Le Forgeron

Most villages in the Bassar region of Togo, West Africa, still had a blacksmith when Ene and I lived there briefly about 20 years ago. Our friend, Innocent (above) was Le Forgeron de Guerrin-Kouka, the market town where we lived. Although iron smelting had been in steady decline since Colonial times, it was still practiced […]

Market Stool

Traditional menusiers of West Africa will travel great distances on foot to find naturally bent crooks from trees or rootstock grubbed from the marigot. From these, they fashion two things primarily, similar in form but close to opposite in function. Hoes are the main products, usually with a hand-forged iron blade, but occasionally with a […]