Surviving Works: context in Verre arts

Appendix 3: Glossary of Verre terms for objects, their uses and description

Tim Chappel, Richard Fardon and Klaus Piepel

Special Issue

Vestiges: Traces of Record Vol 7 (1) (2021)

ISSN: 2058-1963

Preface and Acknowledgements (HTML | PDF )


Chapter 1 The Verre (HTML | PDF )

Chapter 2 Documenting the early colonial assemblage - 1900s to 1910s (HTML | PDF )

Chapter 3 Documenting the early post-colonial assemblage - 1960s to 1970s (HTML | PDF )

Interleaf 'Brass Work of Adamawa': a display cabinet in the Jos Museum - 1967 (HTML | PDF )


Chapter 4 Brass skeuomorphs: thinking about originals and copies (HTML | PDF )

Chapter 5 Towards a catalogue raisonne

5.1 Percussion (HTML | PDF )

5.2 Personal Ornaments (HTML | PDF )

5.3 Initiation helmets and crooks (HTML | PDF )

5.4 Hoes and daggers (HTML | PDF )

5.5 Prestige skeuomorphs (HTML | PDF )

5.6 Anthropomorphic figures (HTML | PDF )

Chapter 6 Conclusion: late works - Verre brasscasting in context (HTML | PDF )


Appendix 1 The Verre collection in the Jos and Lagos Museums in Nigeria (HTML | PDF )

Appendix 2 Chappel's Verre vendors (HTML | PDF )

Appendix 3 A glossary of Verre terms for objects, their uses and descriptions (HTML | PDF )

Appendix 4 Leo Frobenius's unpublished Verre ethnological notes and part inventory (HTML | PDF )

Bibliography (HTML | PDF )

APPENDIX 3 Glossary of Verre terms for objects, their uses and description

C.K. Meek included a list of 154 words and phrases in Verre that he had collected in the late 1920s in his 1931 Tribal Studies in Northern Nigeria (1931 I: 439-45). Like the list below, Meek's vocabulary derives from the Cholli dialect (in his spellings: 'Soli', 'Sɔli', or 'Shɔli', 1931 I: 414, 439) spoken by people to the north of the Verre Hills. We are aware of two contemporary transcriptions of Verre. The earlier of these was developed by Roger Blench and Adrian Edwards for their 1988 draft Dictionary of the Momi Language (referred to below as B&E) and is based on the Yadim dialect spoken west of the Verre Hills. Their work draws upon Blench's analysis of texts transcribed by Edwards, as well as Blench's own brief work with Verre informants. Our second source is a 2013 pamphlet Reading and Writing Verre produced under the auspices of the Verre Language Project (referred to below as VLP), which was an initiative of the Gweri Language Committee and the Luke Partnership (Wycliffe Global Alliance). A copy of this document was kindly sent to Tim Chappel by Isabelle Hopkins of the Northern Nigeria Theological College. This second initiative appears to have been unaware of the first and does not specify the dialect on which it is based. Because of the only slight overlaps in vocabulary, we are able to draw on these two resources to a limited extent when choosing among the transcriptions of terms in the Verre dialect of Cholli made by Chappel, which he would emphasise are those of a layman. We aspire only for the terms to be recognizable to any Verre who might wish to correct them.

Verre is an Adamawa Eastern language which retains five noun classes. As will be apparent below, nouns of each class form their plurals differently and have agreements with their adjectives. In the VLP transcription, Verre has eight vowels, one more than in B&E, who do not see a need to distinguish between ɛ and e. We shall retain eight vowels where Chappel's informants distinguished them (a e ɛ ə i o ɔ u). Long and short vowels are contrasted, and there appear to be three level tones, though we are unable to represent them here, let alone the glides between tones. There are twenty-two or twenty-three consonants in the contemporary transcriptions. Those unfamiliar to readers that appear here may include: the simultaneous plosives kp gb, ' (glottal stop), ɓ ɗ (implosive b and d, stops that are produced by drawing breath in rather than out).

Terms are in the final form transcribed by Chappel unless indicated otherwise. Singular and plural (s) and (pl) are provided where we have an indication of both. The vowels e ɛ ə and o ɔ are not separated in alphabetical order, reflecting in part our lack of confidence in having distinguished them accurately and consistently.

anfipdeka run (s) snuff

baaba (s), baabai (pl) female elder; women's senior age grade; also, general term for grandmother; B&E, baaba(s), baabai(pl), grandmother, old woman

Baaka Do'os Banjas ceremony through which a man of saari (see below) age grade achieves the senior age grade, dɔnda (see below); it involves large offerings of corn, goats, beer etc., after which he may wear a goatskin, wok (s), wogrum (pl), be permitted to own brass items and be addressed as dɔnda; cf. B&E, baar kulee, name of traditional ceremony

baiyamas (s) with reference to an animal head on a brass dagger, also identified as lelwa in Fulfulde, Senegal gazelle (Taylor 1932: 122)

bal (s), bari (pl) dance helmet worn by initiates during Gangni, the circumcision ceremony; a brass skeuomorph, bal suktundal (s), bari suktini (pl), may be worn by Tibaai (see also tongta for Gazabi)

bank (s), banks (pl) stringed musical instrument; B&E, duuka kpank, to play the harp

Bila Fil Sky God, Supreme Being; indirect source of 'everything', but not supplicated directly, only through Do'os and the ancestors; B&E, biil (no pl), sky, heaven, God (see also Ula); Meek, 1931 I: 430, Bil, God (in one group), God/Sun (in another group), Ula/ula, sun

bit (s), bir (pl) generic term for decoration (offered in the context of brass bells); possible relationship to bix (below); B&E, bisk to colour, in turn possibly related to B&E, biikw to be red

bit gangs (s & pl?) female scarification marks

bix (s), bigi (pl) snake (to describe pattern on a brass bell); B&E, biikz (s), biigi (pl) snake; Meek, biks, snake (1931 I: 441)

bogarus (s), bogari (pl) iron leg rattles

bome damse [Bata] brass wedding horns

bomp (s), boms (pl) type of wood used for carving a figure (in collected example); danawal, Fulfulde (cf. Taylor 1932: 28, dalewal a plank of mahogany)

bongo [Bata; Dingai] decorated brass bracelet

buna (s), bunut (pl) medicines

buruk (s), burum (pl) single iron clapperless bell/handgong, the same term also applied in one instance to a clapperless bell in brass 570; single clapperless handgong skeuomorphs in brass are specified as buruk suktunkak (s), burum suktunmam (pl) 465, 515; handgongs used in cults are buruk doi'yaaks (s), burum doi'yaagi (pl), compare with doi' yaaks (s), doi' yaagi (pl) iron rattle, where doi' is probably related to Do'os cult; cf. B&E, brk, large single iron clapperless bell used at funerals, B&E, yakz, an initiate to secret ceremonies

Bwatiye [Bata] ethnic term used by Bata in self-reference

cheede (pl) [Fulfulde] cowries; plural form of serre (s), a cowry shell (cf. Taylor,1932:24, in plural form used to mean money)

Daaka Gangni (s) full title of Gangni circumcision/initiation rites; initiates referred to directly as gangs (s), gangni (pl)

dal (s), dari (pl) penis, also decorative feature resembling a penis; e.g. dal bambde, penis of a donkey, to describe the knob at the end of the tambus circumcision crook; before the advent of the donkey, said to have been brought by the Fulani, this feature was called dal pirums, penis of [generic term] animal

damse [Bata] brass

danga gbwikak (s), dangat gbwikak (pl) larger (as in deeper pitch) hourglass drum; danga wakak (s), dangat wakak (pl), smaller (higher pitch) hourglass drum; cf. B&E, dɔnga, single-headed hourglass drum played for dances

dara (s), darut (pl) rattle instrument used by elders during the circumcision ceremony; cf. B&E daar bottle gourd instrument played by women for Dei-ki funeral ceremony

Dei-ki performance associated with women's life-cycle events, including initiation and funeral (see daar or dara above); Dei-ki Peena , scarification ceremony for girls

dengkongkas (s), dengkongki (pl) iron double clapperless bell for Do'os (see below); cf. B&E, ɗengkong (s), small iron double bell played by newly circumcised boys to warn away women; B&E also note this to be played together with brk; dengkongkas suktunjas (s), dengkongki suktini (pl), brass double clapperless bell

wɛk dengbur (s), wɛm dengbi (pl) iron knife, see wɛk (below)

dens suktunjas (s), denda suktini (pl) brass ceremonial drinking vessel (shaped like a water pot)

dersers medicinal twigs to frighten away zam guardian hill spirits in order to mine for ore; yotere Fulfulde (cf. Taylor 1932: 238, youtere, mistletoe [W.Indian]: Loranthus Patagonia; kause, Hausa)

deesire (s), deesirei (pl) additional rings on a pipe stem

dɛwes (s) metal upper pipe stem

dis wasi or dis sawosi (s) beeswax; honeycomb which together with its honey is used in cire perdue modelling to cast brasses; beeswax (from which honey has been extracted) used for drumskins. B&E, wɔɔg wshi, honey; wasəz, honeybee; wɔɔk, oil; diis, gum, resin, glue

Do'ga Sas (s), Do'ga Saari (pl) in the Ragin area, the title used for the 'head of Do'os'; cf. Blench, 1993: 3, Sas, rainmaker, 'the single most important figure respected by all clans ...'

do'gur (s), do'gis (pl) dagger/knife; possibly the knife handle only: do'gur suktundak (s), do'gisi suktini (pl), brass handle, do'gur rap (s), do'gis rat (pl), wooden handle. Do'gur also used to refer to the shape of a hilt (671)

doi' yaaks (s), doi' yaagi (pl) iron rattle, possibly with bell, for Do'os (see below) performance; may be referred to simply as Do'os; compare buruk doi'yaaks (s), burum doi'yaagi (pl) iron clapperless bell (570); cf. B&E, yakz, an initiate to secret ceremonies

dɔ'mut (s) stand for tobacco pipe

dɔnda (s), dɔndai (pl) male elder; senior male age grade; dɔnda s wajaas, dɔnda gbijaas senior elders; cf. B&E, dɔmd (s), dɔmd (pl) 'a courtesy title of senior old men. To be formally given this title it is necessary to pass through a number of ceremonial stages. Also grandfather, in general'

do'og biis (s) men's iron leg rattles

Do'os (s) cult(s) of the Cholli Verre; direct source of all aspects of life beneficial to the local community, such as good crop yields, health and, above all, the individual's age-grade related, social status and exponentially increasing 'life force' or 'vital essence'; cf. B&E, dooz (s), deeni (pl), 'a class of traditional ceremonies associated with the development of traditional magical power'; Meek 1931: 431, Do'os, 'employed as a personification of all the occult powers'

Do'[os] jubarus (s) 'a piece of wood' kept in the Do'os cult house; if a farmer's crops were failing, he could request (payment, one cockerel/five shillings) either the dɔnda gbijaas, or a dɔnda wajaas, to bring the do'ju (shortened form) to his farm to perform a ceremony

Dor (s) hunting shrine, outside the village, maintained by dɔnda gbijaas

dukomberli (s), dukomberlui (pl) abrus seed(s)

duma (s), dumit (pl) fly whisk, duma suktunkak (s), dumit suktuntat (pl), brass version

fauna duwa [Bata] 'thing for horse' (brass buckle in case cited)

(s), fɛr (pl) women's necklace composed of strung beads; might simply refer to smaller beads of more cylindrical appearance; examples collected and named thus were in brass, but this may not be a necessary quality

fitila (s), oil lamp; fitila, Fulfulde

fongan (s), fongani (pl) bell (apparently in iron unless specified as brass)

fɔra suktunkat (s), fɔrt sukuntat (pl) brass ceremonial wind instrument (skeuomorph of an animal's, cow's?, horn, 675?)

ga (s) ubiquitous spiral/coiled decorative motif, whether in brass or iron, said to replicate the coiled tail of a sleeping leopard

ga-ga (s) double spiral/coiled decorative motif whether in brass or iron, e.g. wɛk ga-ga (s), wɛm ga-ga (pl), knife/dagger with double spiral decorative motifs; wɛk ga-ga deesire (s), wɛm g-'ga deesiei (pl), knife/dagger with double spiral and knoblike decorative motifs

Gaaka Yalan preparatory ceremony for Gangni (see below)

gamsus (s), gamsi (pl) iron sickle with wooden handle; B&E, gamsəz (s), gamsi (pl), sickle

Gangni male initiation/circumcision ceremony

Gazabi non-smiths/farmers; considered by smiths, Tibaai (see below) an inferior status to their own

gbala (s), gbalit (pl) used of clubs, staffs and brass spear shafts; gbala suktunkak (s), gbalit suktuntat (pl), brass club or spear; gbala arandu (s), gbalit arandit (pl) , brass ritual staff; Meek, gbala stick (1931 I: 443)

gbijaas in dɔnda gbijaas, senior elder, priest-chief

gəlkəz B&E, iron

(s), go'or (pl) wooden lower pipe stem

gɔka sɔk (s), eregɔruk sɔkɔ (pl) general term solicited in relation to pipe decoration

gul (s), gura (pl) musical cow horn pipes played at Do'os ceremonies; brass version, gul suktunu (s), gura suktini (pl) ; specified number of named pipes for different festivals, e.g. at Ris Kaguri (see below) ,5 pipes: 725 lɛruma, 726 segu, 727 dupser, 728, gɔtus, 729 bambi (antelope horn supplying higher pitch); Gura Bai (see below), 6 pipes: the above plus 798 ya'ar (additional cow horn), 799 mangre (cow horn replacing antelope horn bambi); c.f. B&E guul (s), guur (pl), set of six conical cow horns - names of which differ from those given to Chappel - blown transversely in wet season only

gul (s), gulal (pl) medicine charm worn around a child's neck; gul suktundal (s), brass version

gul gbondunal (s), gura gbodini (pl) brass medicine container for men, worn on the right hip

gul taba (s), guri taba (pl) container for tobacco or snuff

gula delel (s), guri deli (pl) musical pipe fashioned from horn; adopted from Koma

Gura Bai part of the Ris Kaguri cycle of agrarian rites involving all-night singing, dancing accompanied by pipes

gura bus (s), gura boyii (pl) boy's neck charm

Guri funeral ceremony for elder

gurme suktunu (s), gurmei suktini (pl) brass receptacle like a water jar

gwera rag (s) rope around the neck of girl dancing at scarification ceremony

jap (s) crocodile, or reference to decorative motifs replicating crocodile scales; B&E, zaus (s), zaui (pl), crocodile; VLP, zabes (s), zawi (pl), crocodile

Jauro (s) [Fulfulde] Village Head. At Cholli in 1966, Jauro Diwa was the next most senior dɔnda, dɔnda wajaas, to Ardo Sambo, the Fulani-appointed District Head (Ardo), who was also dɔnda gbijaas and priest-chief of Do'os. Jauro Diwa's principal title in relation to his ritual duties, Do'[os] Gagas, 'giver of medicine', involved providing pain- reducing medicines for the initiates, and generally organizing both Jela (see below) and Gangni (see above)

Jela ritual beating before Gangni

jo jaks suktunkak (s), jo jagi suktuntat (pl) brass snuff container

jumnet suktuntat (s) 'raw' copper alloy, allegedly smelted from locally sourced ores; 749, sample said to have been smelted 'a long time ago'

kal (s), kara (pl) a ring on which to stand a pot; compound forms include: kal suktundal (s), kara suktini (pl), brass version; kal yerki (s), kara yermi (pl), iron version; kal Tibaai (s), version used by smiths, i.e. heavy and/or elaborately decorated

kambu (s), kambol (pl) men's bracelet (566)

ke (s) mahogany oil, mixed with honey as a body oil (equivalent to karewal, Fulfulde, madachi, Hausa)

kerumd (s), kerumi (pl) bell; occurs in numerous composite descriptions: e.g. kerumd suktundal (s), kerumi suktini (pl) , brass bell; kerumd Tibaai/Gazabi for the use of smiths or non-smiths, with the implication of more and less large/ornate; kerumd bix Tibaai , where bix refers to decoration resembling snakeskin; kerumd mulɛ Tibaai , where knoblike decorations recall women's waistbands, mulɛ, of threaded beads; kerumd ga Gazabi , where ga refers to the spiral decoration appropriate for non-smiths; c.f. B&E, kərəmdə small brass bell

keu (s), ken (pl) a type of wood from which hourglass drums are carved; B&E, cf. ke'er (s), ke' (pl), shea-butter tree (Vitellaria paradoxa)

Killa [Bachama] blacksmith/brasscaster

Killai (s), killan (pl) [Bata] blacksmith/brasscaster

Konjo (s) [Bata] iron clapperless double handbell/gong

kula (s), kulani (pl) tobacco pipe, or pipe bowl; kula ɓi'jaas (s), kulani ɓi'kiyai (pl) type of pipe with metal main stem, dɛwes, and stand, dɔ'mut; wooden lower stem, ; kulang bi'jaasi (s), kulangi bi'kiya (pl), women's smoking pipe; kula suktunus yanga nui (s) girl's miniature brass smoking pipe; kulang suktunu (s), kulangi suktunu (pl) , brass and iron smoking pipe; kulangi tuko (s), pipe bowl; kulang maas (s) decorative ring for pipe

kumsas (s), kumsai (pl) women's iron hair decoration/hair pin; 'hair scratcher', jalbal, Fulfulde

kur (s), kurt (pl) drinking vessel/bowl; kur suktunkak (s), kurt suktunati (pl), gourd skeuomorph in brass; B&E, kər (s), kət (pl), gourd, kər gbiina decorated gourd

kwantarafi [Hausa] offered as identification (fieldnotes 1966, 7:30) of horned bush animal (type of antelope/gazelle/cob) referenced in decoration; probably, kwanta, lie down, in the stream, rafi, reedbuck; see also padella, Fulfulde (below)

Lams (s), Lami (pl) an older term for blacksmith/brasscaster, Tibaai (see Tori below); the term, Lami, or its variants, also meaning blacksmith, is found in a number of other ethnic groups in the area; Cholli informants said that their settlement was originally divided physically into two social groupings, the Lami being in the majority, cf. Meek, 1931: 415 '... the villagers of Soli [Cholli], being blacksmiths, only intermarry with fellow blacksmiths ', see also Meek 1931: 423; B&E, lamz (s), lami (pl), gravedigger, also teacher (from Hausa 'mallam')

lug Do'os (s) Do'os cult house; containing five material items, a) Do'gupse(s), a 'stone' inside a skin bag, b) daak'pai (s), a long, deep-throated wooden horn, baranga(pl), metal and wood bull-roarers, d) gura'dai (pl), musical pipes of animal horn, e) Doi'yaaks, iron ceremonial instruments (see also, Do' jubarus, above)

lugujaare [Fulfulde] leather bowstring puller; adopted from Fulani

maas (s), maai (pl) ring(s); maas kulang (s), maai kulangi (pl), decorative iron rings for smoking pipe stems; maas suktunjas (s), maai suktini (pl), decorative brass rings for smoking pipe stems; additional pipe rings may be described by the adjective deseere (see above). Women's iron bracelet, maas bogorɔs (s), maai bogori (pl); men's iron bracelet, maas yaaks (s), maas yaagi (s); c.f. B&E, maa'az (s), maai (pl)

Maas Kataaki final stage of the Ris Kaguri agrarian cycle involving an early morning procession around the village

Marus (s), Maari (pl) ritual 'clowns', with significant socio-ceremonial roles, especially during Do'os rites; inherited role, for both male and female; also identified as human personifications of zam (s & pl?) (see below): 'they are the same', i.e. like brothers; possible connected with witchcraft matters; cf. B&E, wa mrəz (s), wa mr (pl) 'anthropomorphic carvings used in ceremonies'; VLP, mz (s), mari (pl), man

mulɛ (s), mulɛi (pl) women's prestige waistband of brass beads; the knobs on women's waistbands; mulɛ werinis (s), mulɛi werini (pl), where werinis refers to 'things in between', worn by wives of rich men (spacer beads of some kind; perhaps those with knobs)

na kuti (s), nat kuti (pl) bow puller; probably from na' (s), nat (pl) arm/hand (B&E)

ndingawe [Bata] iron clapperless hand bell/gong

Nenga Kabusum penultimate stage of the Ris Kaguri agrarian cycle; takes place at night, when Do'os 'takes hunger and throws it away into the bush'; women must remain indoors throughout; it involves a deep-throated horn, the beating of stones, gourds, and pots, and also wooden bull-roarers

nengtabungs (s), nengtabungni (pl) horizontal bands of decoration in the form of ridges possibly with vertical patterns running between them, the term occurs in this form in descriptions of brass crooks, tambus/tamba, and hoes, tul/tula, e.g. tambus nengtabungs etc. Probably a composite term.

nɛ'tɔk (s), nɛ'tet (pl) earlobe plug; B&E, tɔk ear

nex (s), negi (pl) penis sheath

Orka Baar ceremony for childless woman to induce pregnancy

Orka Maam ceremony performed by priest-chief, dɔnda gbijaas, if rains delayed or falter after starting; supplications addressed to skulls of ancestral dɔnda brought out from Do'os cult house; following these rites, after two days 'rain must fall'

padella (s), padala (pl) [Fulfulde] reedbuck

pat jangbi (s), pat jangbis (pl) women's brass amulet

pe damse (s) [Bata] brass wedding bowl

pɔngan (s), pɔngani (pl) flat brass bracelet (as distinct from rounded ring); compound forms include pɔngan sa'sai (s) with crotal bells, pɔngan Tibaai (s) for smiths, pɔngan suktunkak (s) in brass, etc.

pog (s) charm of some kind (or variant transcription of porg, see below)

porg (s), porm (pl) medicine containers cited to have been replicated as decoration of a knife pommel

rab lugujaare (s), rat lugujaare (pl) bowstring puller; rab, to catch

Ris Kaguri first fruits stage of harvest celebrations; see also Gura Bai, Maas Kataaki, Nenga Kabusum, Taaki

ritimaro social/occupational grouping, (clan/lineage/guild); term used by Cholli informants to describe the former division of their village into two distinct sections: Lami, the blacksmiths, and Tori, the non-blacksmiths

sa'a/sa'sol (s), sa'sai (pl) children's ankle rattles or bells to encourage walking. Also, sa'sai (pl) crotal bells

saari (pl) members of the age grade after was (see below) and before dɔnda (see above); they assist in Do'os and initiation ceremonies as musicians and dancers; responsible for stripping the outer skin of the corpse of a deceased elder before burial; B&E, Saara-sarii (pl.?), 'the agents of the rain-maker, Saa'az, stationed in a number of villages, who report to him on the rain'

saferu (s), safegi (pl) brass charm, medicine container; cf. Taylor 1932: 163, safiiru 'small brass bar containing "juju" powder of kauda, the act or ability to stab oneself without harm'

Sambəz B&E, Fulani; Sambək, Fulfulde

seeri (s) decoration featuring a locust, e.g. tambus seeri (s), tambi seeri (pl), circumcision crook decorated with such

Seerkaana festival for the guinea corn harvest usually held in January. Every seven or so years, when Gangni the boys' initiation rites take place, two preparatory ceremonies - Jela which involves beating (see above), and Gaaka Yalan (see above) - are included 'under' Seerkaana

sɔps (s), sɔbi (pl) iron sickle (488); exclusively for male use and different from both gamsus and tambus

suk tigi (s), suktak tigii (pl) hunter's bird mask/decoy

suktunu (s) copper alloy metal (brass); possibly derived from a verb 'to smelt'. Note the verb skis is defined as to cast by the lost wax method in Michel Dieu and Louis Perrois 2016 Dictionnaire encyclopdique Koma Gimbe/Franais. Koma are eastern and southeastern neighbours of some eastern Verre who claim to have taught them the art of casting

tagar suktundal (s), tagi suktuni (pl) brass sandals

Taaki third stage of the Ris Kaguri agrarian cycle of festivals that takes place at night during the time of the new moon; no pipes or drums are involved, only gourd rattles and iron bells to accompany dancing by women

tambus (s), tambi (pl) brass circumcision crook, skeuomorph of iron sickle, gamsus (s), gamsi (pl); tambus wees (s), tambi wesa (pl), iron crook; tambus rap (s), tambus rat (pl) wooden crook; crooks may be further identified by their decorative motifs and whether they are for use by smiths or non-smiths

taap bow (Meek 1931 I: 441)

tawai [Bata] brass ankle bells

tekkere (s) [Fulfulde] headpad

telkal suktundal (s), tenkari suktini (pl) brass ceremonial stemmed goblet

tengo (s) [Bata] brass bell

tɛt (s), tet (pl) medicine for Bus Kabili

tewes (s) tɛwengbe (pl) iron pipe stem

Tibaas (s), Tibaai (pl) blacksmiths/brasscasters; in the past, at least, endogamous, enjoying an elevated, if probably ambivalent, social status, exemplified in the clearly defined range of a variety of prestige brass ceremonial items reported to have been reserved for their exclusive use; B&E, Tibz (s), Tib (pl), blacksmith; see also Blench, 1993: 1, who, having noted that the Verre of the Yadim area were divided into eight, originally endogamous, clans observes: 'In addition, there is a more strictly endogamous group, the Tibaye, who are blacksmiths'; VLP, tbaaz, blacksmith; Meek 1931 I: 423, '... the village of Soli [Cholli] ... consists of blacksmiths (known as Tibei); Meek 1931 I: 441, tibas, smiths

Tibaas timniyai (s), Tibaai timniyai (pl) term for blacksmith in the Ragin area

Tibaas suktunjas (s), Tibaai suktini (pl) term for brasscaster in the Ragin area

Tibaai suktini (pl) term used for both blacksmith and brasscaster in the Uki area

tikp suktu nanet (s) 'office for brass', i.e. smelting furnace; associated terms: ba tikp, furnace fire, bongs (s & pl), furnace opening, bus (s & pl), inverted crucible, tam (s & pl), bellows, woops (s & pl), clay core and wax mould (no other specific terms for these, see woops (s), (below)

tings (s), tinge (pl) women's wooden stool

Toj (s), Tori (pl) formerly the term used (at least in Cholli) for non-blacksmiths, who were a minority group (see Lami, above)

tɔɔma (s), tɔɔma (pl) spear; tɔɔma suktunu (s), tɔɔma suktunkak (pl), brass ceremonial spear; tɔɔma bogurus (s), tɔɔma boguri (pl), iron spear with a rattle top (formed like an ankle rattle) of the kind owned by senior dɔnda gbijaas; tɔɔma gbaas (s), tɔɔma gba (pl) , tall iron pot stand for use in the rituals of Do'os, also called tɔɔma ga-ga (s) if it has a double-spiral motif; tɔɔma suktunka (s), tɔɔma suktini (pl) brass version of pot stand; B&E, tɔma (s), tɔmr (pl), spear; Meek 1931 I: 441, tɔma (s), spear

tɔngta suktunu (s), tɔngtai suktini (pl) brass male initiation helmet for Gazabi, a (possibly smaller) version of the central element of the bal suktunu (s), or Tibaai helmet, lacking the four pendant flaps suspended from the central element both of this skeuomorph and of the fibre, leather and cowry, non-metal helmet. We do not know whether the central element of the non-metal helmet is also called tɔngta. Also used to describe a design of dagger with funnel-shaped boss.

Tos [Toz] (s) in Cholli area, formal title of 'head[priest-chief/high priest] of Do'os who, by definition, is a dɔnda gbijaas; cf. Edwards,1991: 312, toz, 'the priest responsible for the main agricultural rituals ...'; B&E, toz, 'priests concerned with agrarian rites'; also, Blench, 1993: 2, reference to 'the master of the toos ...', described as an 'animal like a ram with the head of a human being'

tul (s), tula (pl) hoe; tul furan (s), tula furani (pl) iron hoe iron; tul furundal (s), tula foni (pl) , iron double-bladed hoe; tul suktundal (s), tula suktuni (pl) , brass prestige hoe used by women dancing; B&E, tuul (s), tuuli (pl), hoe

ula/Ula sun/Sun (see Bila Fil, above); B&E, ula (s), ulet (pl), God, sun, day; Meek 1931 I: 440, ula, sun, ula, day

ultu [Bata], wulto [Bachama] brass armbands

veet decoration (of pipe in this case, but also more generally; perhaps related to B&E veeya adj. red)

wadel (s) settlement/village

wal (s), wani (pl) ring, may be specifically for those which are rounded in cross section; wal suktundal (s), wana suktini (pl), brass ring; wan bi (s), wani bi (pl), women's arm band; wand (s), wand (pl), headloading pad/ring, wand suktundal (s), wani suktuni (pl), skeuomorph of headloading pad in brass used during rituals of do'os; wand (s), ivory men's bracelet; wand na (s), wani'na (pl), men's brass arm ornament, na is hand. All these terms are likely to be variant transcriptions of compounds formed with the term for 'ring'.

wan marus (s), yanga maari (pl) brass anthropomorphic figures for male use in ceremonies, purportedly with no suffix, i.e. ipso facto brass; wan marus rap (s), yanga maari rat (pl) , anthropomorphic figures of wood (rab) made by men but held by women when dancing (wood for 664-5 said to be bomp (s), boms (pl), danawal Fulfulde); wan marus woops (s), yanga maari woops (pl), clay anthropomorphic figures made by women but held by men during Seerkaana festival (see above); all such figures for use by Tibaai only; wan glossed by Cholli informants as 'something without life/image', Marus (s) (see above). The derivation is unclear because Blench and Edwards record different plurals for figure and for child: B&E, wa mrəz (s), wa mr (pl), figure; B&E wz (s), yngb (pl), child. Note that the singular form of wa (figure) also differs in tone from that for child, wz (respectively mid and high); while B&E record that wn (low tone) means 'thing', though with a plural net. The gloss offered by Chappel's Cholli informants does not suggest they understood wan in wan marus to mean child. On the other hand, referring to a figure as 'child' (also used more generally as a diminutive) is common (for instance in neighbouring Mapeo Chamba, tɔɔ meembu, assenting/enabling children). We have to leave the derivation for others to resolve. Meek, raap (s), rat (pl), tree(s) (1931 I: 441); uwas (s), child, yangi (pl), my children (1931 I; 440, 443)

wang'tso (s) [Bata] women's brass decorated cuff bracelet

wasas (s), yangi tuma (pl) pre-circumcision age grade

was (s), yangi (pl) post-circumcision age grade (see saari for next grade); B&E, wz (s), yngb (pl), child

wees (s), wengbi (pl) metal, iron, e.g. tambus wees, iron sickle; B&E, ws (s), wngwi (pl), hour, metal, money, gəlkəz, iron; wɛs, iron (Meek 1931 I: 441)

wɛk (s), wɛm (pl) knife/dagger; wɛk suktundal (s), wɛm suktunmam (pl), brass dagger; wɛk dengbur (s), wɛm dengbi (pl), iron knife; wɛ'ga-ga (s), wɛ'maga (pl) ceremonial knife used for Do'os ceremonies - ga-ga refers to the double-spiral decorative pattern; wɛk wan marus Tibaai (s), wɛm wan maari Tibaai (pl), brass dagger for Tibaai with a head on its boss usually, if anthropomorphic, said to be female; wɛk sokol Tibaai (s), wɛm sokkoli Tibaai (pl), brass dagger for Tibaai with a head that references a particular way of plaiting a woman's hair; wɛk japs Tibaai (s), wɛm jabi Tibaai (pl), brass dagger for Tibaai with a decorative motif like crocodile scales; wɛk ja (s), brass dagger with the pattern, ja, like the plaited grass of a zana mat; wɛk ga-ga desire (s), wɛm ga-ga desire (pl), brass dagger with knob-like projections as well as double spirals; Meek 1931 I: 441, weik, knife

wɛla (s), wɛlit (pl) oversized brass bead worn by women as a pendant on the left hip, loosely a skeuomorph of a similarly sized ornament composed of ball of cowries (see next entry)

wɛla cheede (s), wɛlit cheedei (pl) women's belt pendant in the form of a ball of cowries (Fulfulde: ceede money or price); the same term was applied in one instance to a brass skeuomorph (see 685)

wops [woops] (s) general term for clay, used for pottery, encasing the wax model during casting, lining granaries etc.; see marus wops (s), yanga maari wops (pl), clay figure (above): B&E, w (no plural), potter's clay

wule (s), wulche (pl) [Bata] women's brass cuff bracelet, also wulto (s), [Bachama]

wutu wɛɛs (s), wuta wɛngbi (pl) sample of purported copper ore from 'mine' in the Verre Hills, see 750 for further details

yaks (s), yagi (pl) an initiate to secret ceremonies

Yallabatus (s), Yallabati (pl) annual ceremony in honour of metal workers

yerk suktunkak (s), yerm suktunmam (pl) brass skeuomorph of a beer jar used during the ceremony (Baaka) of initiation to the senior age grade, dɔnda. Typically placed in a brass stand or on a brass ring on this occasion. B&E, yək/yək a type of pot

zm (s & pl?) 'hill spirits', associated with death and disease (see Marus (s), above); feared custodians of the alleged copper 'mines' in the Verre Hills; VLP, zam,'evil spirits'; brass figures were identified as coming from zam (unlike their wooden counterparts)

zangazaar (s), zangaza (pl) beer strainer; also name of a ceremony, Zangazaar, involving the making and drinking of beer during girls' initiation

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Go to Preface | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Interleaf | Chapter 4 | Ch5.1 Percussion | Ch5.2 Personal Ornaments | Ch5.3 Initiation helmets and crooks | Ch5.4 Hoes and daggers | Ch5.5 Prestige skeuomorphs | Ch5.6 Anthropomorphic figures | Chapter 6 Conclusion | Appendix 1 | Appendix 2 | Appendix 3 | Appendix 4 | Bibliography