One Sunday in October a group of us went to visit the village of Koumi, a small traditional Bobo village not far from Bobo-dioulasso. We were quite a large group of tourists, myself & Benoit, Helen (the trip was in her honour as it was her birthday), Eve, Simon & family and Neusa & her two children making us 12 in total.
In Koumi the houses are constructed banco style, using layers of red earth rather than mud bricks. These earth houses are made in, usually five, layers (or courses). The villagers are in fact banned from building with the more modern and more waterproof mud bricks. Sadly, as a result many of the earth brick houses have been left abandoned as villagers moved to housing areas without this restriction.
Another interesting facet of the visit was the scattering of mysterious holes on the outskirts of the village. These holes lead to women-only caves. Each family in the village has one and the women descend in order of seniority into these underground grottos to gossip, weave baskets, and pass on family secrets and traditions.