TABBASTAKA: FROM CULTURAL IDENTITY TO SOCIAL COHESION: A CASE STUDY OF SOME WEST AFRICAN COMMUNITIES
Researches and writers like Jean-Claude Abbric (1978), Mariko Keletegui (1990), Jean-Godefroy Bidima (2003), and Adamou Barké (2006/2008), Georges Dorlian (2007) have discussed the issue of Tabbastaka or its aspects either as social representations, social structural identity, fictional identity, alliances and relatives' identity, or jesting kinship as a social factor of integration. Tabbastaka is the Hausa appropriate word which defines cousinage à plaisanterie or joking cousinhood. It has
... sinhood. It has different spelling depending on languages and ethnical groups as mentioned by the Nigerienne Adamou Barké (2008): Tabbastaka in Hausa; Bassetarey in Zarma-Songhaï; Dendiragu in Fulani; Taboubza in Tamashek; Tchindi in Gourmantche; N'gui en Kanuri; Al'muzahatu Bil'ukhuati in Arabe; values'system translated in French in terms of cousinhood Joking or jesting kinship. It is a system of values which links in a network of bi- Lateral relations local ethnical communities as crossed cousins... (284). Tabbastaka by definition is the use of these bilateral relations in jokes. Joke as something said or done to amuse people and cause laugher, especially a funny story or amusing trick. The objectives in this paper is not to come back to what the above cited researchers have done but, to develop the impact of Tabbastaka on the West African communities in term of social cohesion especially, Gobirawa and Yoruba; Gobirawa and Katsinawa; Gobirawa and Daurawa; Gobirawa and Zamfarawa; Gobirawa and Kabawa; Gobirawa and Zarma/Songhaï; Fulani and Kanuri; Fulani and Arawa/Gubawa, just to limit myself to these binomial or mates. Through effective illustrations I will show how Tabbastaka influences these communities' relations among them up to the point that they no longer fight each other for lands, pasture areas or wells and live hand in hand in harmony.