Formerly known as Upper Volta, the country’s name was changed in 1984 to Burkina Faso, meaning ‘the land of honest men’. The area it covers was settled by farming communities until their invasion by the Mossi people in the 11 th century, who set up several powerful kingdoms—Ouagadougou, Yatenga and Tenkogodo. These successfully resisted Islamic crusades and attacks by neighbouring empires for seven centuries until conquered by the French between 1895 and 1903.
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