Bissa people

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Bissa or Bisa is an ethnic group living in South-Central Burkina Faso, in North-East Ghana, and in the northernmost tip of Togo. Their language, Bissa,[1] is a Mande language that is related to, but not the same as, a cluster of languages in the old Borgou Kingdom area of North-east Benin and Northwest Nigeria, including Busa, Boko, and Kyenga. An alternate name for the Bissa is Busansi which is used by the Mossi people.

Daniel McFarland's "Historical Dictionary of Upper Volta" refers to them as "intrusive Mande who settled the area along the White Volta below Tenkodogo by 1300. Some live across the border in modern northern Ghana and Togo. According to some traditions, Rialle, progenitor of the Nakomse line of Mossi rulers was Busansi."[2]

The Bissa are known for their cultivation of peanuts. Traditionally, a Bissa man who wants to court a Bissa girl must work in her mother's peanut field, and be able to provide the girl with her own peanut field if they get married.[3][citation needed]

Some notable tribes of the Bissa[edit]

  • Bara
  • Bambara
  • Zeba
  • Zigila
  • Bitugunno
  • Ledda
  • Wareh
  • Zuuro
  • Tunugu
  • Sambanno
  • Geero
  • Bance
  • Darga
  • Dimba


The Bissa people are divided into numerous tribes. Their language differs slightly; primary dialects are Barka, Lere, Ladda,Zeba,Zilla .

Most Bissa are Muslim.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, 2009
  2. ^ McFarland, 1978
  3. ^ An actual member of the Bissa tribe - which is probably a better source than any book written by Western scholars. There is not much information on the Bissa tribe at all in the literature.

References[edit]

  • Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). "Bissa". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. ISBN 978-1-55671-216-6. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  • McFarland, Daniel Miles (January 1978). Historical Dictionary of Upper Volta. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-1088-4. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). "Busa". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. ISBN 978-1-55671-216-6. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  • Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). "Boko". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. ISBN 978-1-55671-216-6. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  • Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). "Kyenga". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. ISBN 978-1-55671-216-6. Retrieved 19 June 2010.