After dealing with rather historical, political and sociological topics as "main features"
in the previous issues of Buluk, our new issue should be more strongly tied to a group that
includes all classes and professions in present Bulsa society. Therefore, we chose to focus on
We intended to make the core of our edition the evaluation of questionnaires and interviews in which literate women state their opinions on the status of women in Bulsa society. For various reasons, this project could not be carried out in such a way that a statistical analysis and evaluation was possible and sensible. The following comments might, however, shed light on the opinions held by a few women.
(A.Af.) Hello Mr Kröger. My opinion is that we are more ambitious now than before. For example, we are doing very good entrepreneurship now. We can be educated on how to use our own resources, like farming. But many women feel that farming is not important. Becoming a member of parliament or working in an office in the city is more important for them. We need support from our men encouraging us [to do such work].
(A. Ac) Dear Dr. Kröger, ...with regard to the position of women in our society, I would say there has been an improvement in the situation [since the time] when our girls were not given equal opportunities... Today, education of the girl child has generally improved but could be better. Even though we have some woman representatives in local government administration, the same cannot be said for other formal sectors. Another area that needs attention is the number of Builsa women who occupy high positions at the regional/country level and their impact on the people of Buluk. I therefore believe that if we tackle the issue of 'girl child education' we will eventually improve the position of women in Buluk and Ghana as a whole.
(J. Ac.) Hi. Bulsa women, I think, for the past and now have been very humble and respectful people, [and] they have been submissive and very content. This nature of the Bulsa woman, apart from being a good thing, is not good for the society of today. A saying goes: “Educate a woman, and you educate the whole society”. As the Bulsa woman lacks this education, she makes the whole community backward. I think the best way to address this issue is to encourage Bulsa women to be more vocal and bold. The reality is that Bulsa women in the society don't have the means and are mostly dependent on husbands who don't really care for them. So some education and encouragement can give them confidence to do things for themselves.
(V.M.) Hi Dr! The position of women is not enviable in Buluk.
Most articles published in BULUK 9 on Bulsa women are rather descriptive in nature. For example, female activities and crafts, hitherto barely treated in the ethnographic literature, are described in detail in F. Kröger’s article. The curriculum vitae of an educated woman (Monica Adzagbil) is outlined in her obituary, whilst Fidelis Landy depicts the ideal of natural female beauty, particularly as found with women living in the Bulsa area and not in the big towns. The very popular but harmful practice of “correcting” one’s outer appearance by bleaching the skin is a problem addressed by Margaret Arnheim in our next number.
The editors of BULUK 9 thank all guest authors and contributors who wrote articles
themselves or added data to other contributions with considerable effort and without
expecting any fees. These contributors include Cornelius Adumpo, Niamh Kerr, David
Amoatika, Fidelis Landy, John B.A. Agandin, Robert Asekabta and Yaw Williams Akumasi.
They all helped to make Buluk a journal containing a great variety of subjects and features
dealing with up-to-date information, research on Bulsa culture, poems and personal views.
The reaction of readers to our magazine in general is very positive and encourages us to continue our work. When I (F.K.) asked several German readers about their opinions, in addition to positive ratings, some negative aspects of our journal were also mentioned. In their opinion it was too complacent and uncritical of people and events as they occur in Bulsaland and only insufficiently do the articles in BULUK inspire constructive criticism.
Until recently, we have barely received negative criticism about our journal from Bulsa readers. It was only after several articles of this 9th edition were uploaded on the Internet that some critical remarks posing very fundamental issues appeared.
Following my Facebook post asking for data on the position of women, a male reader wrote:
Dr. Kröger, as a native from Bulisa land, I don't think you're the right person to write about how women are treated in our culture.
The uploaded version of the essay on the ngarika-funeral gave rise to similar criticism, but
also a rejection of this criticism by another Bulsa reader (s. Appendix to “Returning
home...”). We welcome such discussions and hope that readers will not withhold their critical
remarks after the printed edition has been published.
When a new issue of a BULUK journal is ready for publication, thoughts about the "main feature" of the next edition flash through the editors’ minds.
The idea of publishing a database on educated or outstanding Bulsa will be discontinued, for lack of material.
Possible new themes might, for example, be “The Buli Language" with sub-themes such as "Buli at Bulsa schools", "Language policy and the future of the Buli-language", "The classification of Buli in the linguistic system", "Questions of orthography", " Publications in Buli or English?”, etc.
After many articles on the so-called Atuga-bisa (Sandema, Siniensi, Wiaga, Kadema)
appeared in preceding numbers of our journal, it would be appropriate to focus on the Southern Bulsa in our next issue (i.e. its history, landscape, big people, dialects, the
new district, etc.), and at the moment Ghanatta and I favour this theme to
become our main feature.
The editors have not yet made up their minds and would therefore be grateful for any suggestions from the readership.