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Introduction / History
The Kasena of southern Burkina Faso speak the Kasem language and inhabit an area along the Ghanaian border to the east of the town called Po. The three languages Kasem, Nuni and Lyele belong to the same linguistic family. The Kasena area is somewhat hilly. Like all of Burkina Faso the climate is very hot, but because of its southern location the Kasena area has an abundance of rains during the rainy season.
The traditional Kasena house is well adapted to the climate with few windows in order to keep out the heat. The houses are decorated with black, white and red colors, which people produce themselves. The flat roof can be used for drying goods, and there is strict separation between the animal and family quarters. The Kasena compound, built for the entire extended family, is round with a wall that links the individual buildings. There are distinct living quarters for the men and women. Every married woman has an individual hut in which she cooks for herself and her children.
The economic activities of the region are strongly influenced by the area's proximity to Ghana. Many Ghanian goods are imported and sold in the villages. Dancing is an important part of Kasena culture. Dances are an integral part of most social events, and the Kasena take great pride in their abilities.