What is a Bantaba in Gambia?
The name "Bantaba" is derived from the word for a large
tree, which is called Bentennie in the
and is a traditional meeting place for the men of the village.
The origins of the word is from the
Mandinka for tree
which is "Bant" and "aba" means "where
to meet" and so the 2 words combined says Bant-aba. It is
the modern day equivalent of a garden gazebo, which is larger
than an arbour.
it is used to describe any wooden or cement construct which is
located within the confines of a family compound or other property
with a roof made of grass or corrugated iron sheets with pillars
made of wood / bamboo or concrete. The structure itself has no
walls and resembles a gazebo.
Early in Gambian
a big tree formed the basis and foundation of the village. Due
to its natural shade it became an obvious meeting place for men
to get out of the stifling sun and heat of their huts during the
day. This is where they discussed issues that were pertinent to
the village such as ceremonies or communal works.
is sometimes known as a gathering