Nature, Spirits and Arts in Burkina Faso

by Christopher D. Roy
University of Iowa

Hawk mask, Bonde family, Bwa peoples, village of Boni, Burkina Faso, 1985. Photo by Christopher D. Roy.

The broad white wings of the hawk mask flash in the sun as the performer twists the mask first in a clockwise, then counter-clockwise direction. The fiber costumes worn with each mask are remade by young male and female initiates each year during the dry season just before the performance season begins. The spirits the masks represent are accessible by women and children as well as men. 

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Burkina Faso; Bwa peoples. Hawk Masquerade. Video by Christopher D. Roy.