The Metropolis is a Cosmopolitan area with Dagombas as the majority. Other minority ethnic groupings are Ganjas’, Mampurisi, Akan, Dagaabas, and tribes from the Upper East Region. The area has deep rooted cultural practices such as festivals, naming and marriage ceremonies. The Metropolis is dominated by Moslems. Other religious groupings are: Catholics, Protestants, Traditional, Pentecostal and Charismatic. The table below shows the religious groupings in the Metropolis.

Apart from Metropolitan Tamale where there is ethnic diversity, almost all people in the surrounding villages are Dagombas. Even in the Metropolis, the Dagombas constitute about 80% of the total population.

Before the advent of both Western and Eastern Religions, the Dagombas were mostly atheists. Their culture was deeply enshrined in their customs and beliefs. The result of this is still manifested in the numerous traditional festivals still practised. These practices are no longer pronounced in Metropolitan Tamale as a result of the ethnic diversity and the influence of both Eastern and Western cultures.

On the religious front, the people in the Metropolis are mostly Muslims since this was the first religion exposed to them by Arabs from the North. It is therefore not surprising that almost 90% of ethnic Dagombas are muslims. Christianity, on the other hand, arrived later from the South and hence mostly practised non-Dagomba ethnic groups.

It is common of the Dagomba people to have large families. This practice until recently was to get more people to help on family farms. It is considered a great pride among the Dagombas to own more than one wife. The number of children one owns is one of the indices for measuring one’s wealth. In the Dagbon tradition property are communally owned. Animals such as cattle are family properties and no family head can dispose of a cow without consulting the other members of the family.

Festivals, until recently, were largely enshrined in the customs of the Dagombas. This is, however, changing as a result of the practice of Islam. Festivals are not much celebrated especially in the Metropolis as compared to the villages. The most important festivals include:

The Fire Festival

This is to commemorate the occasion when the beloved son of a powerful chief got missing and the chief ordered his subjects to search for the boy. Torches were consequently lit in the night and the child was found. This marks the beginning of the fire festival as practised today.

The Damba Festival

This is to commemorate the birthday of the holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammed (SAW). Damba is celebrated after the fire festival.

The Yam Festival

This is celebrated at the beginning of yam harvesting period to give thanks to God for the good harvest and asking for further and better yields in the coming years.

Other festivals include Ed-dul-Fitr and Ed-dul-Adha which are religious in nature.


Date Created : 11/18/2017 8:39:15 AM