Tiébélé – Burkina Faso

Tiébélé is a small, circular village of about 1.2 hectares in Burkina Faso located about 180 km southeast of Ouagadougou, near the border with Ghana. It is the capital of the Gurunsi Country, also known as Kassena Country. Kassena people is one of the oldest ethnic groups in Burkina Faso, who first settled the region in the 15th Century.

Tiébélé is known for their amazing traditional gurunsi vernacular architecture and elaborately decorated walls of their earthen huts. The village lies within circular walled confines at the base of a hill. Some of the most elaborately patterned buildings are actually mausoleums for the dead. The houses are entirely built of local materials: wood and  a sun-dried mix of clay, soil, straw and cow droppings. After construction, women decorated the walls using colored mud and white chalk, with motifs and symbols taken from everyday life, from religion and beliefs: the entire surface is coated with a natural varnish made by boiling pods of néré, an African tree.

Tiébélé’s inhanitants preferring to keep their village isolated to ensure the conservation and integrity of their structures. Tiébélé village was proposed to be an UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 2012.













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