Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268
- 04, 111
Kingship and cosmological order : the royal court of Tenkodogo
- Tenkodogo, a township situated in the south-eastern part of Burkina Faso on the road leading from the capital Ouagadougou to the Togo border, has approximately 29,000 inhabitants. It is Burkina's seventh largest town and is the location of the regional government of the Boulgou-Province. This regional government is represented by a high-commissioner and a "préfet" as it is the residence of a traditional ruler, otherwise known as Tenkodogo-naaba. His sphere of influence covers many villages and hamlets in the region: in total he is the sovereign of nearly 120,000 people. The power of the traditional rulers was curtailed first by the arrival and following overrule of the French colonialists and then after independence by Sankara and his revolutionary government. The kings ceased to be the ultimate judges who were able to determine life and death of their subjects. Henceforth they were no longer allowed to recruit subjects for certain work on their fields, and they no longer could claim control over the allocation of resources. Their position was strengthened anew by Sankara's successor in office, Blaise Campaore, who quickly recognized that collaborating with the traditional rulers could only be of advantage: in fact they later proved to be his best supporters in the election campaign.