Bernard Woma is from the Gbanne Clan of the Dagara people. He was born in the village of Hiineteng, located in Northwestern Ghana, near the border with Burkina Faso. His father noticed that, as a newborn, Bernard's hands were clenched in fists, as if he was clutching xylophone mallets.
His father consulted with a village elder who informed him that Bernard's hands indicated that he was destined to become a xylophone player. His father purchased a pair of xylophones for his infant son. Consequently, Bernard began playing the gyil when he was two years old.