The Mossi live in Burkina Faso and they constitute the largest ethnicity in the country. The majority of the population live of livestock and agriculture. Cotton is widely grown.
Types and use of masks Mossi
Mossi masks are worn during the festivities and to encourage the rains that will allow good crops of millet. They also appear at funerals of notables and of the elderly. At the funeral, they check if the rites are properly observed. At the second funeral, several weeks or months later, they celebrate the departure of the soul of the deceased, who had remained close to his family, and now go to the spirit world from which it will protects its family. These masks, embodying the ancestor and therefore the protector of the clan, are kept carefully on the family altar when they are not used. Different liquids are poured on the masks for their help and protection. Mask the best known is called Karanga and is found mostly in the northern Mossi country. It consists of a stylized face rounded and concave topped by a narrow and tall pole decorated. It looks like the masks of the Dogon sirige. You can often find above the face of the mask, the face of an antelope head or just a pair of horns. This or that pair of antelope horns are sometimes replaced by a statue of a woman, arms outstretched and dangling and head surmounted by a crest. This variant is called the Karanga karan-Wemba. Wemba means the old woman, who after the death of her husband and the marriage of his children come back to live in his original family.
Characteristics and use of statues Mossi
The statues symbolize the deceased ancestors, they measure around 40 to 100 cm. They have legs slightly bent, arms are widely separated from the body and slightly bent, the heads have a round shape with the flat face. The face is sometimes surmounted by a crest. They were buried in public ceremonies at the death of a chief while his real body was buried in secret. Sometimes they just appear at the second funeral of a sovereign. On the occasion of annual sacrifices, they spread the good on the community and promote crops.
Mossi dolls fertility Biig
Finally dolls with abstract forms and very pure with a crest on the head measuring between 20 and 35 cm were offered to the girls after they were excised to promote fertility. The pendulous breasts symbolize motherhood desired. Sometimes they are sheathed in leather. The bride keep with her the statue to promote fertility.