Burkina Faso (known as Haute-Volta until 1984, shortly after the start of the Revolution led by Thomas Sankara) has often been considered as a crossroads of cultures, peoples and languages (estimated at 60 at the beginning of the 1960s). An important oral literature - sustained by what Pacece calls the literature of tam-tam and masques
- is a testimony to the long history of the powerful Mossi kingdoms, which managed to last from the 12th to the 19th centuries and which formed, by and large, the Burkina Faso of today. The Maximes, pensées et devinettes mossi [Maximes, Thoughts and Riddles of the Mossi] by Dim-Dolobsom Ouedraogo, published in 1934, offers a glimpse of this society scarcely thirty years after the French army of occupation dismantled the social fabric of the country. This period saw the forced removal of thousands of people to plantations in the Ivory Coast and Ghana .
In 1962, shorty after Independence, Nazi Boni published Crépuscule des temps anciens [The Dawn of Ancient Times], the first novel by a writer from Burkina Faso. The second, by Roger Nikiema, was published at the end of the 1960s. It was also during the course of the 1960s that playwrights such as Moussa Savadogo, Ouamdégré Ouedraogo and Pierre Dabiré became established. The 1970s marked the appearance of some new novelists including Etienne Sawadogo, Kollin Noaga and Augustin-Sondé Coulibaly. Some of the best known authors of the last ten years are Marie-Ange Somdah, Jean-Baptiste Somé, Pierre Claver Ilboudo, Norbert Zongo, Jacques Prosper Bazié, Ansomwin Ignace Hien and with respect to theatre, Jean-Pierre Guingane.
Among the first women writers in Burkina Faso are Pierrette Sandra Kanzié and Bernadette Dao who published poetry in the mid 1980s. In subsequent decades, the latter published two collections of short stories and a number of new authors entered Burkina literary scene : Angèle Bassolé Ouédraogo and Gaël Koné in the field of poetry ; Monique Ilboudo, Suzy Henrique Nikiéma, Sarah Bouyain and Adiza Sanoussi in that of the novel.
Angèle BASSOLE-OUEDRAOGO Sarah BOUYAIN Madeleine DE LALLE Gaël KONE Zarra GUIRO Monique ILBOUDO Sophie Heidi KAM Sandra Pierrette KANZIE Honorine MARE Suzy Henrique NIKIEMA Bernadette SANOU DAO Adiza SANOUSSI
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The University of Western Australia/French
Created: 05 Jun 1996
Modified: 10 Nov 2006
Archived: 25 Oct 2008