There is a village in Burkina Faso called Tiebele, and something sets it apart from the rest in the area. The people living there have relied on an ethic of isolation to not only preserve their way of life and their culture, but also to preserve their houses. These houses are artfully crafted, simple, yet ornate structures. When one sees the efforts and care put into these homes, one realizes why the village would be so protective.
A photographer, Rita Willaert, went to the village and was given the opportunity to take photographs of these rarely seen houses that make up this self-isolated village. Check out a few of these awesome and rare photos below.
Tiebele is a village inhabited by the royal court, the nobility, the chief of the Kassena people.
One of the oldest ethnic groups in the region, the Kassena people settled in Burkina Faso in the fifteenth century.
The village does its best to remain isolated and closed to outsiders.
This is because they want to do their best to preserve their cultural traditions as well as keep their beautiful buildings intact.
Recently, however, there has been some discussion about possibly opening up the village to allow for a small amount of tourism.
Some think that allowing for some tourism would provide some economic resources that could go toward preserving these beautiful homes.
If it were to open itself up to outsiders, many would be honored to have the opportunity to see this amazing village. But tourism could (and has proven to in other cases) have a negative impact on the village.
Even if the people Tiebele don”t open up their village to allow for more tourists, these photographs of their wonderfully crafted and decorated homes at least give us a partial sense of what the village is like in person.
These photographs and their subjects are really unique and fascinating. The Kassena people obviously have a rich cultural history and one that they hope to preserve, the fragility of which those who wish to visit the village should be well aware.