The Family System of Inheritance In Bulsa

A discussion of the family system necessarily leads us to consider what definition to give to the word ‘ Family’ which would enable us to determine those groups that made up this unit for purposes of inheritance.
Every one of us belong to a family whether by blood or by adoption. In the Bulsa community one don’t just need to belong to a blood group to be a member of a family.
There are other ways by which you can become a member of a family.
An individual will usually belong to his or her parent’s family at the time of birth. This normally attaches to everyone or everybody during his or her lifetime. Yet, there is considerable divergence of opinion on what entity constitute the family.
Under the Bulsa Customary law, the word family may be used in two senses. The word “family” may be used in Bulsa to include all of a peron’s relations who have descended directly from one male ancestor. In some instances, the term may be used to loosely include members of the same clan. The term used here is “ Kobiisa “ which is said to have originated from one ancestor or even the founder of the clan that reference is being made to. This group “ kobiisa” are not considered for purposes of succession or inheritance.
This leads us to the second sense in which the term family may be referred.
The second sense of term family is used to cover is a man’s children, both male and female. But it is the sons who are entitled to the beneficial enjoyment of the deceased’s self-acquired property. In some cases the deceased’s brother might be allowed to inherit him if he (deceased) is childless.
The Bulsa are patrilineal community where inheritance of property is through the direct male line. A male member of the Bulsa Family from the moments of birth, is born into his father’s family. He therefore is a member of that family by right of birth. He begins life in that family, together with brothers and sisters who share the paternity with him. His family is his father’s family and he would be a member of the family of his father.
This would be the situation until he has issues (children) of his own and this becomes his personal family. Hence in Bulsa Community the true position is that, a male member of a family who has issues (children) is the head of the family that he himself procreates. He is also a member, by right of birth, of the family he was born into, that is his father’s family. This distinction is important under Bulsa Customary law. His children may succeed to his own personal property but not the family property which might have been under his control. His brothers have the right to this property which belonged to their father and is held for purposes of joint enjoyment. Hence, on the death of a Bulsa, his personal property is separated from that of the family property that he and his brother held jointly.
It can thus be confidently concluded or said that in Buluk , each man is a potential apex or originator of a family. While he enjoys this position as a founder. As one continues, the circle begins to get wider and may include his paternal grandfather, great- grand father and so on.

Family is always the arms around us.

Author: spenceranadem

I love art, photography and traveling . Down to earth and fun to be with ..

7 thoughts on “The Family System of Inheritance In Bulsa”

  1. Refreshing learning something new about the Ghanaian culture.

    A quick question, since inheritance is patrilineal in the Bulsa’s, are all children to get equal share of a father’s properties, or the eldest son gets it.

    Liked by 1 person

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