Nafana people



The Nafana are a Senufo people living in the central north-west of Ghana and the north-east of Ivory Coast, in the area east of Bondoukou.

Nafana People

Globally, this group totals 210,000 in 2 countries. In Ghana they number about 95,000 (, 2023)

Some major towns of the Nafana people are Sampa, Kokoa, Duadaso No 1, Duadaso No 2, Jamera, Debibi, and Kabile which are in the Jaman North District. Brodi and Debibi are in the Tain District. Banda Ahenkro in the Banda District.



They speak Nafaanra, a Senufo language. They are surrounded by Gur speakers to the north, the isolated Mande speaking Ligbi people to the east, and the Akan speaking Abron to the south.



The Nafana people relate that they come from Côte d'Ivoire, from a village called Kakala.

The Nafana people are the real who can trace their origins from the Songhai empire. Their main culture heritage town is Jamera where all their history and traditions are based.

According to Jordan (1978), their oral history says that some of their people are still there, and if they go back they would not be allowed to leave again. They arrived in the Banda area after the Ligbi people, who according to Stahl (2004) came from Bigu (Begho, Bighu) to the area in the early 17th century.



The people are mainly small farmers, raising corn, rice, yams, peanuts, sesame and sweet potatoes.



Their major festival is the Songhei Festival mainly original in Jamala or Jamera celebrated annually.

The Songhei festival also called Sugweh is a festival celebrated by chiefs and people of Nafana in the month of June/July. Traditional dances and drumming are performed to entertain the chief and visitors.



The primary religion practiced by the Nafana Senufo is Folk Islam, a syncretistic belief system that blends traditional elements of Islam with superstitious practices such as warding off spirits with incantations and magic amulets, and reciting verses of the Qur'an to bring about miraculous healings.