Gurma


Gurma

people
also spelled  Gourma,  also called  Gourmantche 

      a Voltaic ethnic group that is chiefly centred on the town of Fada Ngourma in eastern Burkina Faso, although some inhabit northern Togo. Like the closely related Mossi, Konkomba, Tallensi, and LoDagaa, the Gurma are believed to have migrated from the Gambaga Scarp (escarpment) of present-day northeastern Ghana. Some of these migrants stopped at Tenkodogo and founded the first Mossi kingdom; others continued northeastward to the Fada Ngourma region. Mossi and Gurma disputed their common frontier until French conquest.

      The Gurma live in a wooded savanna that becomes drier and grassier to the north; their mostly flat land is marked by occasional inselberg hills. They live in round mud-brick houses arranged in circular compounds that are enclosed by woven-straw fences. Descent is patrilineal; a man and his one or more wives, perhaps a younger brother or an aging mother, and the children of all these live together. During the agricultural season (June–October) millet is grown between compounds. The closest neighbours belong to kin groups, and hamlets consist of compounds of lineage members, clan members, those who profess the same introduced religion (Islam or Christianity), or people with a common skill, such as blacksmithing. A village is a collection of hamlets, and chiefdoms (today sometimes corresponding to the administrative categories arrondissements and cantons) include several, or occasionally many, villages; chiefs then recognize the morho naba, or paramount chief, in Fada Ngourma, as well as the authorities of the Burkina Faso government. Weaving, dyeing, pottery, and basketry are important crafts. Most Gurma men, and many women, migrate to seek work in coastal western African states, but most later return to reside in their homeland.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • gurma — gur·ma …   English syllables


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