Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gbosa Gbosa

thank you Chxta for giving me the correct spelling. Can you tell me where it comes from?

Its funny how when you get to Nigeria, its odd how Hip Hip Hooray (sort of the UK English form of gbosa) becomes Hip Hip Hip Hooray (introducing a completely different rhythmic pattern). And then after a while Hip Hip Hooray becomes the odd form. Living in a foreign culture is as much about acquainting oneself with a different rhythm as it is about anything else.

I noticed at the end of Osman Sembene's latest filmic masterpiece Moolade (about female circumcision in rural W Africa) that the women joyously sing Wasah Wasah (a beautifully powerful moment). I wonder if Gbosa and Wasah are connected? Sorry for being a complete ignoramus.


Chxta 9:44 pm  

Gbosa comes from somewhere in the Bendel (Edo-Delta) region. Pidgin really, and as you probably know, pidgin is the linga franca in those parts...

Can't go deeper into the entymology of the word, same way as I can't tell you where chuk comes from.

Anonymous,  7:10 pm  

Wasah ... actually , wassa, means happiness, rejoice, satisfaction... celebration if you will.

Artful Dodger 8:56 am  

I have viewed this film many times. It is indeed a masterpiece. Allow me to voice one objection to your message: One should not refer to "female circumcision". This hideous practice is properly called Female Genital Mutilation. It is far, far
painful and crippling than male circumcision; as practiced in rural villages without anesthetic and in non-sterile conditions, it produces hideous scarring. Serious infections often ensue, sometimes leading to death. So let's call mutilation by its rightful name.

Anonymous,  1:59 am  

"Gbosa" is cognate to the Jamaican "buss." Their root is the English word "bust" (dimunitive of "burst"):

"to bust" a gun.
"to bust" a gang (gonna need guns).

"Chuk" is cognate to the Jamaican "jook." They of course mean "to poke" in their simplest sense, but I haven't found a root for them.

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