Gaoua is a market town in southern Burkina Faso known for its superstitious values and customs.[citation needed] The population, at last estimate, rested at 30,931 (2012 est.) [1] Located in the red earth, green hills, and fast flowing streams of southwestern Burkina Faso, Gaoua is the capital of Poni Province and forms a sort of capital for the sacred rites and bush lore of the Lobi peoples. According to local myth, Gaoua was founded when the Lobi migrated across from northern Ghana where they found the Gan people peoples occupying the territory. As a result, they named the trek across to Gaoua Gan-houo meaning "route of the Gan people".[2]

Market Scene in Gaoua
Market Scene in Gaoua
Gaoua is located in Burkina Faso
Location within Burkina Faso, French West Africa
Coordinates: 10°19′N 3°10′W / 10.317°N 3.167°W / 10.317; -3.167
Country Burkina Faso
RegionSud-Ouest Region
ProvincePoni Province
DepartmentGaoua Department
339 m (1,112 ft)
 • Total30,931
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
Entrance (left) and front (right) of the Musée du Poni (May 2016)

Attractions in the town include a sacred grove of trees, the Poni Museum (Musée des Civilisations des Peuples du Sud-Ouest or Musée du Poni) and caves. There is also a mosque on elevated ground near the centre. The Gaoua Catholic parish Church of the Sacred Heart will be the cathedral for the newly erected Catholic Diocese of Gaoua.[3]

Lobi GoldfieldsEdit

Though their ancient home was considered to be Takyiman in Ghana, the Lobi migrated across the Mouhoun River as a result of the Dagomba Wars in the 1770s. Thirty years later, the Lobi displaced the Gan at Gaoua. The French occupied southwest Burkina Faso in 1879, based on the region's reputation for gold, dating back to the era of Mossi and Dyula gold traders. Although primarily farmers, the Lobi did partake of gold panning around Gaoua, besides Gaoua being on a trade route to the Poura gold mines further north.[4][5]

Coordinates: 10°19′N 3°10′W / 10.317°N 3.167°W / 10.317; -3.167

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ World Gazetteer, Retrieved on June 17, 2008
  2. ^ Manson, K., Knight, J. (2006), Burkina Faso, p.226, Bradt Travel Guides, The Globe Pequot Press Inc., Retrieved on June 17, 2008
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Gundlach, Cory (2012). "The river and the shrine: Lobi art and sense of place, MA Thesis". Iowa Research Online. University of Iowa. pp. 56, 64–65, 98, 131. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  5. ^ Wright, J.B.; Hastings, D.A.; Jones, W.B.; Williams, H.R. (1985). Wright, J.B. (ed.). Geology and Mineral Resources of West Africa. London: George Allen & UNWIN. pp. 45–47. ISBN 9780045560011.

External linksEdit

  Gaoua travel guide from Wikivoyage

The Mali Empire in 1337, including the location of the Bambuk, Bure, Lobi and Akan Goldfields