The village Teli offers a dramatic sight when approaching the southern part of the Bandiagara cliffs. The mudbrick living quarters and granaries of the old village were built high up in the sheltering cliffs. This location offered commanding views of the surrounding landscape and protection from aggressors. Today the buildings among the cliffs are no longer inhabited. The new village Teli is situated in the plain at the foot of the cliffs. Population growth as well as the ceasing of armed warfare in the aftermath of the French colonization of the region may have contributed to the decision to re-locate the village; the new village benefits from sufficient building space, and from the proximity of water sources, fire wood and fields.
Due to their sheltered location the buildings of the old village are still in good condition, although they are no longer maintained. A project of the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden (Prof. R.M.A. Bedaux, Ph. Lemineur, D. Dijk) in 2001 focused on the architecture of the old village Teli. A scale ground plan of the complete old village was recorded, supported by photographic and digital video documentation. Information on the uses of the various buildings and on the previous inhabitants of the old village was collected among their descendants living in the new village. This material is made accessible here. The complete ground plan of Teli, visible on this page, is subdivided into twelve individual sections giving graphic, photographic, video and written information on the old village, its buildings and inhabitants.
Annotated house plans of the old village Teli (with text, photos and video clips):