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Behind the palace is a courtyard surrounded by the houses of the king’s wives amongst other sacred buildings. The late king is buried in this courtyard. He chose the burial spot himself before he died. The mound has a small hole in it to allow air in so that the king’s spirit can breathe and so that he can look out and check how his kingdom is doing.
This style of burial tombs is unique to the Bassar tribe.
The second picture shows the tomb of a previous king, where a sacrifice has recently taken place. The tombs are treated like shrines.
The third picture shows the skulls of sacrificed animals hanging from the eves of a hut in the courtyard.
The fourth picture shows yet another tomb with evidence of a recent sacrifice: feathers on the top and blood on the ground.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
- Arts and Culture
Don't put your finger on your nose.
In the Lome area, never put your finger at the root of your nose, it is a big insult for a lot of people.
In fact, the tribe of the president was wearing a bone in the nose some dozens of years ago. When they want to insult someone like being real bush and illetrate, they put the finger on the nose at the same place than the bone was inserted before.
Some of them can fight you for this insult, even if you are just on your way to scratch your nose!
The local dress code
It's very common in Africa to see women dressed in brightly-coloured outfits, often in two pieces, with perhaps an extra strip of material that's used to carry a child. Wildly colourful men's shirts are also quite a feature. In Togo, however, what is really striking is the number of men wearing what look like pajamas to a Western visitor - that is, a shirt and pants made from a patterned fabric, which looks almost comical on a tall man, but which locally is very fashionable. The market cloth-sellers are mostly women, but there were plenty of men purchasing fabric for their next outfits, in colours I would never dare to wear, but they carried it off with aplomb!
Rules I have learned in Africa
There are a few rules I have learned in Africa:
1. In Africa, you musn't be in hurry and under stress because of the unponctualiaty. It is useless. The perception of the time is totaly different from the perception in Europe.
2. Do not plan to much. Prepare yourself for the fact that you cannot follow any exact schedule. Be open and flexible, let the things happen and be ready for adjusting your plans.
3. African people sing and dance almost all the time. Late in the night, very early (if it is Sunday in the town - day of the mass), during your visite in the village... The best thing is to start dancing with them.
4. If you are white, it means you are rich (= you have a lot of money). Do not try to contradict it.
Local beer is called Flag Beer. Pretty good. Not much of a beer enthusiast so my opinion could be jaded but still...try it anyway. You're there already, right?
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As I have explained in another one of my Togo tips, the baobab tree is a useful shrub. Here you can see a loofah made from the fibres of the trunk of the baobab tree.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Strange local custom. Still wondering abou this: "why somebody left this stuff in my room?" A VT friend (a ST friend) gave me some suggestions... Still wondering about them...
It’s a long story. I made a reservation with this hotel, then forgot and didn’t stay here. I wish I...more
I have stayed in this hotel for a week in 2005 Sep on my way to accra from cotonou. I must say that...more
A very nice, comfortable/upper class hotel with amazing swimming pool. Staff very helpful....more
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