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About the Mossi People
“The various tribes living in Burkina Faso (formerly Upper-Volta), Ghana and Togo cultivate millet and cotton, and rear cattle in the northern savannah regions. Their religious activities are dictated by the rhythm of the seasons – during the dry season in particular, when the fields are fallow, large festivals and ceremonies are organized.
The first Mossi empire was founded during the 15thcentury by invaders from northern Ghana. Today, the Mossi are the largest tribe living in Burkina Faso. They number 2,000,000 and are the only tribe discussed in this chapter who have a centralized governing body, in addition to clans and professional corporations led by elders known as Zaksoba.
Mossi sculptors are famous for their polychrome masks which are worn during funeral ceremonies and to guard crop. These masks – which have a totemic role – are stored carefully when not worn and are given libations in exchange for help in everyday Mossi life.”
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.