Sandema Archive (Paramount Chief’s Compound)



Preliminary note: So far, only a limited number of documents and reports could be viewed (pp. 220-225 + 1 page without legible pagination). All documents known to me [F.K.] were handwritten and consist of paginated A4 pages. Interpolations in square brackets, which often reflect the modern spelling of proper and place names, were inserted by F. Kröger in the following text.
Most of the notes and documents were probably copied from the original texts in the National Archives Accra (NAG).

D.C. = District Commissioner, P.C. = Provincial Commissioner; C.C.(N.T.) = Chief Commissioner (of the Northern Territories); Sgd = signed;  square brackets […]: inserted by the editor F.K.; [??] not readable or questionable

p. 220:
20th December, 1905
Sandema or Sania, Paramount Chief of Kanjaga Country
1905 Chief IETA [Ayieta]
Next for stool Imora (not brother or any blood relation?) brother of the Chief
Ieta was made chief of Sandema when the Town was visited by Major R.A. Irwin [ag. Chief Commissioner]. The former Chief Nakon [Anaankum?] having died five years previously. The present Chief was the brother of the previous one. From the time that Naku died till Ieta was made chief by Major Irvine the people recognized no one as their Chief.
Ieta was formally recognized by the people as their chief in November 1905 going through the ceremony part which consists in being locked up in a dark room without being allowed to come out for 7 days.
There are no towns under the Chief of Sandema except Wia (Wiaga) + Saniesse [Siniensi]. No discharged soldiers live in this town.
The crops grown here are the same as in the other towns in Kanjaga.
Kanjaga Sgd. P.T. Partridge Lt. 20/XII/05

24th May, 1906
Sania was visited on the 24th May 1906 by Capt. A.M. Henry D.C. From information derived from the chiefs of Wia + Sania it would appear that the Chief of Sania is not paramount over the towns of Wia + Saniesse. The last Chief of Sania was Annakomi [Anaankum?], who was brother of the present Chief. Annakomi died 5 years ago.
Estimated amount of labour that may reasonably be expected 100. (300 to 400 Sgd. J.O`K)
There are no old soldiers in the town. There are no local permanent traders. The chief manufactures of the town are iron + potmaking. The crops grown are for local consumption. There is a market in the town.
The Chief fetish man is Allonta – the Chief’s brother.
The chief fetish place [Siik Tanggbain?] is a clump of [Siik-] trees close to the Chief’s Compound. The Fetish consists of the slaughtering of cattle re (?) which are offered to the fetish on certain occasions.
There are no Mahommedans residing in the Town.
No big trade routes pass through the town.
Sania Sgd A.M. Henry Capt.
24/5/1906 Dist. Commd.

24th May, 1906
The Town of Sania is divided into the following sections:
OUSOUERA [Awusi Yeri]. GOLU [Goluk, which consists of the sections Kalijiisa, Kobdem and Longsa]. FEISAH [Fiisa]. NIASA [Nyansa]. BILANSE [Bilinsa]. SOUERANSA [Suerinsa]. KANDEM [Kandem]. ALLWIERE [Abilyeri?]. BELINSA [Bilinsa?]. KALBISA [Kalibisa]. ACHOWIERA [Achoakyeri?]. Sgd. A.M. Henry, Capt., D.C.

p. 221
14th April, 1907
Sandema was visited by Captain O’Kinealey, 14th April 1907. Additional Sections reported: – BENISEH [=?]. BILIMASI [Bilinmonsa].
The Big Fetish Man – Attanka – lives at Fisi [Fiisa]. On this occasion, the Chief Ieta, in contrast to other chiefs, seemed unwilling. He was told that it would be put on record that I consider him very “slim” – for this rotten reasons, as shown in his yarn about …. (a lion?) stealing his cattle. He has a flag.
Navarro 15.4.07. Sgd. J. O’Kinealey, Capt.

24th October, 1908
At a large palaver held at Navaro on 24/10/08 Copper Money was explained and the Chief of Sandema’s son was given 3d in 1d, 3d in ½d + 3d in ¼ to keep as samples.
Sgd. S.D. Nash D.C.

10th May, 1909
Visited by D.C. Berkeley in connection with runaways from Capt. Nash. The Chief of Saniesse was also present, and sent for one runaway. The Chief says he has no complaints + all his headmen obey him. All the headmen or their representatives were present + these also had no complaints. (H.M.B.)

19th June, 1909
The Chief and headmen were fined 7 cows for disobeying the D.C.
Sgd. A.W. Atkinson. M.O.

18th December, 1909
Visited by Capt. Whealer.

May 1911
Visited by Capt. Whealer ag. P.C.

12th September, 1911
All Headmen of Sections + compound holders present. Seniority of Chiefs explained + Volunteer Corps – twenty recr.; all sons of Chief or headmen of sections willing to join (2.o.w. ???)

15th April, 1912
The Election of the Chief of Sandema as Paramount Chief of the Kanjagas approved.
Sgd. C.H. Armitage. C.C.

27th June, 1912
Palaver at Sandema
Section Headman Section Headman
Abbleiri (chiefs) Annanna Longsa Ayarrassa
Awuswier Azong Feesa Allafeesa
Achongyeer Ajala Kalbeesa Asseerak
Kuuree [Kori] Angessibba Neeansa [Nyansa] Anna
Soowarensa Abilidem Balansa Acholobba
Belinsa Akkaputenum Kandem Achonsee
Golu Abupogloo

Chief Ieta is dead + the election of his successor is pending. The Chief’s son Affoka [Afoko], a tall youth+ likely to make a good successor to his deceased father complains that Aieparo sent to Nalerigu, Awanyiri, Agwanavoo, Addea with presents to try + be made chief.
p. 222:
Aieparo seems to be no relative of late chief, has elephantiasis of right leg + probably would not make a good chief. He is warned to keep quiet till election time.
Assukoro is elder brother of Affoka but waives his claim to the stool as he has Elephantiasis also.
On the advice of Abelladem of Soowor Section [Suarinsa?] it is decided that the chief’s son Affoka + the above Aieparo look after the town till election of their Chief.
I am in favour of Affoka being elected. Sgd. S.D. Nash. D.C.
Head fetish Man is Allafeesa in Feesa Section. Attanka, his predecessor is dead.
Sgd. S.D. Nash.

11th December, 1912
Visited by ag. P.C. for purpose of selecting a new chief in place of the old recently dead (18th May 1911).
The peoples’ choice is AFOKO, son of the old Chief. In the presence of the people, the headmen were asked who they wanted. 95% voted for Afoko [Out of 16 Headmen??. i.e. 12 + 4). The remainder for an elderly Man called YIPARO.
Afoko is duly elected chief. He is the man who always took orders from the Govt. work in his father’s time and everything points to his being of Assistance (H.C.W.).

26th December, 1912
The son of the Fetish man was brought in by Yiparo who said that he, Yiparo, had been given the fetish + made Chief of Sandema by the Fetish Man, + if he was not allowed to be Chief, the Fetish Man would kill him. The son of the Fetish Man was told to warn his father that if there was any trouble of that sort, the Fetish Man would get trouble from the Govt. in his turn. The Fetish Man is an old man, named AMUUSA. A very strong warning was given (H.C.W.).

29th December, 1912, Navarro
Yipari complained during the palaver held yesterday that he was the rightful successor to the stool of Sandema.
After discussion I informed Yiparo that the fact of his having been given the Sandema Fetish + Medicine did not entitle him to become Chief: that Afoko had been elected in accordance with Native Custom + that Afoko could remain Chief of Sandema.
Sgd. C.H. Armitage. C.C.N.T.

January, 1913
Visited by Ag. P.C. A new road has been made from Sandema-Wiaga- Bidema-Kanjaga. This road has been completed, trenched, but not … this month. The Chief of Sandema made himself useful in procuring labour for the work from his subchief. (H.C.W.)

25th March, 1913
Aieparo refuses to obey the Chief., Cpt. Musa Talawasey [?] states that he stops people coming to work on the road. Sent to Navaro as a political prisoner – 3 months. Sgd. S.O. Warden.

13th April, 1914
Visited by Ag. P.C. Berkeley. No complaints. R.H. [resthouse?] ordered to be repaired.

18th May, 1914
Following headmen came in on a 14 days visit for not producing carriers when ordered to do so by the Chiefs: Ananbanga. Kuyiriba. Dickunba. Akanyanni. Sgd. H.W. a/P.C.

7th July, 1914
Visited. Spoke to the assembled chiefs + people on the subject of beeswax trading in Coomassie [Kumasi]. Also about reporting outbreaks of infectious diseases. Sgd. H.W. a/P.C.

13th April, 1915
Visited. People warned about raising value of cowries + not accepting British coinage. Heard some complaints. New Chief elected for Fumbissie. Spoke to the people about relicensing their guns. Sgd. P.W. Breckenridge. C.N.W.

12th February, 1916
Visited. Only 4 guns brought in for registration. Chief told that he is responsible for this and the payment of the annual licence. Louis Castellain D.C.

13th February, 1916
Visited. Chief had no complaints. R.H. in good repair. [name??]

11th December,1916
Visited. Chief complained that certain exsoldiers were giving trouble at Kadema + Wiaga. Two of these gentlemen Salafu of Wiaga + Ajigine of Kadema warned.
The Chief was presented with a small medallion + a piece of stuff, from the C.P.N.T. to make a gown. L.C.D.C

23th (?) January, 1917
Visited for the purpose of hearing several civil causes also to try + get some recruits for the Regt. L.C.D.C. [Castellain]

15th March, 1917
Visited. Chief produced 6 recruits. L. Castellain D.C.

19th May, 1917
Visited by Captain Breckenridge, Nash, Dale Glorsop (??) + Lieut Johnstone for recruiting purposes. Thirty eight sections promised 2 recruits each. This number was not secured, but Sandema behaved very well over the recruiting business + did his best to secure as many boys as possible. Sgd S.D.N.

25th July, 1917
Afawko was this day presented with a medium sized medallion by the C.C.N.T. at Navarro. He handed back the small one he received on 11/12/16.

21st December, 1917
Visited by C.N.C.P. + D.C. All Kanjarga Chiefs …. except Bechawnsa [Bachonsi], Godembise [Gbedembilisa] + Wiase. P.C. spoke … recruits + said the Govt. wanted all that they could get. L.. D.C.

p. 224
30th December 1917
For decision as to why Sandema should not command Kunkwa see under that place p. 383.
L. Castellain D.C.

18th February, 1918
Visited. no complaints AWL

20th March,1918
C.C.N.T. + Ag. P.C. visited + talked about recruiting. AWL

2nd April, 1918
Visited. no complaints. AWL

2nd July, 1918
Visited. no complaints. AWL

29th January, 1920
Visited. a few complaints. WCL

31st May, 1920
Visited. no complaints. WCL

9th September, 1920
Visited. spoke on recruiting R.. labour and census.
Chief had nothing to report. I asked chief when a new chief of Bachonsa would be elected. Heard a large number of complaints. George B. Freeman D.C.

13th September, 1920
Returned from Kanjarga, recruited 25 Rl labours + told the chief to send in 25 more to …
Heard several complaints + one goat stealing case. George B. Freeman D.C.

29th November, 1920
Visited, a large number of complaints heard. Chief complains of increasing insubordination among his people, they refuse to obey his summons and orders, this is borne out by the majority of cases that are brought to the D.C.
I gave the people a short sharp address on the subject. Ordered the Rest House to be put in thorough repair also grass + sticks for the station. George B. Freeman. D.C.

December 1922
AFAWKO has been of very great assistance to Government in recruiting of labour for the …[??]. He readily willingly does everything he is called upon to do, he is not ably assisted by his chiefs but notwithstanding works hard to get Builsa country in good order + well …[??]. D.C.

24th June, 1924
Visited: Heard two women cases + 1 appeal from Chief of Sandem whose decision I re…. Collected £ 4 in fives from Cattle Ordinance offenders to …[??] Rinderpest stricken cattle from V.O. having been told perhaps [??]
R.H. in a posh condition. Severely attacked by white ants + in all probability a fresh site for a new R.H. will have the [to be?] chosen unless the insects can be ousted. Laye [?] market today.
Nainfais [???] D.C.

p. 225:
1921 Census return
Headmen 1926 Sections Nr of Compounds Inhabitants
ABA Abilyire 51 854
AKAMBE Awusuyire 29 348
ABUSCOLO Kalbisa 29 384
AKALINIA Achogyire 14 122
AKOMBONA Nyansa 52 669
AKAINYAME Kobdem 19 278
ANOLABOI Bilinsa 101 1125
AKANAVARO Kanasa 25 374
AKANDOKO Kaljisa 93 1051
ATONLEBE Siuvarransa
[Suarinsa] 41 428
AWENDAGI Pungsa 25 347
AKWAN Kore 96 1032
AKANADSE (?) Tankunsa 42 483
…ZABOI Balansa 171 2156
ALAFISA Fisa 29 379
ATEMA Kandem 62 568
AFRONOPOI Longsa 27 313
906 10,911

9th June, 1924 [handwriting difficult to read]
Visited + remained two (?) days. Chief of Sandema complained that the Chief of Doninga sues not concerning his messages in coming when called … that he did not go to Chuchilliga last month to meet his Excellency. I did not like the Chief of Doninga’s … particularly his manners towards me. So opened a … in Navaro for his disrespect to H.C. to depart [?] £5 for one year to keep the peace with the Chief of Sandema + to obey his summons.

20th November, 1925 Visited.

9th March 1926 Visited.

30th March, 1926
On proceeding on leave I want to put on record the splendid work the Chief of Sandema has done recently. He has followed me to every division on various tours – has shown good sense + tact. It is largely due to him… [end of page 225]

[page number not readable]
ADM 3/511 Navrongo District Record Books.
Note.- There is a bad native custom whereby fathers marry their daughter two or three times, taking a dowry each time.
If any children of one of the marriages are claimed the giving them up is held to nur.. [?] the parent for the dowry, which is not rea… I want to try + stop the taking of more than one dowry + the Chiefs are instructed that the following is the rule in future. –
Whenever the head of a family accepts a dowry for a woman on whom one has already been paid the former (first) husband can claim the return of the dowry he paid from the head of the family as well as any children of which he is the father.

24th October, 1928
N.T. This does not apply to 2nd or later husbands, who knew the woman had been married. They can claim the dowry, – NO children. P.S.W.

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