Editorial

 

The 10th edition of our BULUK journal has been brought to a conclusion. For ordinary magazines, ten editions do not matter much. Rather, for these magazines, the first ten issues are more like a new project’s test phase, resembling the first hundred days of a new government, for example. The reception of these first issues allows the publisher to draw first conclusions as to whether the magazine has a chance at survival.

A photo from BULUK 1

For us, the editors of BULUK 10, these copies mean 18 years of hard work, much of it filling the free gaps in our ordinary occupations. It is, however, some encouragement for us (and hopefully for our readers) to recognize some progress over the course of the ten issues. This includes the outer appearance, the layout, the numerous illustrations with colour photos in all recent articles, the clean, professional cover in glossy paper, and, as compared to the first issues, an increase in the number of the pages per copy. Moreover, the period between the appearance of new editions has also shortened, and it is our future ambition to publish one new issue each year. However, the difficulties in finding contributors for new articles have by no means diminished. We cannot completely explain the educated Bulsa’s hesitation about writing short or long articles for our journal. A look at the long posts and comments in Bulsa Facebook groups demonstrates that most young and educated people have important messages for their readers. Some people addressed do not believe that their English demonstrates good and idiomatic English. These people should be reminded, though, that Ghanaian English is one of the recognized English languages. Nobody would criticise the spellings and phrases used in American English, another recognized English language. It should also be mentioned that a great part of the texts contributed by non-native English speakers is revised by a native English speaker (Mr. Joshua Simpkins, Heiligenhaus).

Let us have a look at the current edition. The idea that every BULUK issue should contain a main feature appears to be successful. Dedicating the 10th edition to the “Bulsa South District” was a response to the criticism that the ethnologists from the University of Münster had largely neglected this part of the Bulsa population and culture. A look at former editions of Buluk also reveals an overabundance of articles on the Northern Bulsa, Atuga-bisa and, above all, a very strong emphasis on topics of Sandema and Wiaga.
The data collection on the “Bulsa South District” was particularly difficult since both editors live about 5000 km away from that district. The plan to include members of Bulsa Facebook groups in providing data was only partially successful, though we received some additions and corrections to the village maps by Abang Augustine (Gbedema) and Alfred Amoak (Doninga). We have to thank them for correcting some of the maps. The credit for collecting almost all the data for the presentation on the Bulsa South District is due to Yaw Akumasi Williams (Wiaga-Yisobsa). We would like to thank him for very much for his excellent work. With 240 photos of important buildings (schools, churches, mosques, health stations, etc.) and the preparation of all maps, he delivered more material than BULUK 10 could publish. We were able to modify Yaw’s maps using Google Earth and bring them all to a uniform scale.

We also have to thank the Soil Research Institute (Kumasi) for their permission to republish maps of S.V. Adu’s publication (1969) on the “Soils of the Navrongo-Bawku Area”. The maps on the soil types, soil quality, etc. may perhaps be useful for future agricultural projects in the two Bulsa districts. With this in mind, we gladly gave permission to include relevant data from Buluk 10 in the interactive database of SADA (Savannah Accelerated Development Authority).

Having thus been supplied with an unexpectedly large quantity of data, a plan began to take shape to create something like an atlas or a thin handbook of the Bulsa South District which might later be expanded into a general handbook about all of the Bulsa and their territory.
The “Events” chapter is always associated with the largest workload and trouble concerning the collection and arrangement of countless data from different sources. As in the last issue, Cornelius Adumpo (Radio Bulsa) took over this task and also provided numerous photos about the events.
We were able to win John Agandin (Accra) not only as an author of some contributions but also as an eager collaborator in different fields. Through him, Buluk has become an organ which, for example, reports on the latest state of efforts concerning the planned Bulsa Cultural Museum. We also thank him for his organizational support, which included contacting Yaw (who has no internet address) and sending his photos. In the same way we have to thank Robert Asekabta, who had been of great help providing data on Bulsa culture since 1973. For BULUK 10 Robert did not only contribute an article about the enskinment of the Chuchuliganaab in Sandema, but also – together with Margaret Akanban – provided the list of all schools in the Bulsa South District. Our thanks also go to Evans Atuick for providing information from Yaw about the Builsa South District.

As in previous editions, we have continued publishing biographies of important Bulsa in BULUK 10. Here we would like to thank Dr. Chris Atim, who provided the material concerning his political and professional career – material that was later edited by Ghanatta Ayaric. Likewise, it is a tradition of our magazine to provide at least one scientific contribution on a non-current topic. Bulsa loanwords reflect the contacts and influences of neighbouring ethnic groups as well as African and European languages, thus forming an instrument for recording one aspect of Bulsa history.

We have not made up our minds concerning the main feature of our next issue, Buluk 11. There might be a subject within the frame of “Bulsa Cultural Heritage” and/or “The Possibilities of Tourism in the Bulsa Area”. In the meantime we are asking all of our readers to make new suggestions.

 

F. Kröger

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