From the advert outside, this place sounded grand. From the inside it was deserted, faded and looking a little tired. Maybe this place comes alive in the evening, but the particular lunchtime we were there, there was no-one else but us there.
There was one huge courtyard, bathed in sunlight making it extremely bright with its whitewashed walls. Around two of the sides of the courtyard was a roof cover, under which were some chairs and tables.
As usual, we arranged to use their facilities to make our own food (the chef, Daniel prepared us a lovely hot meal and a salad, followed by fresh fruit) in exchange for buying drinks from them. It seemed to work well.
One word of warning: the chairs are made from rather rotten wood, and I fell through the bottom of mine. It could have been very nasty, but as it turned out, it was just amusing!
This was one of the very few places in Togo where I saw souvenirs for sale openly. The villagers make these items themselves, and I hope the whole village get to benefit from the sale of these small clay figures. We bought a miniature Takienta as a gift for a friend, but it did not travel well and was in several pieces when it arrived at its destination.
I personally would not risk buying one of the pipes, as you may have trouble if you get stopped in Customs.
The word sacrifice comes from an old English expression “to make sacred”, and sacrifice is part of everyday life in rural Ghana. Sacrifice is basically making an offering in the form of food, drink or an animal to appease the gods and is used in traditional religions all over the world. We saw evidence of chickens being sacrificed, as well as...more
The Taberma also grow millet. Millet is grass-like grain grown throughout West Africa for use as food for humans and animals. Millet is separated from the husks, then washed and toasted. It can then be eaten more or less as it is, just boiled with water (used as an accompaniment to meat in the same way as rice may be used), flour can be made from...more
Suffering from claustrophobia, I didn’t like entering the main door backwards, and I refused to go in to the small rooms atop the terrace. The entrance is fairly tight and the inside is small, dark and has a low roof. Do not enter if you don’t like enclosed spaces!
As we were being shown around the terrace of the Takienta, a group of local people dressed up in traditional gear, started putting on a dance show for us. It was all rather touristy; although at no time did they ask us for any money. It was just that feeling of falseness.
This area, known as Koutammakou, is home to the Taberma ethnic group, whose name means good builder. There are 37 different ethnic groups in Togo, of which the Taberma are one minority who live in the north of Togo and neighbouring Benin. They are famous for their unique architecture.more
The first room you come to when you enter the Takienta, is where the animals are kept under the main terrace, away from rain and the enemy. You continue up rudely crafted stairs to the main terrace, where the Taberma spend all their leisure time and sleeping (as well as cooking during the rainy season) in small huts on top of the terrace.more