Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Women of Burkina

Wealthy women wear heels, perfume, and jewellery, and carry a handbag. But they are all elegant, even those in a simple ‘pagne’ (those African dresses or skirts). They hold their heads high, they sway their hips when they walk.

They approach us less than men (I don’t know if it would be different were we men), they seem more shy, but also more proud.

Their children are wrapped onto their backs. From the front, we see two little feet poking on each side. On the back, the baby is sleeping, or looking around, relaxed, close to its mother.

They balance pots and packages on their head, hips still swaying.

In the country and villages, they often wear a loose t-shirt above their skirt. It’s white with their association’s logo, or it’s a Shakira t-shirt, or it says ‘Ich war’s nicht’ (It wasn’t me), or it’s a Barcelona or Arsenal football shirt.

In the Sahel, many have scars on their faces- marks of social rank the guide says. Men have them too. Somehow they seem to enhance their beauty, to add dignity.

Elderly women have knotted hands, missing teeth, but their smiles are still bright, and they bow their heads or put their hands together greeting us, maybe they laugh.

The dresses they wear are beautiful, long, colourful, sometimes wide and loose tunics, sometimes tighter mermaid-like skirts. The collars are often wide, revealing the shoulders. The cloths are embroidered, the fancier ones shiny.

The women of Burkina are splendid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoi Alix,

Hoe is het er mee? Je hebt al heel wat geschreven. Ik heb het net opgezocht dus nog niet gelezen. Dit berichtje komt van onze computer thuis.
Voor die meiden is het goed voor hun engels om jouw site te lezen. Ik zal ze stimuleren. Hoop dat je het naar je zin hebt. Lijkt me een hele ervaring. Zondag nog in Breda geweest. Toen kregen we de tip van Mérion voor jouw site.
Veel plezier en we laten nog wel eens van ons horen.
Groetjes van ons allemaal, Gea

October 15, 2008 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Marieke Smits said...

Hey Alix,

Great story, beautiful photo's!
I must say I'm a bit jealous...
(really) ;-)
Big hug from Tana!


October 16, 2008 11:05 AM  
Blogger Laur said...

Lovely description. Greetings from Tana! Big hug!

November 23, 2008 10:54 AM  

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