Domangli, which literary means ‘the
enemy surrounds us’ is owned and controlled by the people of Ga.
However, the residents of this community with close to 7,000 inhabitants
are predominantly Mwalba. It is believed they originated from a town
called Mwal in Burkina Faso.
Founded by Jotimtey Kuffa, a
farming settler several decades ago, Domangli is one of the densely
populated communities in the Wa West district of the Upper West Region.
The community is located between Nyoli in the Wa West district and
Goyiri in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district of the Northern region.
Agriculture is their
mainstream economic activity with emphasis on food cropping, livestock,
and poultry rearing. Basketry and shea butter extraction are other
economic ventures the women also find lucrative. One cannot conclude
on the trades and artistic features of the Mwalbas without mentioning
carving. They are good at carving wood into stools, idols, and even
human beings. The Mwalbas are noted for hard and endurance, who will
not relent in any endeavour they find themselves.
While the Ghana Cedi is the
official medium of exchange, barter system of trade as well as the use
of cowries for customary and business activities is common practices
among the Mwalba.
The densely populated
Domangli is now challenged by limited farmland for agricultural
activity. Additionally, they are being confronted by issues like child
labour, teenage marriages, high school drop outs especially among
girls, rampant rural urban drift among boys, and violations of women
rights. Most of these drawbacks have customary undertones. For
instance, except through inheritance women are customarily barred
acquiring property. Even a woman is not supposed to send her inherited
property to the husbands’ home and pronounce her rightful ownership.
Traditional African religion
is mainly practised by the people of Domangli. They believe that
spirits of their dead ancestors still live with them and have a lot to
offer them in areas of security, wealth creation, and other societal
concerns. Against this background, it behoves on every family in
Domangli to possess their own set of gods they worship. Bougri is the
Mwalbas’ traditional festival. It is an occasion where the people
appease their gods and ancestors with feasts and seek blessings from
them. Its celebration is demand driven; unlike other tribes, such as
the Brifos, who have it annually. The 4-day festival is usually
accompanied with colourful cultural displays, singing and dancing.