Bassari (Togo/Ghana)

Categories: Ethnicities

Not to be confused with the Bassari (Senegal/Guinea).

The Bassari of northern Togo and Ghana are part of the Gurma people. They are mostly adherents to traditional religion, worshiping the god Bassar who lives in the nearby mount Bassari. They were historically renowned smiths and metalworkers, which is the reason for their alternative names of Bi-Tchambé and Chamba. When the British and Germans arrived during colonization, they broke the monopoly the Bassari had on metallurgy and weapons manufacture, which forced them to transition into agriculture and cattle herding. In the beginning of the twentieth century, many Bassari joined the German colonial police force and they are still over-represented in police and security forces to this day.

Bi-Tchambé, Chamba, Kyamba, Tchamba
« Back to Glossary Index