BADE VERBAL ARTS

The term "verbal arts" encompasses all forms of verbal expression, including story-telling, proverbs, riddles, tongue-twisters, and songs. Documentation of verbal arts in Bade come from two research periods: research in 1973-1975, supported by the Centre for the Study of Nigerian Languages (Paul Newman, Director), at that time a unit of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and now a unit of Bayero University Kano; research in 2002-2009, supported by two US National Science Foundation grants (see the Yobe Languages Research Project home page for details). This page presents documentation of "prose" verbal arts (song is on a separate page). More will be added to this page as it is prepared for internet delivery. Documentation is from three dialects: Western, Gashua, and Southern, though available documentation of the former is by far the most extensive.


NOTE ON DOWNLOADABLE DOCUMENTS: The first four items are PDF scans of the originals, with the text converted by OCR recognition. The appearance of the text is as in the original. The OCR recognition allows for searches and copy and paste of text into other documents, but because the graphic quality of the original text is far from perfect (having been reproduced in 1975 from Gestetner stencils in a remote Nigerian town with no modern amenities) and because the text contains symbols not found in the standard Roman alphabet, searches are not completely reliable and text pasted into other documents requires considerable editing to restore the original written form.


Terzenan' Amsi [Tales from Amshi]

Terzenan' Amsi was published in 1974 in Gashua, Nigeria by the Center for the Study of Nigerian Languages. It is a collection of eight folktales in a variety of the Western dialect of Bade, narrated by people from the village of Amshi. Some were recorded during trips to Amshi, some were recorded in Gashua by the late Musa Gana Amshi, who was my main collaborator on Bade in Gashua. Musa accompanied me on many trips to villages, where he made arrangements for us to stay, assembled story-tellers, and the like, and he worked with me on the tedious job of transcribing hours of Bade recordings.

The Bade text is a PDF scan of the full original book. The translations of the stories are individual documents. MP3 files of the recordings of all these tales are available on request from schuh@humnet.ucla.edu.

Full Bade text of Terzenan' Amshi

English translations of individual tales

(1) A Hyena and a Monitor (Amadu Amshi)
(2) A Crowned Crane and a Squirrel (Maina Karva)--include Bade text with interlinear gloss
(3) A Jackal and a Hyena (Maina Karva)
(4) A Man and a Cattle Egret (Musa Gana)
(5) A Squirrel and a Cattle Egret (Musa Gana)
(6) A Squirrel and a Buffalo (Musa Gana)
(7) A Jackal and a Heron (Musa Gana)
(8) A Hyena and a Shepherd (Musa Gana)

Mimin' Yin [Tales from Yim]

Mimin' Yin was published in 1974 in Gashua, Nigeria by the Center for the Study of Nigerian Languages. It is a collection of ten folktales in a variety of the Western dialect of Bade, narrated by people from the village of Yim. Some of the tales were recorded in Yim town. Those narrated by Jiji Musa Yin were recorded in Gashua. Jiji was the wife of the late Musa Gana Amshi (see above). The Yin and Amshi dialects are quite similar, and Musa helped in transcribing the Yin tales.

The Bade text is a PDF scan of the original book. The translations of the stories are individual documents. MP3 files of the recordings of all these tales are available on request from schuh@humnet.ucla.edu.

Full Bade text of Mimin' Yin

English translations of individual tales

(1) A Squirrel and a Guinea Fowl (Musa Gana Yin)
(2) A Squirrel and a Hornbill (Musa Gana Yin)
(3) Some Children and a Chameleon (Sauba Musa Yin)
(4) Three Men (Dala Kintapo)
(5) A Girl and the Ear Monster (Jiji Musa Yin)
(6) The Story of Jlawi and Gaji (Jiji Musa Yin)
(7) A Monkey and a Hare (Jiji Musa Yin)
(8) Bamdimarem and a Hyena (Jiji Musa Yin)
(9) Two Women and a Kuliram (Jiji Musa Yin)
(10) A Squirrel and His Three Wives (Jiji Musa Yin)

Other tales from Yim: here are further tales told by storytellers from Yim, not previously available in printed form

Mabaran den' Amari [A Hunter and His Wife], narrated by Jiji Musa Yim in July 1974, recorded by Musa Gana Amshi. A hunter catches a bird, and despite its pleas, kills, cooks, and eats it.

Tentemen' Ad'o [Tales from the South]

Tentemen' Ad'o was published in 1975 in Gashua, Nigeria by the Center for the Study of Nigerian Languages. It is a collection of seven folktales in the Southern Dialect of Bade, narrated by speakers from the towns of Katamma and Katangana. The tales were recorded during visits to those towns and were transcribed with the help of Ad'abzeki Katangana.

The Bade text is a PDF scan of the original book. The translations of the stories are individual documents. MP3 files of the recordings of all these tales are available.

Full text of Tentemen' Ad'o

English translations of individual tales

(1) The Story of Multi-head (Kaugdek Babayi, Katamma)
(2) A Story of a Squirrel and a Hyena (Amina Gishuwa, Katamma)
(3) The Story of Kayikdakami (Musa Kavayo dek Beltu Wunini, Katangana)
(4) The Story of the Communal Labor that was Imposed on the Squirrel (Musa Kavayo dek Beltu Wunini, Katangana)
(5) The Story of Biyamami (Kabajlu Musa, Katangana)
(6) The Story of a Girl and her People (Zaziya Belabade, Katangana)
(7) The Story of a Hyena and a Shepherd (Ayuba Musa, Katangana)

Terzenako Mimiko Temtemeko de Makaranta Gasiwa
["Here's a Tale" from Gashua School]

Terzenako Mimiko Temtemeko de Makaranta Gasiwa is a collection of 58 folktales as well as proverbs and riddles from all over Bade Emirate. It was originally published in 1975 in Gashua by the Centre for the Study of Nigerian languages are reprinted in 2004 by the Yobe Languages Research Project. The cover to the left is from the reprint.

The stories, proverbs, and riddles in this book were written by students at Government Secondary School, Gashua in 1975. Illustrations are all by the students as well. The orthography was regularized by Russell Schuh, and the text was reproduced from Gestetner mimeograph stencils. The stories, proverbs, and riddles were written by 36 different students from 16 different villages. The language represents many sub-varieties of both the Western and Gashua dialects of Bade, and one tale and some proverbs are in Duwai, a closely related by mutually unintelligible language (there are no stories from the Southern dialect of Bade). I view this collection as comparable to the Kinder- und Hausmärchen compiled by the brothers Grimm in terms of the range of folklore and dialects represented. Because of its special importance, I felt that it deserved reprinting in 2004 for the enjoyment of a new generation of Bade speakers, some of whom are children of the original contributors!

Full Bade text of Terzenako Mimiko Temtemeko de Makaranta Gasiwa

English translation (because of the large number of tales, the translation of the entire book is in one document, with pagination of the translations the same as for the original Bade; only a few tales are so far translated--new tales will be added as time permits)


Traditional Marriage and Birth Customs

These are texts from Al'adun Aure da Haihuwa a Al'ummun Yobe [Hausa: Customs of Marriage and Birth among Yobe Peoples], a collection published in Potiskum in 2002 by the Yobe Languages Research Project. The collection comprises descriptions of marriage and birth practices among five Yobe groups: Bade, Bole, Karekare, Ngamo, and Ngizim. Click on the links below for the Bade texts with line by line English translation. An audio recording on which the text are based can be obtained by sending an e-mail to schuh@humnet.ucla.edu.

Patlak Bade Kak Ca [Traditional Bade Marriage Customs]

Estang Md'ek Bade Kak Daten [Traditional Bade Naming Ceremony]


Terzena Gabade [Tales in Bade]

Terzena Gabade [Tales in the Bade Language] is a collection of twelve traditional tales transcribed from recordings by several Bade storytellers. There are six stories in the Gashua dialect and six in the Western dialect. This collection was published in 2003 by the Yobe Languages Research Project (printed by Ajami Press, Potiskum). The tales can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking on the links below. The files are formatted line by line with Bade side by side with rough English translations.

GASHUA DIALECT

Terzena Wunya dek Ebjlem [Tale of the Girl and the Hyena]: A girl marries a hyena. When her mother comes to visit, the "husband" plots to eat his mother-in-law, but he is foiled. (See a parallel story in the Western dialect, below.)

Simanak Waziri deng Mayi [A Story of a Vizier and a King]: Because of the meddling of an old woman, the beautiful wife of a Vizier leaves her husband to marry a king, but the Vizier has the last word

Terzenak Ndi dek Amateli [Tale of a Man and His Wife]: The secret name of a man is revealed to his wives, with consequences for all.

Terzenak Degem dek Tariza [Tale of a King and Tariza]: The bird Tariza distracts the children of a king sent to collect thatch grass, then the king himself, but the situation alters when he brings Tariza home, things take a different turn.

Terzena Kaza, Temaku dek Ebjlem [Tale of a Hen, a Sheep and a Hyena]: A hen and a sheep run away with their children to avoid their being sacrificed, but they make the mistake of joining forces with a hyena.

Terzenak Ebjlem dek Fida [Tale of a Hyena and a Hare]: A hyena pursues a hare to eat him, but as usual the hyena is outsmarted.

WESTERN DIALECT

Makid'an' Mdan Kid'e Metkeri [The Eater of People Eats His Mother]: A girl marries a sorcerer who eats people. When her mother comes to visit, the husband plots to eat his mother-in-law, but he is foiled. (See a parallel story in the Gashua dialect, above.)

Nebapata [Nebapata ("I Found Her in the Bush")]: A girl, miscarried by her mother, is found by an ogre and raised by him, but then is found by her brothers. (An unusual story--one of my favorite from Yobe State.)

Terkawaten [Orphans]: Two girls whose mother have died are mistreated by their wicked stepmother, but the tables are turned in the end.

Amangunen Seren [Two Co-wives]: A neglected co-wife is befriended by a spirit. When her co-wife tries to follow her path, things take a turn for the worse. But then...the story ends in an unpredicted way--strange to say the least.

Wuneng Amangwan [A Son of a Co-wife]: A woman wants to get rid of the son of her co-wife so that her husband will devote more attention to HER children. Squirrel and hyena to the rescue!

Amangwan [A Co-wife]: A jealous co-wife substitutes a grindstone for her co-wife's son.


Erwan Gabade [Songs in Bade]

This is a collection of traditional women's songs, some recorded and transcribed in Bade villages in the mid-1970's, some videotaped and transcribed in Dagona in January 2009. Click here or on the image to download a PDF file of the text with English translation.

The songs in the text are grouped more or less in terms of theme. For an outsider, the content seems extremely allusive, disconnected, and hard to understand. For lack of time and resources, it was not possible to get much in the way of interpretation or explanation from the people who could give an authoritative account, viz. the women who sang the songs. Making the songs available is a start. The real work lies ahead!

A CD with audio recordings of all the songs can obtained from schuh@humnet.ucla.edu for $5.00 US, €5.00, £5.00 UK to cover materials and mailing. You may order through PayPal. Use your existing account or create an account to transfer payment to schuh@humnet.ucla.edu.

The contents are as follows:

ERWAN ANGARIN [Songs of Innuendo]: These are women's songs, typically sung during work such as grinding or pounding. They usually have to do with relations with men and with other women and often contain veiled insults about women competing for the same man, scorn by a man, and the like.

Yaware (1, Dakona)

Yaware (2, Dakona)

Yaware (3, Dakona)

Yaware  (1, Sugum)

Yaware  (2, Sugum)

The term Yaware is taken from a meaningless word used in the refrain and often as a line introducer in these songs. What the songs have in common is form and theme. In form, there is a solo singer and a chorus. A "verse" consists of two or three lines by the soloist, followed by the chorus, which usually consists of two lines, part or all of which will comprise a meaningless string of syllables (yaware yayyeraye, or the like) and a repetition of the last line that the soloist sang. The theme is (always?) human relations, usually love and rivalry for lovers among men and women. The collection here contains three such songs from the village of Dagona/Dakona and two from Sugum.

Zayan (Dakona): Zayan is generally a funeral lament, but the version here is thematically a song of innuendo

Arororororo (Ad'iya): The "title" is, like Yaware above, a series of meaningless syllables to set the rhythm of the song. The theme is like those above. Only one version, from the village of Ad'iya, was available, but like Yaware, this is probably a general form and theme into which many songs could fit.

ERWAN' UKTAN' AD'AN [Songs of Praise, literally "Taking Head"]: These could probably be sung in any context and could probably song by either women or men. The first here is thematically similar to the songs above, but it includes implicit praise of a number of prominent individuals. The second is sung at an annual festival and mentions the District Head of Dagona, among others.

Na Ne Dakona (Dakona) [I Am Going to Dagona]

Dalilek Zarya (Dakona) [Festival of the Fish Dam]

ERWAN YARON' AMATEN [Girls' Songs]: These are songs generally sung by girls for dances and games. The form is always a soloist and a chorus that repeats a short refrain (the "name" of the song in each of the cases here) after each line sung by the soloist. The content is typically nonsensical or fantasy. Some include scatalogical lines that elicit laughs from the audience. I have multiple recordings of all of them except the last (only from Amshi), but only those for which I have a full or partial transcription are included.

Yayibalu (Dakona)

Yayibalu (Amshi)

Yayibalu (Tagali)

Yayibalu (Tagali)

Yallabe (Dakona)

Yallabe (Amshi)

Nayibe (Dakona)

D'isi (Amshi)


Tales from Adiya, Sugum, and Tagali

The texts here were recorded and transcribed in 1973-1975 but have never appeared in printed form anywhere. These towns are all in the "Far Western" dialect, where, among other features, voicing dissimilation of clitics is an active process.

Audio files are available on request (schuh@humnet.ucla.edu).

Download PDF files with English translation by clicking on the links.

(Picture taken by Russell Schuh in Dagona, January 12, 2009)

Tales from Adiya

(forthcoming)

Tales from Sugum

Kayan d'en' Amateri [A Squirrel and his Wives], narrated by Keratu Wunyan' Idi, recorded by Russell G. Schuh in Sugum, March 23, 1974

Tales from Tagali

(forthcoming)

Unpublished Texts in Gashua Bade

The texts here were recorded and transcribed in 1973-1975 but have never appeared in printed form anywhere. Audio files are available on request (schuh@humnet.ucla.edu).

Download PDF files with English translation by clicking on the links.

(Picture taken by Russell Schuh in Katuzu, July 24, 2004)

Bamzemek Duwa [Bamzamu of the River], narrated by Muhammadu Mai Gari on May 11, 1974, recorded by Russell G. Schuh: The girls of the town, along with the king's daughter, go to pick ebony fruits, leaving their water jugs at the river's edge. Bamzamu of the River steals the jugs as a ruse to entrap the king's daughter. How will she be rescued?

Magana dek Wunyatkela [An Herbalist and Her Daughter], narrated by Muhammadu Mai Gari on May 11, 1974 in Gashua, recorded by Russell G. Schuh: An herbalist gives her daughter in marriage to a hyena as a way to assure herself a supply of meat. One day, however, the hyena fails to get meat and decides to eat his mother-in-law instead. (See another version of the same story in Gashua Bade; see a of pretty much the same story in Western Bade.)

The three texts below don't make a lot of sense. They were narrated by Wunya Gana User in the town of User on March 17, 1974, recorded by Russell G. Schuh. The prose consists of snatches of more elaborate stories collected elsewhere by other story tellers. The narrations really just provide a context for songs, which the narrator sings with gusto and which are appreciated by the audience, judging by interspersed ululations. The sound files are included, since without these, the stories don't mean much.

Wunya Gad'i (1) [A Certain Girl (1)]: A boy refuses to give a girl water unless she calls his name.

Wunya Gad'i (2) [A Certain Girl (2)]: A crane marries a girl and insists that they walk to his hometown.

Manyim Gad'i [A Certain Boy]: Basically the same theme as "Wunya Gad'i (1)" above.

The following four texts are pdf scans of typescripts prepared as camera-ready copy for potential publication, but which never appeared in print. They have interlinear morpheme-by-morpheme glosses and a free English translation.

Sammana Katuzu [History of Katuzu], interview of Maina Aziya Katuzu by Kacalla Buba in February 1974 in Katuzu: An oral history of the Bades, focusing on Katuzu (a village near Gashua) and the eastern area of Bade country.

Talu dek Amali [A Pelican and His Wife], narrated on December 20, 1973 by Manasi Katuzu: A favorite tale in this area, in which a character (in this case a pelican, but it differs from teller to teller) invites various animals who dislike each other to a communal labor gathering as a ruse to achieve a goal.

Wunya dek Amak Afu [The Daughter and the Father's Other Wife], narrated on December 20, 1973 by Manasi Katuzu: A girl is trapped in a hollow baobab by her scheming stepmother, and a contest ensues to free her.

Kangegi dek D'isu [The Chameleon and the Red-Cheeked Cordon-Bleu], narrated on December 20, 1973 by Manasi Katuzu: The cordon-bleu is married to the lazy chameleon, and she punishes him for his laziness.