Cote d’Ivoire: Korhogo and area

Cote d’Ivoire: Korhogo and area


I had actually never ever become aware of Korhogo, the 4th greatest city in Cote d’Ivoire, prior to a couple of months prior to my work journey. It is a city filled with craftsmens, in an area filled with craftsmens, and I’m thrilled to reveal you a few of the stunning handicrafts I saw while there.


Unlike Abidjan, Korhogo and the surrounding location is dry. It’s close to Burkina Faso and it feels and look extremely comparable (minus, the good news is, the blinding dust– possibly since it was November rather of December). It’s most likely simply as hot as southern Cote d’Ivoire, where Abidjan is, however the absence of humidity makes all the distinction in between sensation manageably hot and frustratingly overheated, a minimum of in my experience.

Above and listed below are some views from my hotel, among the taller structures in the area.


I was based in Korhogo for 12 days. Practically every early morning, we left early for a town or town within an hour or more of the city, and we returned in the late afternoon or night. On the days when we ended up early enough, we made pit-stops in intriguing locations that were en path (or en route-ish) to the hotel.

One day, we entered search of the small town of Fakaha, understood for its unique method of painting on cotton fabric with earth-based pigments. It’s reported however not 100% particular that Picasso when checked out for motivation

We got lost en route to the town, which is not extremely well-marked. A male in a field escaped from us when we slowed the cars and truck and rolled down our window to ask him for instructions. My coworker believed it was since regardless of the passage of more that a years given that completion of the “crisis” (he and others appeared to choose calling it that to a civil war), the source of the dispute still simmered and worry of complete strangers stayed in the heavily-impacted North. That was my only experience of noticing apprehension from anybody I satisfied, however it was a minute of (re) understanding just how much of a nation’s depths lie listed below the surface area, unnoticeable and/or unattainable to travelers.

In any case, we ultimately discovered the town and its 3 or 4 craftsmen huts filled with stunning toiles.

Fahaka vegetable based paintings

I purchased a couple of from the skilled artist imagined below, Soro Bakary.


Prior to we left, a lady revealed me how she was spinning cotton thread from a huge ball of cotton fluff. (Cotton is a huge crop in this part of Cote d’Ivoire.) It appeared like magic– I have no concept how she did it although I looked for numerous minutes.


On another day, we checked out most likely the greatest traveler destination in the area– the town of Waraniéné, understood for its cooperative of artisanal weavers and their special design of narrow woven bands that are stitched.


I went on a Sunday so not as lots of weavers were at work, however I did get to view a couple of. They are lightning-fast and exceptionally talented.


I combed through their products, which included clothes, bags, and house items like table linens and blankets.


I wound up purchasing this sheet/blanket, which among the weavers kindly consented to hold up for an image.


On yet another day, I strolled to the craftsmens center in Korhogo to inspect it out. It was dirty and not truly working, and the someone there informed me that due to something that had actually harmed the structure (possibly it was a fire however I can’t keep in mind), everybody had actually moved somewhere else.

There was one table with some shaped crafts for sale, however, and to my pleasure I saw a handful of little wood birds. I had actually been identifying huge calao birds all over the hotel and in some other locations, and I had actually inquired about their significance.


The calao is a genuine bird(a hornbill) that has spiritual significance to the Senufo individuals. It plays an essential part in the production misconception, and it is thought to have terrific intelligence and the power to secure individuals. That’s why wood calao figurines can be discovered at the entryways of towns and structures– to protect individuals inside from risk.

A Number Of the se birds are crafted in an area of Korhogo called Koko, which is understood for woodworking. I didn’t get to check out throughout my journey, however I did purchase a little calao at the artisanat. It offered me a sensation of security when I perched it on the desk in my hotel space.


Now I have it on a rack right beside my front door, along with my secrets. I like it, and I like the significance of it, however I am not exactly sure whether I must own an item that is spiritual to another group, however not to me. Prior to I purchased it I asked my Ivorian coworkers what they believed, and they stated they believed it was great.

However something I have actually been contemplating a lot recently is whether “getting approval” makes appropriation anything besides appropriation. I have a wood sun mask from Burkina Faso that I harbor comparable doubts about. It is typically utilized in events to bring a great harvest. And though I desire absolutely nothing more than great harvests around the world permanently and constantly, I have no genuine skin because video game, nor am I from another location from the ethnic group that thinks in the spiritual powers of the mask. I like it for visual factors. Does that make it unsuitable for me to purchase? If I felt extremely plainly that it did, I would not own it.

However I am on the fence about it. I purchased both products straight from individuals who made them at main craftsmen centers that were developed particularly to accommodate travelers. Neither of these products are classic and therefore neither were ever utilized in event or for conventional functions. They have no historic worth and they have actually been produced en masse, albeit by hand. (I have an extremely clear and firm policy versus purchasing unique/important artifacts from locations that I do not originate from culturally.) If the makers of these things are from a long line of makers in the exact same neighborhood, and if they believe it’s fine to offer to me, and if purchasing from them supports the neighborhood, and if I like the artistry of the pieces and regard the spiritual customs behind them, can I own and show them? What do you believe? I am truly battling with this concern.

That was a tangent … Back to my journeys.

One day we dropped in the town of Niofoin to check out the earliest part of the town, where conventional huts that are lots of years old still stand. The one listed below, with unique cone-shaped thatching (the others are more generally rounded), is where the spiritual fetishes are kept. Just particular individuals are allowed at particular times.


They include a brand-new layer of straw to the hut’s roofing every year, so by counting the layers you can figure out how old the structure is, similar to counting a tree’s rings of bark.

The stucco of the hut was embossed with figures of individuals, snakes, and other things I could not rather recognize.


Regrettably, my coworkers did not speak the regional language and the residents who were around at the time didn’t speak French, so we could not truly find out more about what the hut and its contents imply to individuals of Niofoin. I have actually checked out that there are 2 fetishes within, which they secure the town by covering it in thick smoke at the arrival of opponents, however I do not understand if that’s trustworthy info.


Another stop to inform you about in Korhogo: the gallery of Souleymane Arachi, ran out of his house. 5 or 6 spaces are stuffed with artifacts gathered from around West Africa and the Sahel area by his dad– who emigrated from Niger in the 50 s or 60 s– and later on by him. It is spectacular and amazing.


I might continue with these photos.

If you remain in Korhogo, you MUST see this location. Souleymane is extremely knowledgable about all the pieces and can inform you their provenance and history. If you do not purchase anything, you can thank him for his time with a generous idea– whatever you may pay at a museum would be proper, given that he has a museum-worthy collection.


That recommends Korhogo (although I do have food and dining establishment suggestions for the city– must you ever require them, you understand where to discover me). Here’s a parting sundown shot to close this chapter, and I will select back up once again with Grand-Bassam next time.