Cour Royale

Top choice in Burkina Faso

More than 450 people live in Tiébélé's royal court, a large compound of typical sukhalas, or traditional painted houses. Children live with their grandparents in octagonal huts, couples live in rectangular huts and single people in round ones. Painting is generally done in February/March, after the harvest. Each drawing, whether geometrical or illustrative, has a meaning (fertility, afterlife, wisdom etc).

To visit you're required to go with a local guide, who will take you inside the court as well as inside some of the homes, too. Visits offer an insight into life inside these tiny dwellings, and the meaning of the painted shapes; some are straightforward images, such as snakes (which signify a visit from a dead grandmother!), but others are more abstract. It's a marvellous experience.

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