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New project ! Consulting on tourism promotion for the Route des Tata

Origyne·s supports and give some advice to the NGO Benin Ecotourism Concern on the promotion of the eco-tourism destination “the Route des Tata” in Benin, Western Africa.

What is a Tata?

A Tata is the traditional habitat of the Bétammaribé, a centuries-old community of builders, originally from West Africa and now living in a vast territory straddling the border between Benin and Togo.

More concretely, a Tata is a fortified dwelling, built on 2 floors, made up of turrets connected by a high wall, giving it the appearance of a fortress.

Its elaborate architecture follows ancestral rules mixing secular and sacred but still leaving room for customization (size, decoration, number of rooms). It is home to both the living and the ancestors, whose cult punctuates life and seasons.

Who are the Betammaribé and how do they live?

Equity and self-sufficiency of each member of the clan are pillars for this civilization. The Bétammaribé are an example of social equity, sustainable development and a constant quest for balance:

– There is no centralization of power, society is organized into age groups to which correspond specific rights and duties,

– Their home is shared equitably between women and men,

– Their diet is balanced, food is sourced from their agricultural production and their breeding,

– The land is fertilized naturally to prevent its exhaustion,

– The environment and biodiversity are preserved thanks in particular to the surrounding natural areas allowing hunting and picking as well as the sacred forests located inside the villages,

– The community interest and solidarity are strong values which prevail over individual interest.

Why the Route des Tata?

Keen to preserve and pass on these values and this cultural heritage so rich listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the village of Boukoumbé, supported by the French Embassy in Benin and by the National Agency for Tourism Promotion, launched the project “Cultural tourism and sustainable heritage: creation of a” Tata road “, remarkable traditional housing in Betamaribé country in the North-West of Benin”.

This project called “Route des Tata” integrates the towns of Boukoumbé and Natitingou. It allowed to dress a partial inventory of the intangible and tangible heritage of the Bétamaribé; to train tourist guides and craftsmen on site (pottery, basketry, sewing and fabric weaving); to define tourist trails with regard to the natural, cultural and architectural heritage integrating the premium Tata; to print maps and books representative of the Tata and to renovate the “Tata school” in Koussoukoingou given by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts to make it the Reception and Management Office of the tourist destination.

In order to develop the services available and to promote the destination, the NGO Benin Ecotourism Concern has been appointed to manage the destination in coordination with the various actors locally.

Benin Ecotourism Concern is now the manager of the destination and we are happy to support and advise Eco-Benin in its mission of promoting the Route des Tata.

How to stay informed of the progress of the project?

Follow La Route des Tata on Facebook, you will find a gold mine of information on the destination, the cultural actors, accommodation, activities; in short, everything there is to see and experience on the Route des Tata.

See you soon on these dirt roads that we love so much,

Flore & Jenn

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