In the region of Atakora, lives the population of the Taneka, whose villages were built on the slopes of the mountains, and it is just to the mountains that were shelter to various populations fleeing from the slave-drivers that the "creation" of the Tangba is due.
Over the years, the native Kabye population was joined by groups of Bariba and Gourmantche who took advantage of the mountainous terrain to defend themselves and fight the rapists and slave-drivers ethnicities.
Forced coexistence in the same area gave rise to new villages where cultures rites and beliefs mingled, without conflict and friction, giving rise to a single people: the Taneka or the Tangba.
The villages reflect the mix of cultures and populations that form the Taneka, they are made up of zones or neighborhoods, each of a different origin, but with shared social rules; each village has its own king, who holds the political power and belongs to the Bariba ethnicity, the land chef, who administers the lands and the spiritual leader, the upper feticheur, both of Kabye's ethnicity.
It is not difficult to distinguish the ethnic origin of a village member since the Taneka still practice the scarification on the face and, according to the drawing that appears on a person's face, it is possible to see if he belongs to the Kabye, the Bariba or the Gourmantche.
The name Taneka has two meanings, both of which define well the characteristics of this people: "tana" means stone and well represents the relationship of the population with their land, but "taneka" also means warrior and the Taneka are proud and brave warriors.
The Taneka or Tangba jealously keep their customs and their spirituality is based on the cult of nature; the grottoes and ravines that saved the people during the slave trade are considered sacred, as it is for the Varun cave, a mystical place, also a refuge for thousands of people escaping from the slavers.
The Taneka have become famous for their victorious battle in defense of the Copargo market: to preserve their traditions they fought against a French project that wanted to build a road that would dismantle the traditional market from its original place.
The Tangba's life is marked by passage rites, with each luster people passe to the following age class; ceremonies and sacrifices are held to celebrate the end of a five-year journey, waiting to undertake a new course.
Each age class is characterized by different obligations to the community, but it also allows to learn many lessons of life; among the guys of every age class some are chosen to embark on a more spiritual journey by becoming the novices of the feticheur dignitaries.
Today the Tangba are a population of farmers, families move to the plains to cultivate lands and return to their villages to attend the purification festivities that take place every five years.
During these festivities the villages, rising on the ridges of the mountains, are lively; animal rituals and sacrifices are celebrated and every family must sacrifice an ox.
The Taneka are the example of how different people belonging to different cultures, religions and beliefs can live peacefully, giving birth to a population who did not exist before and to whom people are proud to belong, without however abandoning their origins altogether.