BURKINA and BENIN

Burkina Faso and Benin are two of the most unknown and authentic black African countries. Ideal places to start a trip without preconceived ideas and with an open spirit. A trip to cross the doors of another era and of another spiritual and social conception. They belong to the Africa that conquers you by the senses, by the whirlwind of color of their markets, by the innate elegance of their women, always slender, always mothers, by their sorcerers who invoke, through rituals of blood and magic, the protection of the ancestors and by the obscene poverty.

Both countries share a spectacular traditional clay and straw architecture, unique in the world for its design and symbolism. Both the lobi country ‘sukalas’ in Burkina and the Benin ‘tata somba’ were conceived as small fortresses to protect themselves from intruders, wild beasts, and slave hunters who came from the kingdom of Dahomey. They are surrounded by fetishes and anthropomorphic figures that protect the family, in an animistic world where they have a reverential respect for their deceased.

The real spell begins once the narrow and only door that gives access to its interior has been crossed. A black world in perpetual semi-darkness, a phantasmagoric atmosphere of blue smoke and soot, the firewood that burns under pots of brass and mud, the most beautiful steps of steps carved from wooden logs and the holes of light that outline the beauty of its inhabitants. One feels the sensation of sharing an ancient world in danger of extinction. Africa always bewitches and surprises, despite its tragic and magical contradictions.