Thursday, April 20, 2017

Names For The Days Of The Week In Ten Traditional Nigerian Languages (Part I)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on the names for the days of the week in ten traditional Nigerian languages.

Part I provides information about and lists of the days of the week in Edo, Efik, Fulfulde (Fula), Hausa, and Ibibio languages.

Click for Part II of this series. Part II provides information about and lists of the days of the week in Igbo, Ijaw, Kanuri, Urhobo, and Yoruba languages.

For information and comparison's sake, the Arabic names for the days of the week are also given in Part I since Arabic greatly influenced the names for the days of the week in Fulfulde, Kanuri, Hausa, as well as Swahili and certain other traditional African languages.

This post features only a very small sample of the languages spoken in Nigeria as there are over 521 languages that have been spoken in that nation (nine of them are now extinct.)

Note that some of the languages featured in this series are spoken in other West African nations.

This pancocojams series is part of an ongoing series that provides information about and lists of day names in various African languages. Click the "African languages days of the week" tag to find other posts in this ongoing series.

The content of this post is presented for linguistic, cultural, and educational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

..."The Arabic word for “day” is يَوم (yawm), and properly the name of each day is يَوم plus the word from the list below (as, in English, we append “day” onto other words to create the names of the days: “Sun” + “day” = “Sunday,” etc.). However, you will often see يَوم omitted and the days simply called by the names listed below:

Monday = الإثْنَين (al-ithnayn)
Tuesday = الثَلاثاء (al-thalāthāʾ)
Wednesday = الأربَعاء (al-arbaʿāʾ)
Thursday = الخَميس (al-khamīs)
Friday = الجُمُعة (al-jumuʿah)
Saturday = السَبْت (al-sabt)
Sunday = الأحَد (al-aḥad)
Other than Friday and Saturday, these names are derived from the cardinal numbers (maybe that should be our next lesson). So “Sunday” is literally “first day,” Monday “second day,” and so on.

“Week” is أسبوع (usbūʿ), from سَبَع (sabaʿ) or “seven,” and “days of the week” is أيام الأسبوع (ayām al-usbūʿ).

The makeup of the work week in the Arab world varies by country. Friday, you probably know, is the Islamic Sabbath. This is actually reflected in the word for “Friday,” which is derived from the verb جَمَعَ (jamaʿa), meaning “to collect,” which in other forms can mean “meeting” or “congregating,” and so the name of the day refers to the fact that Friday is the one day when Muslims are expected to attend a large congregational mosque for formal prayer services (Islam requires several daily prayers, but these can be done alone, in small or large groups, in small or large mosques or any other suitable location; the midday Friday prayer is the one obligatory weekly large group prayer in the mosque).

The traditional Islamic “weekend” was Thursday-Friday, mirroring our Saturday-Sunday, but globalization and the demands of interacting with non-Muslims for business have caused a number of countries to shift to a Friday-Saturday weekend, which means their work week and non-Muslims’ work week are only off by two days rather than four. Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the Yemen still practice the Thursday-Friday weekend according to the fine folks at Wikipedia, while Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, the Sudan, Syria, and the UAE use the Friday-Saturday weekend. Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia actually use a Saturday-Sunday weekend; this makes a certain amount of sense in the case of Lebanon, where Christians were in the majority at least until the mid-20th century, but I am at a loss as to why Morocco and Tunisia are on that schedule (or at least why they would be Saturday-Sunday while Algeria was Thursday-Friday until 2009, when it went to Friday-Saturday)."

This excerpt replaces a shorter one that I had initially quoted in this post and is reformatted for this post to enhance its readability.

Click for historical information about Islam in Africa.

(This list is given in alphabetical order.)

Excerpt #1:
"Edo... Ẹ̀dó; also called Bini (Benin)) is a Volta–Niger language spoken primarily in Edo State, Nigeria."

Excerpt #2
The Edo or Bini (from the word 'Benin') people are an ethnic group primarily found in Edo State, and spread across the Delta, Ondo, and Rivers states of Nigeria. They speak the Edo language and are the descendants of the founders of the Benin Empire. They are closely related to other ethnic groups that speak Edoid languages, such as the Esan, the Afemai and the Owan.

The name "Benin" (and "Bini") is a Portuguese corruption, ultimately from the word "Ubinu", which came into use during the reign of Oba Ewuare the Great, c. 1440. "Ubinu" was used to describe the royal administrative centre or city or capital proper of the kingdom, Edo. 'Ubinu' was later corrupted to 'Bini' by the mixed ethnicities living together at the centre; and further corrupted to "Benin" around 1485 when the Portuguese began trade relations with Oba Ewuare."...

Excerpt #3
Okuo (Ekenaka)



Free day - for rest
Ekioba (Oba Market)
Okha and Igo

Excerpt #1:
"The Efik are an ethnic group located primarily in southeastern Nigeria, in the southern part of Cross River State. The Efik speak the Efik language which is a Benue–Congo language of the Cross River family. Efik oral histories tell of migration down the Cross River from Arochukwu to found numerous settlements in the Calabar and Creek Town area. Creek Town and its environs are often commonly referred to as Calabar, and its people as Calabar people, after the European name Calabar Kingdom given to the state [in present-day Cross River State. Calabar is not to be confused with the Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State which is an Ijaw state to its west. Cross River State with Akwa Ibom State was formerly one of the original twelve states of Nigeria known as the Southeastern State.

The Efik people also occupy southwestern Cameroon including Bakassi,"

Excerpt #2
"Efik, wrongly referred to as Riverain Ibibio,[5] is the native language of the Efik people of Nigeria, where it is a national language. It is the official language of Cross River State in Nigeria.

The language can be understood by the Ibibio speaking people of Akwa Ibom state (a neighboring state to Cross River State) and both are often thought of as the same language by non-speakers. Together with the Anaang and Ukwa languages, they form the Ibibio-Efik languages, a major dialect cluster."..

Excerpt #3:
Efik Eburutu of Nigeria by Edidiana Edi Uforo
..."The Efik people of old had eight days in a week just like the Hebrews; one of the major Hebrew practices which the Scottish missionaries met in the mid-19th century Old Calabar. The days include

Akwa Ederi
Akwa Eyibio
Ekpri Ikwọ
Ekpri Ọfiọñ
Ekpri Ederi
Ekpri Eyibio
Akwa Ikwọ
Akwa Ọfiọñ

It has become increasingly difficult, if not out-rightly impossible, to run the eight-day-week intercalations of the Efik people in the Christian world of today from where the birth names were derived. The eight days in a week were intercalated such that what is Saturday this week becomes Sunday the next week as given for May, 1965. The corresponding names of children born on those days are also given but children born at night are compulsorily named Okon and Ñko for male and female respectively, without regard to the particular day."...

Excerpt #4
From Re: The Days Of The Week In Nigerian Languages And Their Meanings.
by odumchi: On Nov 28, 2012
"Efik market days

Ekwuru Efiong
Ekwuru Arar
Ekwuru Eyirio
Ekwuru Ekpem"

Fula (Fulfulde; Fulani)
Excerpt #1:
"Fulani and the Countries that Speak it
The Fulani language is a language of West Africa, spoken by the Ful?e (Fulani or Fulani people) from Senegambia and Guinea to Cameroon and Sudan. It is also spoken as the first language by the Tukulor in the Senegal River Valley and as a second language by peoples in other areas. There are several names applied to the language, just as there are to the Fulani people. They call their language Pulaar or Pular in the western dialects and Fulfulde in the central and eastern dialects. Despite the wide variety of cultures in West Africa, from Nigeria through to Senegal, there are general similarities in dress, cuisine, music and culture that are not shared extensively with groups outside the geographic region. Islam is the predominant historical religion of the West African interior and the far west coast of the continent; Christianity is the predominant religion in coastal regions of Nigeria, Ghana, and Cote d'Ivoire; and elements of indigenous religions are practiced throughout.

Excerpt #2:
The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe (Fula: Fulɓe; French: Peul; Hausa: Fulani or Hilani; Portuguese: Fula; Wolof: Pël; Bambara: Fulaw), numbering between 20 and 25 million people in total,[8] are one of the largest and a widely dispersed Muslim ethnic group in Sahel and West Africa.[9] The Fula people are traditionally believed to have roots in the people from North Africa and the Middle East, who later intermingled with local West African ethnic groups. As an ethnic group they are bound together by the Fula language (Fulfulde), culture, history, their religious affiliation[10] and their efforts to spread Islam in Sahel region and the West Africa.[9][11][12]

Excerpt #3
Excerpt from Google books A First Grammar of the Adamawa Dialect of the Fulani Language (Fulfulde)
By Frank William Taylor [page 93, written in this pancocojams post without accent marks]
"Days Of The Week Balde asawere

They are modifications of the Arabic.

Alad, Sunday
Altine, Monday
Salasa, Tuesday
Alarba Wednesday
Alhamisa, Thursday
Jum' are, Friday
and Asawe, Saturday

Excerpt #1:
"The Hausa (autonyms for singular: Bahaushe (m), Bahaushiya (f); plural Hausawa and general: Hausa/Haoussa; exonyms being Ausa, Mgbakpa, Kado, Al-Takari, Fellata and Abakwariga) are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. The Hausa are a diverse but culturally homogeneous people based primarily in the Sahelian and Sudanian Daura area of northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger, with significant numbers also living in parts of Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Chad, Togo, Ghana,[1] Sudan, Gabon and Senegal...

The Hausa language has more first-language speakers than any other language in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has an estimated 25 million first-language speakers, and close to 50 million second-language speakers.[46]
The main Hausa-speaking area is northern Nigeria and Niger. Hausa is also widely spoken in northern Cameroon, Chad, Sudanese Hausa in Sudan and the Ivory Coast among Fulani, Tuareg, Kanuri, Gur, Shuwa Arab and other Afro-Asiatic speaking groups.

The study of Hausa provides an informative entry into the culture of Islamic West Africa. Throughout West Africa, there is a strong connection between Hausa and Islam."...

Excerpt #2:
"Hausa (Yaren Hausa or Harshen Hausa) is the Chadic language (a branch of the Afroasiatic language family) with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 35 million people, and as a second language by millions more in Nigeria, and millions more in other countries, for a total of at least 41 million speakers.[4] Originally the language of the Hausa people stretching across southern Niger and northern Nigeria, it has developed into a lingua franca across much of western Africa for purposes of trade. In the 20th and 21st centuries, it has become more commonly published in print and online."...

Excerpt #3
Days of the Week - Kwanakin Mako
[English - Hausa]
Monday - Litini
Tuesday - Talata
Wednesday - Laraba
Thursday - Alhamis
Friday - Jumma'a
Saturday - Asabar
Sunday - Lahadi

Excerpt #1:
"The Ibibio people are from southeast Nigeria. They are related to the Anaang and Efik peoples. During colonial period in Nigeria, the Ibibio Union asked for recognition by the British as a sovereign nation (Noah, 1988). The Annang, Efik, Ekid, Oron and Ibeno share personal names, culture, and traditions with the Ibibio, and speak closely related varieties of Ibibio-Efik which are more or less mutually intelligble.[2]"

Excerpt #2:
New insights into oral literature: The days of the week in a folktale: Crisis in the calender of the Ibibio of Nigeria
"The Ibibio are an ethnic group in the South-East of Nigeria with a culture that is very ancient. The Ibibio weeks, one of seven days and another comprising eight days, regulate the life, the economy and the traditions of the people. "...

Excerpt #3:
from Google book Children's Missionary Magazine of the United Presbyterian Church [February 1, 1883; page 20]
"Four Days Of The Week

Now Ibibio and Efik, instead of having seven days of the week, have only four. Ederi, Ibibio, Iquo, and Fion are the four days. Ederi is the first day of the week and corresponds with Sunday. It is a day on which people cease from farm work and meet at one place from all sides for the exchange of produce from the country. ...Ederi is a market day."...

This concludes Part I of this series on Names Nigerian

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