The Dangmes are believed to be part of the Israelites who traveled from Egypt to Canaan. It is said that they strayed when they were in transit and found themselves in Nigeria. Because they were being forced to worship Allah and pray as the Moslems did, which they were not comfortable with, they journeyed on to Benin, and then to Togo and finally had to cross the Volta River to Tagologo (now called Natreku – between Akuse junction and Akuse). From there again they moved, under their tribe heads, to the various places (dialectal areas) we find them now.
There were, of course, feeble endeavours as well as appreciable efforts by several individuals which never went beyond the manuscript stage. From the latter part of the 20th century onwards, a considerable number of manuscripts were produced in Dangme. Some of these were published. For example, Enoch Azu’s ‘Dangme Historical Songs’ (Klama) and ‘Dangme Proverbs’, D. A. Puplampu’s ‘Dangme Munyu Tub4’, ‘M4m4yo’, ‘An Dangme Script’, ‘A Grammar of Dangme’, T. N. N. Accam’s ‘Klama Songs and Chants’, ‘Adangme Vocabularies’ and others can be cited.
In the late 40’s D. A. Puplampu came out with a suggestion for a Dangme Orthography which included the use of ‘c’, ‘j’ and ‘ng’ in place of the Ga ‘t’, ‘dz’ and ‘n’ characters. Later when the United Bible Translation Committee decided to publish the Bible in Dangme and the Government at the time approved the teaching of Dangme in schools on Dangme land, the question arose as to whether Ga and Dangme must both use the same Orthography.
At this point in time (1968), the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana - Legon was invited to advise on Ga and Dangme Orthographies. It was then decided after a careful examination that the two Orthographies were different and that for practical reasons, a compromise should be struck between the two. It was conclusive that Dangme Orthography would drop the ‘c’ and ‘dz’ but retain the ‘j’, ‘ts’ and ‘ng’ while Ga retained ‘n’ and dropped ‘ts’. The only difference in the two Orthographies would then be the use of ‘ng’ by Dangme and ‘n’ for Ga. After the final decision on Orthographies, representatives of the Institute of African Studies (University of Ghana - Legon), the Bureau of Ghana Languages and the Dangme Bible Translation Committee met in 1969 and decided on the set of rules of spelling.
The Dangme Alphabets
|Economic Activity||-||Trading, Farming & Fishing||Small Scale Industrial Activities & Farming|
|Tourism||-||Forts, Estuary,Holiday Chalets & Beaches||Game Reserve||Boti falls, Ancestral Homes on Mt. Yogaga (Caves, etc)|
(Note that we also have some Dangmes at the following places: Asuogyaman, New Juaben, Fanteakwa, Kwahu Afram Plains, Agotime - in the Volta Region - and other parts of Ghana.) The 1990 Population Census also states we have 1,250,000 Ga-Adangmes and 300,000 Gas. This means we had 950,000 Dangmes then.