List of rulers of Wogodogo

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The Bissa's or Busanga are the first tribe to settle in the upper Volta which is today Burkina Faso. A lot have changed during the time because the Bissa's then times are farmers and hunters so leadership was less their concern till yenenga gave birth to Oudrago. The Mogho Naba (also Moro Naba, Morho Naba, Mogh-Naba or Moogo Naaba), literally head (naba) of the world (moro), is the monarch of Wogodogo (Ouagadougou), one of the Mossi Kingdoms located in present-day Burkina Faso. The kingdom takes its name from its historic capital, now the Burkinabé national capital of Ouagadougou. Although the most politically powerful of the Mossi Kingdoms, there was no Mossi "empire", and the Wogodogo king did not have authority over the other kingdoms.[1] The French colonial period and subsequent independence have reduced the power vested in the position, but the Mogho Naba retains an influential role in Burkina Faso.[2]

The position is typically hereditary, following male-only lines of descent. Originally, the position passed primarily to brothers (or even cousins), rather than to sons, but by the reign of Zombré had transitioned to its current order of succession,[3] where rule generally passes to the eldest living son of the previous ruler. Children born to sons who predecease their fathers are not eligible to inherit the title. However, a council is ultimately responsible for selecting the Mogho Naba, and the heir apparent may be passed over if, for example, he is deemed physically unfit for the position's traditional role in war or if he would fail to uphold the dignity of the office (as in cases of adultery).[4] This council has traditionally included: the baloum naba, head of the king's servants; the gounga naba, leader of the infantry; the larale naba, keeper of the royal tombs; the kamsaogo naba, manager of the palace eunuchs; and the widi naba, the royal groom.[5]

The list of the Moro Naba of Ouagadougou, as well as the time of reign, is recited every morning at the arrival of the Moro Naba and is known by the Bend Naba and the griots of the court.[6]

Rulers of Wogodogo[edit]

The chronology of the Mossi Kingdoms prior to the French occupation is unclear. Historian Yamba Tiendrebeogo reconstructed the history of Wogodogo from Mossi oral tradition that included the lengths of the reigns of historical rulers.[7] Other scholars propose more recent dates for many pre-colonial events—setting the start of Oubri's reign around 1495 rather than 1182—and correspondingly shorter reigns for many rulers.[8]

As Mogho Naba of Tenkodogo[edit]

The first Mossi Kingdom was centered around Tenkodogo.[9] Wogodogo, initially a client state of Tenkodogo, gradually grew in power until it was the dominant political power in the Mossi Kingdoms; nevertheless, the rulers of Tenkodogo prior to the formation of Wogodogo are counted as kings of Wogodogo by tradition.[7]

No. Ruler Rule began Rule ended Notes Ref(s)
1 Ouedraogo 1132 [7]
2 Zoungrana 1132 1182 [7]

As Mogho Naba of Oubritenga[edit]

The first capitol of Oubritenga ("Oubri's land") was Guilongou, near modern-day Ziniaré,[9] but typically moved to a village preferred by each new king upon his accession.[10]

No. Ruler Rule began Rule ended Notes Ref(s)
3 Oubri 1182 1244 [7]
4 Naskiemdé 1244 1286 [7]
5 Nasbiré 1286 1307 [7]
6 Soarba 1307 1323 [7]
7 Gnignemdo 1323 1337 [7]
8 Koundoumié 1337 1358 [7]
9 Kouda 1358 1401 [7]
10 Dawingna 1401 1409 [7]
11 Zoétré Bousma 1409 1441 [7]
12 Niandfo 1441 1511 [7]
13 Nakienb-Zanga 1511 1541 Also known as Nakim [7]
14 Namégué 1541 1542 [7]
15 Kiba 1542 1561 [7]
16 Kimba 1561 1582 [7]
17 Goabga 1582 1599 [7]
18 Guirga 1599 1605 [7]
19 Zanna 1605 1633 [7]
20 Oubi 1633 1659 [7]
21 Motiba 1659 1666 [7]
22 Warga 1666 1681 [7]

As Mogho Naba of Wogodogo[edit]

Naba Zombré relocated the capitol to Wogodogo (Ouagadougou).[11]

No. Ruler Rule began Rule ended Notes Ref(s)
23 Zombré 1681 1744 [7]
24 Saga I 1744 1762 [7]
25 Kom I 1762 1783 [7]
26 Doulougou 1783 1802 [7]
27 Sawadogo 1802 1834 [7]
28 Karfo 1834 1842 [7]
29 Baongo I 1842 1850 [7]
30 Koutou 1850 1871 [7]
31 Sanem 1871 1889 [7]
32 Wobgho 1889 1897 Also known as Boukari Koutou [7]
33 Siguiri 1897 1905 [7]
34 Kom II 1905 1942 [7]
35 Saga II 1942 1957 [7]
36 Kougri 1957 December 1982 [7][12]
37 Baongo II 1983 present [12]

In 1958, Moro Naba Kougri wanted to impose a constitutional monarchy on Upper Volta but failed in his attempt. The present Moro Naba is Baongo II, son of Naba Kougri and Koudpoko.

Scope of power[edit]

According to Titinga Frédéric Pacéré,[13] in tradition, he is considered all powerful with right of life and death on the inhabitants of Ouagadougou and Oubritenga. In practice, his power was subject to the custom and law of the fathers. He personifies the empire and embodies its unity, but power is really in the hands of the court of the Moro Naba, ministers who make decisions and govern the country.[14] This complex organisation of powers is materialised every Friday during the ceremony of the false departure of the king.

The Moro Naba has no authority over the other kingdoms of Tenkodogo, Fada N'Gourma, Boussouma and Ouahigouya, whose sovereigns would be, like him, descendants of Yennenga.

Traditionally, the rulers of these four kingdoms and the Ouagadougou Mogho Naba avoid each other, but they happen to meet, such as happened in 1946 to consult on the reconstruction of the Upper Volta.[15]


  1. ^ Englebert 1996, p. 11.
  2. ^ Belsour, Camille (2015-09-23). "Qui est le Mogho Naaba, au centre des négociations au Burkina Faso?". SlateAfrique (in French). Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  3. ^ Levtzion 1975, pp. 186–187.
  4. ^ Ouedraogo 2000, p. 73–74.
  5. ^ Englebert 1996, pp. 13–14.
  6. ^ Yamba Tiendrebeogo. "Histoire traditionnelle des Mossi de Ouagadougou" (in French). Persee. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al Tiendrebeogo, Yamba (1963). "Histoire traditionnelle des Mossi de Ouagadougou". Journal de la Société des Africanistes (in French). 33 (1): 7–46. doi:10.3406/jafr.1963.1365.
  8. ^ Rupley, Bangali & Diamitani 2013, pp. 155–156.
  9. ^ a b Rupley, Bangali & Diamitani 2013, p. 156.
  10. ^ Levtzion 1975, p. 186.
  11. ^ Rupley, Bangali & Diamitani 2013, p. 150.
  12. ^ a b Rupley, Bangali & Diamitani 2013, p. 23.
  13. ^ Ainsi on a assassiné tous les mosse, p 83, 84, 85
  14. ^ Mahamadou Ouédraogo, Culture et développement en Afrique p 73-75
  15. ^ Lassina Simporé, « La métallurgie traditionnelle du fer et la fondation du royaume de Wogdogo» dans Crossroads / Carrefour Sahel: Cultural and technological developments in first millennium BC/AD West Africa, Africa Magna Verlag, 2009, p.251, note 3