Idea #552 – Climbing the wooden stairss of Doucki in Guinea
In the XVIth century, the development of Atlantic trade arouses a movement of population towards the coast and towards the forest. The high plateaus of Fouta-Djalon establish a place of privileged transit. During the XVIIIth century, the kingdom of Fouta-Djalon, established by the present Fulanis from the XVth century, sits its independence and enlarges its borders, until the European invasion.
When the market of the slaves reaches its peak, Fouta-Djalon, because of its central position between the coast and Mali, participate actively to capture men in the savanna and the forest. The local aristocracy then gets used to resorting itself to the slaves, who work on fields to satisfy needs in food of their masters, but also request in cereal of the slave ships. To Doucki, to allow the exchange of foodstuffs and salt enter the valley, occupied by slaves – the “captives of plains”, and the top of the tray dedicated to the aristocracy, the series of stairs in bamboo and lianas are built in rocky faults. This device had for objective to service the most direct access between the “top” and the “bottom”, by attacking directly the foothills of the plateau, and to reduce the route of a day to a few hours. Today still, the women and the children “from below” climb these stairs with an incredible dexterity and loads to make shiver, to go to sell their production on the plateau.
Where is it ?
Douki, Fouta Djallon, Guinea