The Art of Burkina Faso

by Christopher D. Roy
University of Iowa

Craft work:

During the dry season, when farmers have free time away from their fields, much time is devoted to traditional craft activities, either behind the walls of the Mossi clan residence, or in the streets of Bwa, Bobo, and gurunsi towns.

Each family makes the clothing and tools it needs, including baskets, household utensils, and furniture. Smiths carve furniture including doors and locks, as well as household utensils such as the handles for tools, spoons, mortars and pestles, and knives. They also carve Mossi dolls and the masks and magical figures that are important elements of religious life. Blacksmiths work on order or carry goods made on speculation to local or regional markets.

Specialized craftsmen and women weave and make pottery.