La reine Pokou


While harmony and peace reigned over her people, jealousy grew at the very heart of her family. Some of them plotted to overthrow her from her throne by forming an alliance with a neighboring king, urging the Queen to flee and those who supported her to do the same. But the warriors of the enemy king pursued them, with orders to kill them all.
Accompanied by her people, Abla Pokou embarked on a perilous journey across the Comoé River, which now marks the border between Ivory Coast and Ghana. Legend has it that they reached the bank of a river they could not cross. People were distraught as they saw the troops of soldiers approaching in the distance. The village mage asked the spirits of the river to calm its waters to allow them to cross, and a spirit responded that they had to give up their most precious possession. It was then that the people hastily gathered all the gold and jewels they had and threw them into the river to meet the demand, but the water violently rejected the gemstones. The mage returned to the river and said, « But we have given all our gold! Why are your waters still so turbulent? » « That has no value, » replied the spirit, « give me the child prince heir to the throne, and you will be safe. »

The mage conveyed the spirits’ request to the Queen. A lugubrious silence followed the mage’s words. Despite her pain, the Queen obeyed and gave her child to the river. The waters calmed, and the people immediately crossed from one bank to the other. On the other side, the people knelt in gratitude before their Queen, who let out a cry of pain, « Ba ouli! » which means « the child is dead! » Struck by this cry, the crowd felt it so deeply that they decided to rename themselves. On that day, a new nation was born, the Baoule, which can be considered the founding ethnic group of the current Ivory Coast.
Through her courage and leadership, Abla Pokou succeeded in leading her people to a new territory, where they established a new kingdom and thrived. Queen Pokou is a revered and respected figure whose legacy is celebrated to this day.


Members of the Baoulé royal court and his royal scepters.