Sunday, April 29, 2012

Burkina Faso: Tiébélé

Here are the rest of our pictures from our trip to Burkina Faso. In addition to visiting an animal park, we visited the palace at Tiébélé, where there is a royal compound from the 1600´s. Our guide spoke to us in French and somehow we actually understood a lot. He was great, making sure to speak clearly and slowly and saying things in several different ways to be sure. And I´m glad, because this place was fascinating. 

We were allowed to take pictures freely, although there were a few trees and a tomb we were not supposed to photograph. The guide explained to us that many members of the royal family had been buried inside the compound, making the entire area sacred ground. There was also an area where placentas were buried, connecting the current residents of the compound to their ancestors and to the house. The style of the houses was built defensively against attackers. The doors are low and you have to crawl into the houses. Behind each door there is a low wall, behind which someone could hide and shoot arrows out the door. The village had been under attack hundreds of years ago by invaders from Nigeria.

We were allowed to enter one house. It was dark and cool - while outside it was very bright and hot! We were on the outer edges of the Sahara desert.

The compound is still occupied by the descendants of the royal family.


We ate lunch at a guest house that had been built in the same style as the royal compound and with interesting metal sculptures in the courtyard.

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