlorso people's ancestry, cultural influence
The Nlorso people have unique traditions

Gbolo's thread: Tracing Nlorso people's ancestry, cultural influence

The Nlorso people, along with the Vagla people, have a rich history rooted in the Sisaala culture of the Upper West Region.


Prior to settling in Mankuma, a town in the Savannah Region, they occupied areas in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District around Kajekperi. 

The Vagla people too have a similar origin although they settled in their present locations before the Nlorso.

Interestingly, the name "Nlorso" is a result of mispronunciation. The Ngbanye people, led by Ndewura Jakpa, arrived from Senegal and struggled to say "Nugsa," the Sisaala term for Sisaala people. Over time, "Nugsa" transformed into "Nlorso," which was adopted by the indigenous Vagla people as well.

The Nlorso people have a unique tradition tied to the burial of Yagbonwura. This tradition stems from Ndewura Jakpa leaving his son and a pot with them. He instructed that they should take care of his son and bury him where the pot was left, should he not return from battle.

This practice continues to this day, leading to all deceased Yagbonwuras being buried in Mankuma.

The Nlorso and Manfuli (Safalba) people are noted for their association with the powerful Gbolo god. This deity aids the birth of Vagli children. 

Within the Gonja kingdom, Vagla people assist Ngbanye people during crises and are essential in Yagbonwura burials and installations. Disrespecting the Vagla people can disrupt these processes due to their deep ties to Ndewura Jakpa's legacy.

The Vagla people possess spiritual prowess, leveraging their gifts in farming, land management, marriage and hunting. Their strength connects with the ancestry shared with Sisaala, Kasena and Tampulma through the Gur linguistic group of the Niger-Congo family.

Childbirth is significant in Vagla culture. Women experiencing fertility issues seek assistance from Vaglas in Vagla communities, where specific gods are associated with each community. The gods' involvement is evident in names such as Gbalbii for Tuna and Yoggor for Soma.

Individuals with names linked to community gods symbolise successes chalked up through their connections to these deities. These names are bestowed upon both genders and must not be silenced to avoid displeasing the gods.

Each Vagla community has a foundational community god that commands respect. The name "Gbolo" reflects a connection to the Nlorso people who are Vaglas, both in tradition and ancestry. This intricate cultural tapestry underscores the Nlorso and Vagla people's heritage and their significant roles in the region.

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