“Burkina Faso is by no means an area frequented by tourists, but at the base of a hill overlooking the surrounding sun-drenched West African savannah lies an extraordinary village, a circular 1.2 hectare complex of intricately embellished earthen architecture. It is the residence of the chief, the royal court and the nobility of the Kassena people, who first settled the region in the 15th century, making them one of the oldest ethnic groups in Burkina Faso.
I came upon these rare photographs of the village from a dedicated Flickr user Rita Willaert who traveled to Tiébélé in 2009 (see all her photos of the village here). The village keeps itself extremely isolated and closed to outsiders, most likely to ensure the conservation and integrity of their structures and to protect the local traditions. There is interest in developing the site as a cultural tourism destination to generate economic resources for conservation but it is a delicate process.…”
Photo by Rita Willaert