The country of Burkina Faso has issued its own stamps under that name since 1984. Before that, it was called Upper Volta. The postal history of Burkina Faso is interesting, and Burkinabé postage stamps and philatelic items tend to be very popular with collectors.
Burkina Faso began, in the modern era, as a French protectorate called Haute-Volta (Upper Volta), named for the Volta region in the area (extending to modern Ghana). In its earliest days, the area used stamps from Senegambia and Niger briefly, then from Upper Senegal and Niger (when Senegambia and Niger became the latter).
In 1919, Haute-Volta was established, and lasted until 1932, when the colony was split up into surrounding states. Upper Volta was revived in 1947 by the French, and stamps from the large French West Africa were used until 1958.
In 1958, the Republic of Upper Volta was established, and for two years was part of the French Community; in 1960, independence was granted, with the Republic keeping the same name.
In 1984, the country changed its name to Burkina Faso, which is sometimes shortened to Burkina.
The twisted postal history of Upper Volta and Burkina Faso has created quite a few interesting overprints and stamps for collectors. Even the earliest Burkina-related stamps, those from Senegambia and Niger from 1902 to 1904, can be found for sale for small amounts. This is a good way to add to a collection of Western African stamps.
More about Burkina Faso postal history
In 1920, as Upper Volta, the area used stamps from the colony of Upper Senegal and Niger with ‘HAUTE-VOLTA’ overprints in French. In 1928, Upper Volta had its own stamps issued, and again in 1931. In 1932 Upper Volta was divided between three other colonies, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, and French Sudan (present-day Mali).
In 1947 Upper Volta was reconstituted but did not issue new stamps. New postage stamps would come in 1958, when self-government was attained and the colony renamed itself the Republic of Upper Volta. For more information on Upper Volta and its stamps, see here.
In 1960, Upper Volta declared independence from France, and in 1984 changed its name to Burkina Faso, words from the language of the Mossi people and from the Dyula language. French remains the national language, however, and inscriptions on postage stamps after 1984 are usually in French.
Burkina Faso has issued many interesting stamp collectibles, including maxicards, postage due stamps, souvenir sheets, and more. See our subcategories to find specific types of Burkina Faso stamps. Come back often; we update these listings every day.
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