The Art of Burkina Faso
by Christopher D. Roy
University of Iowa
Northern Voltaic Style:
Most of the masks from this style area represent totemic animals and are worn over the face. Many bear a vertical plank. They include geometric patterns in red, white, and black, but do not have concentric target eyes. The northern Mossi, Dogon, and Kurumba comprise this style region.
Kaya style masks, in the northeast, are very similar to the plank masks produced by the southern Kurumba. Both peoples produce convex-faced masks with elaborate, branching planks that rise above the face. Both peoples decorate their masks with rather rough, geometric shapes painted white. While it is true that the ancestors of the Mossi who use masks in this small area were Kurumba, it is patently false to conclude that Mossi art is or was made by the Kurumba.
The Risiam style is a result of the combined influence of the Dogon and the Kurumba, whose villages were mixed in the area.