The strength of badenya ties: Siblings and social security in old age–the case of urban Burkina Faso

by Claudia Roth

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By Claudia RothFull Article: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/amet.12094/abstract


(image:
http://americanethnologist.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/08/roth-600px-300x186.jpg alt: Bobo-Dioulasso, Boulevard de la R´evolution, 2007. In 1947, Bobo-Dioulasso missed becoming the capital of the relaunched Upper Volta colony, but it persisted as an economic hub in the new state (independent 1960, named Burkina Faso 1984. With 554,042 inhabitants (2006 census), it is the country’s second-largest city. After decades of decline and stagnation, it is now showing a certain growth again. Photo by Manfred Perlik (Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern/Switzerland).)

Bobo-Dioulasso, Boulevard de la R´evolution, 2007. In 1947, Bobo-Dioulasso missed becoming the capital of the relaunched Upper Volta colony, but it persisted as an economic hub in the new state (independent 1960, named Burkina Faso 1984). With 554,042 inhabitants (2006 census), it is the country’s second-largest city. After decades of decline and stagnation, it is now showing a certain growth again. Photo by Manfred Perlik (Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern/Switzerland).

) Bobo-Dioulasso, Boulevard de la R´evolution, 2007. In 1947, Bobo-Dioulasso missed becoming the capital of the relaunched Upper Volta colony,
but it persisted as an economic hub in the new state (independent 1960, named Burkina Faso 1984). With 554,042 inhabitants (2006 census), it is the
country’s second-largest city. After decades of decline and stagnation, it is now showing a certain growth again. Photo by Manfred Perlik (Centre for
Development and Environment, University of Bern/Switzerland).In urban Burkina Faso, siblings play a decisive role in local social security. Badenya, the unity of children of the same mother, compensates in particular for the economic failure of an eldest son no longer in a position to fulfill his familial duties. Although the institution of badenya is strengthened as it increasingly comes into play to help a family avoid social marginalization, it is also overburdened, which makes its future uncertain. This article enhances the anthropological understanding of kinship by focusing on sibling relationships. Findings are based on interviews conducted between 2007 and 2010 with two generations in households in Bobo-Dioulasso and on participant-observation over the course of more than a dozen research stays since 1989.