The first morning in Ouaga we visited the Village Artisanal de Ouaga. It is a government-run cooperative with more than 300 artists and master craftsmen. A stroll around the workshops can take some hours to see all the different products and the artisans making it. But luckily you can walk in the shade of the porches along the workshops and shops.
The Village Artisanal gives a great overview of outstanding local craft like clothing, textiles, leatherware, painting, wood and metal carving, jewellery, sculptures, musical instruments.
It is ideal to see the richness of Burkina Faso in art and local craft, but also to get and idea of prices and quality without the hassle of the markets. You can have only a look at the traditional and modern designs, but of course you can also buy.
At the workshops with the craftsmen the prices are negotiable. In the centre of the Village Artisanal is also an airco boutique with a excellent selection of the artisanal products. Here the prices are fixed and a bit higher. You can pay with visa.
In the Village Artisanal is also a café, a bureau the change and a cybercafé.
The Village Artisanal is open from 7am till 7pm.
The first day in Ouaga we visited the Centre National d'Artisanat d'Art in the citycentre. The visist gave us a nice overview of the local handicrafts and the prices. The prices are fixed and the profits go directly to the artisan.
In the workshops you can see how the batiks, wooden sculptures and bronze statues are made. People are friendly and very willing to explain.
Opening hours from 8am till 6pm.
Worth a visit!
A villa, not too far from the centre.
In the garden, in a kind of shed and in a small building: a capharnaum of African antiques (real ones and copies), arts and crafts.
They can send what you buy at your address at a reasonable price if you are not in a hurry: it took 2 months to arrive at Othe.
The Lafon family has a good reputation and is supplying almost all African antique shops in Paris? where it?s between 10 and 50 times more expensive!
What to buy: Masks, old furniture, jewels, potteries, statues made of wood, steel or bronze, paintings, fabrics (marvellous ones)...
You like the style or not, but the quality is rather good.
Masks and statues are copies: it's forbidden to export old genuine ones.
Prices are reasonable.
You can try to bargain a bit... but it's usually hopeless here.
What to pay: A fortune...
You can actually buy anything you wish here:
an entire car or only parts
an entire bicycle or only parts
clothes or clocks
food or shampoo
soap or soup
a nail or two screws
s***t or fruits
cigarettes or simply one cigarette.
What to buy: Whatever you wish, but bargain!
Ask his price to the shop keeper.
Insist because he will ask you how much you're ready to pay.
Once you know his price, divide it by 4.
Pretend you're living.
Let him call you back.
Finally accept at a third of the initial price.
You've paid too much.
And it's perfect like that: you are not ruined... and the shop keeper can feed his family for one day.