illustrated village including buildings and a woman

The Senufo People

Burkina Faso pictograph

The Senufo people live in West Africa. Experts estimate their population at over 2,500,000. Sharing a common language and culture, the Senufo live in a region that encompasses parts of the nation-states of Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire (also known as Ivory Coast), and Mali. The Senufo speak about nine major dialects within Senari, their common language, dividing the people into different language groups. Three of these linguistic groups live in Burkina Faso: Senufo-Kulele, Senufo-Nanerge, and Senufo-Tagba.

This online exhibit concentrates on village life among the Tagba of Burkina Faso. Farming is the main way of life in a Tagba community. Family and kinship ties are important. Relationships are based upon respect for the wisdom and experience of elders. Responsibilities and celebrations are shared by all.

a few villagers surrounded by mounds of cotton
Cotton is the main cash crop of Burkina Faso.
  • man sitting on stool
    Moussa the Big, a local blacksmith, healer, and famous hunter.
  • woman sitting in a porch
    This porch provides shelter from the sun while letting in a cooling breeze.
  • man sitting on ground
    A retired hunter wearing a mud cloth shirt.