To escape slave-grabbing raids by the neighboring Benin kingdom in the 17th century, the people of Tamberma Valley built these fortified houses. Slideshow: Fortress Houses of Togo Today, villagers still hunt with bow and arrow, often getting monkeys. Constructed from clay, wood and straw, these fortified houses – called Tata – are group of towers and rooms connected by a thick outer wall. The houses can only be entered through a single narrow door that leads into a dark chamber, which was once used to trap an enemy so he could be showered with arrows. Rebuilding mud walls after a recent storm damage. For the people of the Tamberma Valley life still revolves around their enclosed elevated terrace, where families relax, cook and dry crops. I hung out with a chief and his family for a day, drank alcohol that evening and slept the night on the terrace of a mud house. Above the ground floor, the conical-roofed towers are used for storing corn and millet. While other rooms are for sleeping and washing. Birds follow the leader. Animals – dogs, chicken, goats – are kept below, under the family terrace. This woman put on her ‘hat” for my pic as she was preparing dried fruit. NOTE: bulging bellies indicate poor nutrition. At the front of these fort houses, traditional shrines and animal skulls protect the inhabitants from evil spirits. Travels in Togo – 2008 Please leave this field empty ENJOY MORE Join my 30-year global journey for exclusive stories & other gems with a Quarterly Newsletter - just 4 times a year, I'll nourish you with travel. Please check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. Please leave this field empty ENJOY MORE Join my 30-year global journey for exclusive stories & other gems with a Quarterly Newsletter - just 4 times a year, I'll nourish you with travel. Please check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.