Portal:Burkina Faso

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The Burkina Faso Portal

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Flag of Burkina Faso
Coat of Arms of Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso (/bərˌknə ˈfɑːs/ burr-KEE-nə FAH-soh; French: [byʁkina faso]), also known by its short-form name Burkina, is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the south east, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the south west.

Its size is 274,000 km² with an estimated population of more than 15,757,000. Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamed on August 4, 1984, by President Thomas Sankara to mean "the land of upright people" in Moré and Dioula, the major native languages of the country. Literally, "Burkina" may be translated, "men of integrity," from the Moré language, and "Faso" means "father's house" in Dioula. The inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabè (/bərˈknəb/ burr-KEE-nə-bay).

Burkina Faso's capital is Ouagadougou. After gaining independence from France in 1960, the country underwent many governmental changes until arriving at its current form, a semi-presidential republic. The country occupies the sixth to last place on the Human Development Index.

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Kora

The Music of Burkina Faso is influenced by some 60 different ethnic groups, each with their own variety of folk music. The country has produced very little popular music compared to its neighbors, which includes African musical giants like Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. Burkinabé traditional music, however, has continued to thrive in spite of the influx of popular styles, and the country's cultural, and musical, output remains quite diverse.

The national anthem of Burkina Faso is "Une Seule Nuit", written by Thomas Sankara. It has been the official anthem of the country since 1984, when Upper Volta became known as Burkina Faso. It remains even after Sankara was murdered in a coup, the leader of which remains in power.

There is a National Museum of Music in Ouagadougou. Its collection is a few years old, beginning in 1998, but already has several hundred unique musical instruments. These include the balafon and bara. Unlike most African countries, Burkina Faso has not yet had a popular national style, and the most popular recordings are imported from Europe, the United States, Democratic Republic of the Congo to invest, large-scale concerts, advanced recording studios, electric instruments and amplification and widespread distribution are difficult.

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Griotte
Credit: Roman Bonnefoy

A griotte in Burkina Faso.

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Women processing shea nuts

  • ... that shea trees, most heavily concentrated in Burkina Faso, are referred to as "women's gold" (woman processing shea nuts pictured) by the locals for their properties?


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In the news

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Wikinews Burkina Faso portal
  • September 23: Civilian government restored as Burkina Faso coup ends
  • January 5: French campaigning film director René Vautier dies
  • November 28: United Nations passes Declaration on human cloning
  • December 17: Wikinews interviews former Matilda's player Sarah Walsh about Australian women's soccer
  • March 6: Polio vaccination campaign targets 85 million African children

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Samori Ture

Samori Ture (also Samory Touré or Samori ibn Lafiya Ture, c. 1830 - 1900) was the founder of the Wassoulou Empire, an Islamic state that resisted French rule in West Africa from 1882 to his capture in 1898.

Born c. 1830 in Manyambaladugu (in what is now southeastern Guinea), the son of Dyula traders, Samori grew up in a West Africa being transformed by growing contacts with the Europeans. European trade made some African trading states rich, while growing access to firearms changed traditional West African patterns of warfare. Early in his life, Ture converted to Islam.

In 1848, Samori's mother was captured in the course of war by Séré-Burlay, of the Cissé clan. After arranging his mother's freedom, Samori engaged himself to the service of the Cissés where he learned the handling of arms. According to tradition, he remained "seven years, seven months, seven days" before fleeing with his mother. (Read more...)

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