Burkina Faso sun disk mask
This Sun Mask originates in Burkina Faso
Detail: Wood carved, stained and painted
Burkina Faso sun disk mask. These Bwa African masks are used in agricultural ceremonies to celebrate farming and bless the crops. This particular mask of the Bwa signifies the sun, on of the important components to yielding a healthy crop.
The Bwa are scattered across Mali and Burkina Faso, numbering somewhere in the region of 300,000 people. Each Bwa village is governed independently by male elders devoid of a central political authority. Major decisions are made by a tribal council of male elders of local lineage. One of the negative aspects of the independance of the Bwa villages is from a military standpoint they became weak against the Fulani and franch invasions, however on the positive, their problems, conflicts and disasters are dealt with more efficiently as no waiting is necessary for commands from some higher authority in another village. Their villages are set up in a tight cluster of mud walled, flat roofed buildings with open central areas where livestock are guarded at night. The village set up makes it easier to defend against invaders.