Western Africa

Burkina Faso

Art Maker (4)
Records View on map

This is Burkina Faso

Despite its extreme poverty (food insecurity and limited natural resources contribute to poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens), Burkina Faso is home to an extraordinary wealth of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and biodiversity. Today’s Burkina Faso is the result of the unification under a single government – carried out by France in the last years of the nineteenth century – of about fifty different ethnic and linguistic groups that are the result of a characteristic high level of mobility. Generally, community networks transcended ethnic boundaries and cultural flexibility has been more important than cultural differences. However, colonial transformation sometimes has favored the hardening of ethnic borders. In fact, Burkina Faso is a former French colony known as Upper Volta that was dissolved in 1932 in order to assure a supply of labor to the French coastal colonies. The intellectual elite along with the traditional Mossi aristocracy long protested against this dissolution, and finally gained the reconstitution of the colony, which only later acquired the name of Burkina Faso, which means “Land of Incorruptible People”. In spite of this chaotic and conflictual history, national identity has formed that avoided major ethnic conflicts. Burkina’s traditional beliefs also encouraged the notion that communities are all interdependent, emphasizing the need to cooperate rather than compete with one another. A striking example of this attitude is the importance of “the joking relationship”: when joking partners meet, they insult each other but always in a humorous way and it’s absolutely forbidden to take any offense.

Cities in Burkina Faso
Bobo-Dioulasso

Bobo Dioulasso was the economic and business capital of the country when it formed the terminus of the railroad running to Abidjan, in Côte d’Ivoire. ...

Western Africa
Bobo-Dioulasso
Artist Studio (2 )
Ouagadougou

Ouagadougou was the original capital of one of the most powerful Mossi Kingdoms - known as Wagadogo and founded in the 15th century - and the seat of the Morho Naba (“Great Lord”). Today, it is the administrative capital and the seat of government of Burkina Faso. ...

Western Africa
Ouagadougou
Artist Studio (2 )
AZ
Reset All filters