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 Receive my Quarterly Newsletter with exclusive updates, ebooks & other freebies from 30+ years of world travel adventures. Please check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. Please leave this field empty ENJOY MORE Receive my Quarterly Newsletter with exclusive updates, ebooks & other freebies from 30+ years of world travel adventures. Please check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.