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Heritage of Wattera
The Legacy of Wattara

In the eighteenth century, western Burkina Faso, with the exception of the lobi and birifor country and one part of the Dagara country passed under the domination of the dyula sovereigns of Kong. Famara Wattara, son of Seku, moved to Bobo-Dioulasso and founded Gwiriko while his brother Bakari tried in vain to conquer the lobi territory, who were still fiercely attached to their independence.

In the nineteenth century, the Kong Empire was dismantled. Gwiriko was torn by incessant revolts. The Dafing kingdom of Wahabu, was born on its ruins. Further west, but always within the old limits of the Kong Empire, the Traore founded around Sikasso the Kingdom of Kenedugu (1825). Better organized than Gwiriko and posing as the offensive rival of the latter, Kenedugu, like its neighbor, had to face numerous and violent uprisings. Kenedugu disappeared when Sikasso was taken by the French (1898).

The Conquest of the Sahel

Until the arrival of the first conquerors, the Sahel was inhabited, as was the central plateau by the Nyonyonsé, original population of the burkinabè territory. From the XV century onwards it was invaded by the Mossi who, a century later, were repelled by the Songhai of Gao (Mali). The Gourma in turn took possession of these territories after defeating the original people.

In the early seventeenth century, the Peul from Fouta Toro arrived in the Burkinabe Sahel. The origins of the Peul people remain obscure. In the fifteenth century settled in the Fouta-Toro (East of Senegal), they began long migrations at in that era. One migration was towards the south in Fouta Djallon and the other towards the east, where they undertook the conquest of the Sahel. Following their herds of zebu, in search of pasture and water, they moved in small groups and settled here and there, depending on favorable conditions as for example in Wendu (Dori), in the Liptako (in fufuldé, “one who cannot be conquered”).

In 1810, after a war between the Peul Muslims and Gourma animists, the Peul took the Liptako definitively. As for the present territory of Oudalan, it was conquered by the Tuareg Udalan, noble descendants of Touareg tenguéréguédech originally from Hoggar. The Udalan warriors first of all settled on the banks of Beli. From the early nineteenth century, they launched offensives across all of Burkinabè Sahel. The Peul of Liptako tried to repulse them before finally ceding the northern part of their kingdom which the Touareg named Udalan.

In 1853, Dr. Henri Barth was without doubt, the first European to visit Dori. Captain Monteil was in Dori in 1891, when the throne of Liptako had been vacant for over a year. Boubakar Sori, appointed as the governor of Dori in 1892, received Destenave with open arms, with whom he signed a protectorate treaty on 4 October 1895. Destenave achieved the submission of the provinces in the north by forming an alliance with the Peul Chief of Aribinda.

France had thus achieved its goal: to establish a single block of territory unifying all its colonies of West Africa. Taking possession of the Niger loop, it managed to link the colony of Dahomey to the rest of its conquests: Senegal, French Sudan, French Guinea and Ivory Coast. From the beginning of the year 1897, Destenave began the organization of the territories.



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