This is a Call and Response Song & Game.

"This is a complete and perhaps the most common rendition of the Obwisana song." -William

You can find an in-depth explanation of the lyrics in the Song Notes.

Notes

William from Ghana wrote:

-"'Tu-e' is a popular rice-ball or flour-ball meal, but it doesn't make sense in this context other than it's a strong and familiar word to use in the song.

-'ɔbo esi me nsa' means the rock has hit/struck my hand/fingers which does happen in this game if you are not synchronized with the rest. Your hand should be in front of the person to your right (or left) passing him your rock while the person to your left (or right) is passing you her rock.

-'Obwisana' doesn't translate phonetically to any meaningful word or phrase

-'Nana Barima' means (Grandfather).

-'Barima' is the Twi/Akan word for 'man'. 'Nana' is grandparent that's why 'Nana Barima' means grandfather. Adjectives follow the noun in Akan." -William

Game Instructions

The kids sit in a circle and each kid has a rock. They start to pass the rocks around the circle while chanting this song. Depending on the direction you're passing the rock, your hand should be in front of the person to your right (or left) passing him your rock while the person to your left (or right) is passing you her rock. The 'Hey! Barima/Tu-e-tu-e' call and response continues with increasing tempo until the rock passing becomes so fast that someone fumbles or misses passing his/her rock along. That person is eliminated in that round until the last person remaining wins the game - like a musical chair game. After each elimination a rock is removed so that there is always equal number of rocks and players.

Comments

"I've come across versions on the Internet that suggest this song means 'Going to Ghana' and even has that in the song. That's a creative addition to tell the root of the song, but it's not part of the song. The song has no Ghana in it nor has anything to do with going to Ghana." -William

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to William for sharing this version of Obwisana, for the game instructions and commentary.

Me da wo ase!

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