By Christopher D. Roy
University of Iowa

Bwa peoples, Gnoumou clan, children having a good time, Burkina Faso, 1985. Photo by Christopher D. Roy 

At very serious performances of masks worn by initiated elders the young, uninitiated boys mimic with precision every dance step of the great plank masks in preparation for the day they will wear the masks themselves.  Here the boys are watching intently as the great plank masks of their family perform.  They twist in unison at the precise moment that the masks themselves twist from side to side.


Burkina Faso; Bwa peoples. Butterfly Masquerade. Video by Christopher Roy.