Idea #554 – Visiting the Case à Palabre of Dalaba in Guinea
Nested at the heart of Fouta Djallon, Dalaba is one of the most pleasant municipalities of Guinea, because of its climate, of its surrounding nature, and of its history. Very early already, the administrator of the Circle of Ditinn – anadministrative division which replaces, from 1906, the “regions” considered as territorial and administrative entities too difficult to manage, due to their autonomy towards the administrative center of the colonyof French Guinea – notices and détails the originality of the climate and the benefactions of this one on the health of the White people.
The city of Dalaba knows its development in year thirty, becoming what the Governor calls “the commercial urban area”, which implies the establishment of local businesses underlining the economic aspect which represents an European tourism for the autochtonous population. This gathering place of the population is a place of exchange which allows the development of the sector of the small business sector, the agriculture… The hotel of the United Chargers, become today the SIB hotel, is moreover built at that time, as well as the house of the Governor of the AOF (the French African colony), who came to rest there a few months a year. During the Second World War, a kind of ” anitary tourism” develops; the French colonists will make of Dalaba a site of convalescence for the sick who cannot be repatriated in mainland France because of war.
The Case à Palabre, built in 1932 in the Fulani style, served during long years of symbolic place of meeting for the important decision-making. The compartment allowed to receive the governor, commander of Circle, but also Almamy du Fouta, who met themselves only once a year, assembled which take all the decisions to maintain the colonial regime. According to the historian El hadj Ibrahima, the construction of the Case à Palabre so justified itself: ” The leaders of each canton came there, instead of staying under a tree, when it rained and where they could be scattered, Thierno Omar, a leader of canton, built this Case à Palabres, which remains famous in the world”. According to him, under the colonial regime, it is in this Caseà Palabre that was evoked for the fiorst time the word “independence”. The first president of Independent Guinea, Ahmed Sékou Touré, made afterward of the Case his private residence, and he received there many leaders of states, as Gamal Abdel Nasser, Modibo Keita and Houphouët Boigny.
Where is it ?
Dalaba, Fouta Djallon, Guinea