Togo: Pearl of West Africa
Map of Togo.


Burkina Faso
Cote d' Ivoire
Gambia, The
South Africa

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About Togo

Courtesy Ministry of Tourism, Togo
Translated from French


Togo has a great diversity of landscapes and traditional craft works. Indeed, handicrafts have survived the different ages of the technological discoveries.

Togo is surrounded to the North by Burkina Faso, the Republic of Benin to the east and Ghana to the West. It is opened to the Atlantic Ocean to the South through a narrow maritime facade. Nearly 4 millions inhabitants, divided into forty ethnic group populate its 56,600 square km.

Mountains covered with beautiful tropical forests, Savannah planted with millennium baobab, sandy beaches... Such elements show how colorful and contrasted are the lands and nature in Togo. When admiring the marvels of the local crafts, you will understand that from many artisans generations, nature has undoubtedly been providing the main source of inspiration and creativity.

The vast majority of ethnic groups and landscapes create then a burgeoning of crafts activities that seem to specialize by region according to the predisposition of men and the availability of raw materials.

The Kara region

It is a mountainous region with soils that are difficult to cultivate in some places. So the development of the region depends mostly on the farmers and artisans know-how. Ironwork for example reveals to be a tradition that goes back to the dawn of time. The ruins of Nangbani and Bandjeli smelting furnaces sited in the headquarters of Bassar remain living witnesses of this ancestral tradition

In the headquarters of Kozah, Tchare, Pya and Yade will allow you to call on brave blacksmiths using mere big stones of mountains as anvils and hammers to hammered red-hot iron. They produce castanets with electric sounds and ploughing implements necessary to cultivate on terrace lands, the slopes of which are racked by erosion.

In the region, craftswomen works are related to pottery, weaving, dyeing and basketry. It is worth visiting the Ketao market where you will find all the local crafts such as standing pots for millet beer, terra-cotta pipes, baskets and dancing garments.


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The Central Region

The diversity of craft works is also well represented here: on the numerous weekly markets such as Bitta, Pagala or Adjengre markets, you will find ploughing implements, gourds, calabashes, and shopping bags, etc.

Sokode, the regional capital, is famous for weaving. The loincloths they make are used for sewing tunics and long embroidered gowns that ten riders perched on their richly ornamented horses wear to execute acrobatic dances carried away by the furious rhythm of tom-toms during feast days.

You will be fascinated by the waving art improvement exhibited in the the CENATIS (Centre National de Tissage). Go and visit the notorious place of Kpassoasoude to the east of Sokode: there you will contemplate the weavers' work.

Further east, discover the Tchamba town specialized in pyrography: the beauty of calabashes and many different sizes of gourds engraved under heat with purplish red painted and meaningful open worked geometric designs will amaze you

The Maritime Region

The most ingenious and naive part of national craft can be found in Lome capital. The craft industry offered by the urban environment will fill you with wonder. In the popular quarters of the town you will see displayed on the pavement or in workshops masterpieces of a rare inspiration produced by jewelers. shoemakers, tapestry-masters, tailors and cabinetmakers.

In the Lome big central market of Lome, you will admire various stalls displaying multicolored pearls, tiny utensils of pottery or basket works, and sacred statuettes

The Akodessewa fetishes market is the sanctuary of the ritual craft industry: you will leave it with magic remedies to all your pains and lucky charm gris gris.

The Vogan market is one of the most picturesque of the region. It livens up every Friday and there you will discover basket works, jars with unexpected volumes, pieces of pottery decorated with esoteric designs, and products from the sacred forge; if you wish to penetrate the mystery of it, the voodoo follower with kindly help you.

After visiting the maritime region you will have the pleasure to rest on the Banks of the Togo Lake where you will see fishermen embarked into their dreamingly colored pirogue

Traditional housing is another curiosity of the region. In the Kabye mountains, you will discover big extensive rings of round huts call "soukala" and specifically used as hallsor grain lofts. Further North, in the Niamtougou plains, you will have time to admire the thatched roof huts topped with terra-cotta pots, and then, the fortified castles of Tamberma which are amazing feats of architecture lost in the middle of the lands.

The Plateau Region

With all its mountains and forests heavy with rich fragrances, the Plateau region is one of the most attractive tourist regions of Togo. The density of raw materials create a flowering of craft works, the main one being the statuary art. A great number of artisans either self-employed, working in groups or in craft centers poruce a wide range of souvenirs articles: wooden sculptures, macrames, batiks, ceramic...

Weaving is also well developed, and you will not remain indifferent to the ewe traditional loincloth called "kente", ladened with symbols.

The famous craft center of kloto will offer you craft objects made with tropical woods, like ebony, teck, mahogany, enough to immortalize your stay. The artisans circle share with the Benedictine friars of Dzogbegan their dexterity for handcrafts: indeed, they built the monastery with local materials, mountain stones, bamboo, finely decorated teck which invite you to a pious meditation. In Atakpame, you will admire the skill of the weavers. On your way back to Lome, a visit to the craft center of Notse is a must.

The Savannah Region

The Savannah region link with the sahel where lands are exceptionally flat. It is above all else the proving of palm tree, as well as boving and ovine breeding. As regards crafts works, basketry, weaving and fine leather works are the most dominant. The Dapaong and Cinkasse weekly markets gather artisans that spread out on the ground tiny utilitarian objects, like straw hats, bird cages, fan made with palm leaves, or leather Turkish slippers, purses, handbags and bracelets.

In the Dapaong Centre d'auto-promotion feminine and in the Lotougou cooperative you will enjoy discovering the weavers talent. It will also be a pleasure to share with the basket-maker part of his/her workday in the shade of the Kapok tree, the tops of which rise high in the sky.


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