Burkina Faso Culture and Literature


Traditional architecture varies by region and ethnic group. it ranges from the straw hut of the fulbe to the tent of the Tuaregh to the round hut built with sun-baked bricks and a thatched roof (used by mossi, bisa and gurmanché). To the south the bobo, dagara, gurunsi and lobi build huge castle-like houses with wood, mud walls and flat roofs. In these structures, often brightly painted, over a hundred people can live; to the south the villages are often made up of dozens of these huge houses scattered over the territory. The markets set up in the center of the villages and towns are not only spaces for commercial activities but also places of communication where we exchange news and gossip, organize weddings and spend time in company. The main food is the , a kind of dough prepared with millet and maize flour; it is served warm and accompanied with sauce. The most common sauces are made with baobab leaves and / or sorrel and contain ingredients that vary from region to region; sometimes butter tree or tuberous wisteria paste is added. In the southernmost regions, sweet potatoes are grown and eaten, while in the north, especially among the Fulbe, milk plays an important part in the diet. Local specialties include a species of caterpillar, highly prized among bobo and which is very nutritious, because its meat is rich in protein. In rural areas, meat is rarely eaten. The cattle are raised not for meat but to pay the dowry or to offer sacrifices. The exception is the weekly market, where food is prepared and sold: roast pork, fried eggs and french bread. Meat is not eaten often, but is consumed at weddings, births and funerals. All ethnic groups celebrate local festivals during which special food is prepared and beer is consumed. Among the national events, the Fespaco (Festival Pan-Africain du Cinema) stands out, held every two years in Ouagadougou: numerous African directors participate in this film festival and the event attracts famous people from all over the world.


Before colonization, as a country located in Africa according to Medicinelearners, Burkina Faso had its own civilization, characterized, on a literary level, by an oral production, largely due to professional minstrels, the griots. This tradition still exists, with songs, narratives, recitatives in which the deeds and virtues of the ancestors of certain families are exalted. The impact with European culture was not very profound and only touched a small elite. On the contrary, an attempt was made to save the traditional heritage by collecting and transcribing the oral literary production. The advent of independence did not divert the attention of scholars and writers from the past: good essays on historical-political and ethnological-literary topics appeared. (1922-2006), economist, sociologist and historian, who goes beyond national and African borders due to the vastness of the problems addressed and the consensus. PB Bamouni with his essay Burkina Faso should also be mentioned . Processus d’une révolution (1986). Also in the narrative field the historical-ethnological interest prevailed, as demonstrated by the novel Crépuscule des temps anciens (1962) by Nazi Boni (1914-1969). After 1984, the state encouraged literary production and fiction became more dynamic. Among the young writers we remember Jean-Baptiste Somé (Miel amer, 1985), Jean-Hubert Bazié (Champ d’août, 1986), Babou Paulin Bamouni (Obou, l’étudiant journaliste, 1986), Pierre Claver Ilboudo (Adama ou la force des choses, 1987), Patrick G. Ilboudo, author of Le procès du muet (1987) and Les carnets secrets d’une fille de joie (1988). Central to all these novels is the interest in the rural exodus and the loneliness that affects the elderly left alone in their villages. The language is simple and linear, but it becomes pungent in the satire on the country’s ruling class, considered as the first responsible for the failure of the hopes and expectations created by independence. The same themes of prose can be found in poetry which, however, seems to be better reconciled with the dominant oral tradition and which has its main exponents in two female figures, Bernadette Dao and Pierrette Sandra Kanzié. Poetry, thanks above all to the work of F. Pacéré-Titinga (Des tombes qui pleurent, 1987), became militant, fervently expressing political commitment. The theatrical activity is lively, even if the written texts are still quite small in number. Two authors have established themselves internationally: Th. Sowie Moussa (Tiombulari, 1985) and JP Guingané (Le fou, 1986). In the last years of the twentieth century and at the beginning of the twenty-first century, new writers appeared on the literary scene, such as Augustin Sondé Coulibaly, Jean Baptiste Somé and Monique Ilboudo; the major obstacle to the development of a national literature is the scarcity of publishers.

Burkina Faso Culture

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