The Yobe Languages Research project has so far produced two collections of Duwai verbal arts. click the links below for downloadable versions and English translations. Adobe Acrobat reader is requried for downloading and reading. Click here to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Duwai Verbal Arts

The following tales appear in Labar Kuzvok D@ Sato Kun@k Tav@D'wai [Stories of the Past and Now in the Duwai Language--@ = IPA "barred i"]. This booklet contains the first texts ever published in Duwai. It was printed for local distribution in Potiskum, Nigeria by Ajami Press, 2007.

@msar@zged' Wit@k Tluwik Mava [The Wrestling Match between the Wild Animals], narrated by Buba Kacalla Gangawa. The hyena challenges the monitor to a match and is tricked into losing by the monitor.

Arvo Avioyokcit@k D@la @lv@k B@ndurok D@ B@nd@zgai [The Wrapper for Carrying the Jackal's Twins (made) of the Hides of the Leopard and the Lion] narrated by Buba Kacalla. After bearing twins, the jackal's wife demands a sling for carrying them made of the hides of a leopard and a lion. The jackal uses a ruse to eventually meet her demands.

Jlaks@nami narrated by Nyautam Gwiyodina. An interesting story in that it mixes a number of familiar folktale themes, including "the girl who was really a donkey (except reversed!)" and "guess the name (Rumplestiltskin)". NOTE: Because of time constraints, I was no able to check a number of words and constructions not yet entered in the Duwai dictionary. The transcription should be accurate, the translation should be correct for everything other than sentence marked with question marks, and the basic plot line is clear.

Other verbal arts

The same collection containing the folktales above also includes a few proverbs and riddles.



Terzena De Rawa Kunuk Tave D'uwai

This is a collections of tales, songs, games, sayings, and conversation collected in Gadine, near Gashua, in February 2009. They were transcribed and translated into Hausa by Alhaji Abba Daskum and published in Potiskum in February 2009. Click here or on the image to download the complete text with English translation.

A CD with audio recordings of all the texts in this book 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:

RAWAK PARARA [Guessing Games]

Delo Delo Delo [A Net, A Net, A Net], Aishatu Saleh Gadine: The leader names towns where one might or might not find fishing nets.

Dersal [Testicles], Maryamu Alhaji Ibrahim Gadine: The leader names animals that might or might not have testicles.

Damu [Get It], Maryamu Alhaji Ibrahim Gadine: More of a call-and-response game about dropping things and the ground and picking them up.

 RAWA [Songs]

(Themes are not given here because, for an outsider it's not always clear what the theme is!)

Rawek Yaiwe (1) [Yaiwe song 1], Maryamu Alhaji Ibrahim Gadine

Rawek Yaiwe (2) [Yaiwe song 2], Maryamu Alhaji Ibrahim Gadine

Rawek Yaiwe (3) [Yaiwe song 3], Maryamu Alhaji Ibrahim Gadine

Tevokci [To Have Some Fun], Fatma Alamai Gadine

Jlagd'ara-Jlagd'ara [Jlagd'ara-Jlagd'ara], unidentified girl singer

Daliye Dada [Daliye Dada], unidentified girl singer

Mami Nara [Mama is Going], unidentified girl singer


Aishatu Saleh Gadine

Ndi Gud'iyo de Sartemari [A Man and His Friend]: Two men exchange loans of money, but when it comes time to pay back the loans, only sons of the respective men may take payment. Problems arise when one man has only a daughter.

Wun Gud'iyo de Wunya Gud'iyo dek Gajakshi [A Son, A Daughter, and Their Little Sister]: Three children, treated harshly by their stepmother, go to live in the bush. The little sister stirs things up.

Maryamu Alhaji Ibrahim Gadine

Wunya Gud'iyo (1) [A Girl 1]: A girl marries, goes to live elsewhere, and is visited first by two sisters, then by the younger brother. Some startling things happen.

Wunya Gud'iyo (2) [A Girl 2]: A little girl has the misfortune of having a snake crawl inside her to live. A way is sought to remove the snake.

Zainabu Barya Gadine

Ndi Gud'iyo de Wunyeri [A Man and His Daughter]: A man agrees to give his daughter to the one who can cultivate his whole farm without eating. The squirrel agrees to it, but the lizard squelches his plan.

Tafale Alamai Gadine

Ndi Gud'iyo Kerau [A Man Who Was a Thief]: A thief breaks into one too many houses.

KARAS [Veiled Speech]


TAVA [Discussion]

Wud' Idem de Zuwun de Venyiya [Names of Trees and Weeds and Fish]: Complaints that young people no longer know the names of local flora and fauna.