Mossi Mask Styles as Documents of Mossi History
Christopher D. Roy
The Elizabeth M. Stanley Faculty Fellow of African Art History
Professor, The University of Iowa
Copyright © 2005 by Christopher D. Roy
Ethnic Map of Burkina Faso
Map of Mossi mask styles
Art of Burkina Faso
Art can serve as a primary
document in understanding the history of an African people (or any people for
that matter). By understand how and why art is made, and the influences that
have shaped it, we can understand better the processes which have shaped the
formation, structure, and movement of African peoples.
It has become common recently to refer to individual African peoples in the plural, rather than in the singular. Thus, the Yoruba are called “Yoruba peoples”, the Akan are “Akan peoples’, the Kongo are "Kongo peoples” and so on. The reasons for this approach are that we have discovered just how heterogeneous many of these peoples are. There are many differences between the Ketu, Igbomina, Oyo, Owo and other Yoruba. These differences are sometimes linguistic, historic, economic, cultural, even physical. In just the same way, it is apparent that the Mossi peoples of Burkina Faso are heterogeneous: there are many Mossi peoples, including the ruling elite who hold political power, called the nakomse, and the conquered farmers, who hold spiritual power, and whom are called the nyonyose. Even within one of these vertical divisions based on class or power, there are many differences. The nyonyose can be divided into smiths, saya; farmers, nyonyose; leather workers, mask users, sukwaba; and a variety of different occupational groups.
Among the most important but least understood distinctions, even among people who live in Burkina, are the distinctions between the nyonyose farmers in one part of Mossi country and those elsewhere. The nyonyose in the north around Ouahigouya are culturally distinct from the nyonyose in the southwest near Ouagadougou, or the east near Boulsa. Those French, Burkinabe, and American scholars who have recognized these differences have often wondered why they exist, what historical processes they reflect, and how they can be mapped and understood.
It is apparent that the location of each of these peoples can be mapped using art, especially mask styles, which are among the only original “documents” available to us for understanding the processes that took place at the founding of the Mossi states in 1500 when the ancestors of all of these peoples were conquered by the nakomse and integrated into the new ethnic group we now call Mossi. The map of the distribution of mask styles serves as a map of the distribution of the various peoples who were conquered by the nakomse in 1500.
The Mossi2 belong to the Mole cluster of the Voltaic peoples of the western Sudan (Murdock 1959:79). Numbering about 2,200,000, they speak Moore, a language classed in the Gur subfamily of the Niger-Congo family of languages (Greenberg 1963:8).
During the early fifteenth century (Fage 1964:177; Izard 1970:99) a group of horsemen from Dagomba, in what is now northern Ghana, rode north into the basin of the White Volta River in central Upper Volta and subjugated the leaderless agriculturalist groups in the area, founding the first Mossi state of Tenkodogo, ruled by their chief, Ouedraogo. His descendants later established the kingdoms of Fada N'Gurma, Ouagadougou, and Yatenga. The horsemen from the south established themselves as political rulers in the areas they conquered and intermarried with the many local ethnic groups which they encountered, creating a new Mossi society, composed of the descendants of the conquered and conquerors, in which many of the cultural elements of both peoples were preserved.
The horsemen and their descendants are called Nakomsé.
All Mossi political chiefs are selected from the Nakomsé lineages. In each Mossi village the Nakomsé families usually live very close to the dwelling of the village chief.
Throughout all of the area now occupied by the Mossi, the Nakomsé horsemen encountered and married with peoples whose descendants now refer to themselves collectively as Nyonyose ('children of the earth") without regard to ethnic origin. These Nyonyose all originally spoke Voltaic languages. The nyonyose should not be considered a distinct ethnic group but are a composite of groups whose only unifying trait is that they were all subjugated by the Nakomsé horsemen and history can only be understood in terms of an amalgamation of the Nakomsé and Nyonyose to form the Mossi society which exists today. It is inappropriate to speak of a Nyonyose group (or art) as distinct from the Mossi; the Nyonyose are Mossi.
Since the founding of the Nakomsé states, Mossi society and community leadership have been divided between the Nakomsé descendants of the horsemen from Dagomba, who are able to inherit the nam or right and power to rule, and the Nyonyose who are the descendants of all of the groups subjugated by the Nakomsé and who provide the community religious leader, the Tengsoba or earthpriest (Tauxier 1917:399; Skinner 1964:8; Zahan 1967:156). The large Nyonyose group is further divided into subgroups including the Nyonyosé4 descendants of the original farmers, the Sukwaba mask-using clans, the Saaba smiths, and others. The Mossi have also supported two discrete art traditions which parallel the division of society between the Nakomsé and the Nyonyose: a leadership art, in the form of brass and wooden royal figures (ninandé) controlled by the Nakomsé political hierarchy, and a religious art, in the form of masks (wando) which are controlled by the Nyonyose.
To the north of the White Volta River the Nakomsé cavalry encountered and fought with groups of Dogon (referred to in Mossi oral traditions as kibsi) and Kurumba (foulse). The Dogon had once occupied the entire northern section of Mossi country as far east as Kaya, but had been pushed to the west by the encroachment of the Kurumba from the east. When the Nakomsé arrived, the Dogon population was largely limited to the area which now comprises the kingdom of Yatenga. Most of the Dogon population fled before the approach of the Nakomsé cavalry to the cliffs of the Bandiagara escarpment where the Nakomsé horses could not follow. The descendants of those Dogon who remained behind in Yatenga were integrated into the large Nyonyose class.
In the east the Nakomsé mixed with the autochthonous Gurmantché. In the area to the south and west of the White Volta River the Nakomsé conquered and intermarried with the local gurunsi and either drove off or installed as local earth-priests the Mande-speaking Ninisi who had held some political power over the agriculturalist groups in the area before the arrival of the Nakomsé. These Ninisi formed a link between the Mandé speaking Samo to the northwest of the Mossi and the Mande-speaking Bisa in the southeast, astride the lower White Volta in the region of Garango (Izard 1970:117, 118; Pageard 1963:40-43).
The Style Regions of Mossi
Throughout the area occupied by the Mossi the word for mask is wango (p1. wando). This word is applied equally to the small, zoomorphic masks from the southwest, to the tall, plank-topped masks from Yatenga, and to masks from the Boulsa region.
The exhibition catalog notes and attributions of masks from Upper Volta which have been published in the last 50 years have provided us with a rather simplistic and distorted view of Mossi artistic traditions. They have implied incorrectly that the Mossi are homogenious. The only masks which have been consistently attributed to the Mossi are the vertical, plank-topped masks which are always said to be the property of a "young men's wango society." The smaller, zoomorphic masks which are found in the southwestern half of Mossi country have been almost universally attributed to the Bobo or other neighboring ethnic groups.5
In fact the Mossi are very heterogeneous: there are at least three major Mossi mask styles and two additional substyles, reflecting the complex distribution of original peoples who have been integrated into traditional Mossi society. Each of these styles is evidence that the ancestors of the people who now make these masks were, in 1500, either Dogon, Gurunsi, or Kurumba.
Because the boundaries of these style regions correspond approximately to the boundaries of the several Mossi kingdoms as they existed at the arrival of the French in 1896, I will use the names of these kingdoms as convenient handles" for the mask styles (see Izard 1970:map 7). These mask styles are: (1) the Ouagadougou style (figures 1 to 7), (2) the Yatenga style (figures 8 to 10), (22) the Risiam style (figures 11 to 13), (23) the Kaya style (figures 14 and 15), (3) the Boulsa style (figures 16 to 19).
1. The Ouagadougou Style
The range of this style is the area of Mossi country to the south and west of the White Volta River, including most of the kingdoms of Ouagadougou (west of the river), Kayao, Tema, and Yako, but with a northwest extension through a corner of Yatenga including the Ninisi villages of Kaséba, Moundia, and Tarmounouma to the southwest of Gourcy (see map).
These are small, wooden, zoomorphic masks. They are colored with geometric patterns in dark earth-red, black, and white, and represent animals commonly found in Mossi country. The type of animal represented can usually be recognized by certain stylized features of the animal. Thus, the rooster is recognized by its wattles and comb, the ram by its heavy crescent horns, the hawk and other birds by a tri-lobed crest extending back from the top of the head which represents the bird's crest plumes (figures 1 and 4). On rooster masks this central crest is usually ribbed, while on hawk and eagle masks the central lobe is smooth. Each of these animal masks is an individual mask type, and any or all of the types might be found in a single mask-using village composed of several clans. Ouagadougou style masks are always worn with a very heavy fiber costume which completely hides the identity of the wearer or the fact that the mask is being worn by a human being.
On ritual occasions the groups which use these masks speak a secret language called suku which is completely unintelligible to the Nakomsé or other non-mask groups. Both men and women participate in mask rites, and one becomes a member of the mask groups by birth into one of the mask-using clans.
Ouagadougou style masks are very common in southwestern Mossi country. There are at least 25 mask villages within a 20 kilometer radius of the town of Yako; the clans in each of these villages own from two to twenty masks.
Ouagadougou style Mossi masks are related stylistically to the red, white, and black zoomorphic masks used by the Nouna, Lela, Ko, and Kàssena, whom the Mossi call gurunsi and who are the southwestern neighbors of the Mossi. The gurunsi who originally occupied southwestern Mossi country were integrated into a new Mossi society as Nyonyose. The styles of the gurunsi and Nyonyosé in the southwest have developed independently since the founding of the Mossi states, so that it is now possible to distinguish between them.
2. The Yatenga Style
The geographical area in which the Yatenga style masks are concentrated is the section of Mossi country to the north of the low, swampy area around Nyessega and the Kourougui River, which flows west to east halfway between Yako and Gourcy, and to the west of the border between Yatenga and the kingdoms of Zitenga and Risiam. This is the general area of the Mossi kingdom of Yatenga (see map).
The range of this Yatenga style also extends to a few scattered villages to the southwest of the White Volta-the region of the Ouagadougou stylewhere the tall Yatenga style masks are found in and are dominated by the Ouagadougou style. Throughout the Ouagadougou style area Yatenga style masks are rather rare, while the small zoomorphic masks are ubiquitous. The two mask styles must never dance in the same area at the same time, and if, on their way to a funeral, the two meet on a bush path, the small masks flee into the bush. With the exceptions of the Ninisi villages of Kaséba, Moundia, and Tarmounouma in the southwest corner of the area, no Ouagadougou style masks are found in Yatenga.
Yatenga style masks have been cited as most characteristic of the Mossi style in all publications to the present. They are vertically oriented, worn over the face, and consist of a round or oval facial area surmounted by a tall, thin, wooden plank, often a meter or a meter and a half long, with a very small antelope head and long horns rising above the mask face just in front of the plank (figures 8 to 10). In the great majority of examples the antelope horns are not attached directly to the facial area of the mask but come together to form a very small triangle, often colored white, which forms the head of the antelope. As in the rest of Mossi country, masks are called wango. However, Yatenga style masks with oval faces, planks, and antelope horns may also be referred to by the more specific name karanga (p1. karansé). A second important mask type in the same style is distinguished by the addition of a wooden female figure above the face of the mask and either in front of the plank or entirely replacing (figure 9). The female figure is called wemba and all such masks are called karanwemba. Karansé and karan-wemba are worn with a costume consisting of a traditional Mossi shirt and trousers, a lightly fringed fiber skirt tied around the waist, and a cloth or fiber cap which helps to bind the mask to the wearer's head. The costume hides the identity of the wearer but no attempt is made to conceal the fact that the mask is worn by a human, in contrast to the very heavy fiber costumes worn with masks in the southwest and in the far eastern regions of Mossi country.
The concave face of the Yatenga style mask is painted white with chalk or lizard excrement mixed with egg. Geometric designs which are carved into the surface of the plank are outlined in white, alternating with areas painted earth-red with ground hematite stone. The spiral marks on the horns and other areas are blackened by burning with hot pokers and then glazed with melted vegetable resin (gum arabic).
The karansé in each village are owned by individual Nyonyosé clans and are in no way under the supervision of the earth-priest. The senior male clan member appoints a young man of the family to wear the mask at funerals. There is no organized, exclusive male mask society or group such as the "Wango Society" which has been frequently referred to by catalogers of western collections.
Yatenga style Mossi masks are stylistically related to certain vertical, plank-topped Dogon masks. The Nyonyose in Yatenga who produce masks are remnants of the Dogon occupation of the area to about 1500. Most Dogon fled northwest to the cliffs of the Bandiagara escarpment before the Nakomsé cavalry, and those who remained behind were integrated into Mossi society. The styles of the two groups have developed independently in the intervening 500 years, so that it is now possible to distinguish between them. Masks in both styles have concave faces and triangular eyes, bisected by a vertical ridge. Dogon masks are rectangular and Mossi masks are oval.
3. The Risiam Style
The geographical range of the Risiam style is the area of the old Mossi kingdoms of Zitenga, Risiam, and Ratenga (all of which once owed allegiance to the Yatenga chief), as well as the kingdoms of Tema and Mane. The area is bordered on the west by Yatenga proper and on the east by the kingdom of Kaya. The southern border is the White Volta River. A few masks in the Risiam style are found south of the White Volta, but north of the river there are no small zoomorphic masks of the Ouagadougou style (see map).
The transitional zone between the Yatenga and Risiam styles is broad, embracing the towns of Seguenega and Tikaré.
The major style characteristic which distinguishes the Risiam style masks from the more westerly Yatenga style is the use of a hemispherical convex face rather than the concave, white face of the Yatenga masks (compare figures 10 and 11). As in Yatenga, the face is bisected by a prominent vertical ridge which is notched by triangular cuts (figures 11 to 13). Masks are found with and without female figures above the facial area and are called karan-wemba (figure 12) and karansé, as in Yatenga. The tall, thin plank which rises above the mask in Yatenga is usually somewhat shorter in the Risiam area. In the village of Kirsi, 45 kilometers east of Yako, masks in the Risiam style which are carved by the Nyonyoga carver Raogo Sawadogo bear larger, more prominent antelope heads and horns than are found on the masks in other areas (figure 11).
As in all of the northern regions of Mossi country the masks in the Risiam area are used by Nyonyose clans, the most important of which is the Sawadogo ('Rain Cloud") clan.
The Risiam style is part of the northern Mossi style complex of masks with oval faces and tall vertical planks. The Risiam style is a transitional style combining the strong vertical ridge and plank from Yatenga in the west with the convex face from Kaya in the east. It reflects the intermixture of Dogon and Kurumba populations in the area as the Kurumba moved westward, displacing the original Dogon inhabitants in the area.
4 . The Kaya Style
The geographical range of this style is roughly the region of the town of Kaya and the area to the northeast. The Kaya style extends to the west as far as the borders of Ratenga, Risiam, and Mane and the sparsely populated area west of Samtaba, where it gradually gives way to masks of the Risiam style, and to the east as far as the kingdom of Boulsa. In the towns of Boussouma and Korsimoro, just to the south of Kaya, masks of the Boulsa style are found. To the north of Kaya the Mossi population gradually gives way to the Kurumba (foulse) (see map).
As in Yatenga, masks are vertically oriented, consisting of a facial area surmounted by a thin plank and antelope horns. In the Kaya region masks often have up to six short branches above the face of the mask. In Kaya, as in Risiam, the face of the mask is a convex hemisphere, but the face is usually not bisected by the strong, vertical ridge found on Yatenga or Risiam masks (figures 14 and 15).6
Kaya style Mossi masks are related stylistically to the convex faced masks produced by the Kurumba farther north. 7 The Kurumba who occupied the Kaya area before the arrival of the Nakomsé cavalry were subjugated and integrated into Mossi society, and their descendants now call themselves Nyonyosé. Both Kaya style Mossi masks and Kurumba masks are characterized by a convex face usually without a vertical ridge and little or no incised decoration, but rather roughly painted white geometric shapes. Here, as in Yatenga and Ouagadougou, there has been independent and divergent stylistic development since the Nakomsé invasion, so that the two styles can be distinguished.
5 . The Boulsa Style Boulsa Illustrations
The geographical range of this style is a narrow strip of eastern Mossi country, bordering the Gourma, and extending from Yalgho and Tougouri in the north, through Zeguedeguin, to Boulsa and the swampy areas south of Nyegha in the south. Masks of the Boulsa style are also found in the towns of Boussouma and Korsimoro, south of Kaya. This area corresponds approximately to the area of the old Mossi kingdom of Boulsa (see map).
There are three types of masks in the area. The most important and oldest masks are called yali (figure 16, foreground), and are worn by young boys; the mask in use is about 1.3 to 1.5 meters tall. The wooden mask is a halfcylinder painted white with two short horns rising above the ears. The wearer is able to see through four narrow vertical slits in the face of the mask. The mask costume is of red or black fiber (beaten bark of the Hibiscus cannabinus), and is closely 'tailored," consisting of a shirt, trousers, cape, and cowl. The construction of the costume completely conceals the wearer's identity but allows him to move freely and to run very rapidly.
The second and most commonly seen type is the tall red mask called wan-zegha ("red mask") (figure 16, background, figure 17). The facial section of the mask is similar to the yaIi but in place of the yaii's horns the red mask has a long wooden post rising above the head, covered with the same red fiber from which the rest of the mask's costume is constructed. The mask wearer is an adult male so the mask is considerably taller than the yali.
The third type of mask found in the Boulsa-style region is similar to the tall red mask in form but the costume is made of black, rather than red, fiber. The mask has a prominent semicircular nose, and the face and nose are encrusted with red beads and seeds set in beeswax. Four round mirrors form the eyes of the mask (figures 18 and 19).
Masks used by the Nyonyosé in the Boulsa region more closely resemble the masks of the neighboring ethnic group than clothe masks of any other region of Mossi country. The Nyonyose masks from Zeguedeguin are virtually indistinguishable from the Gourma masks from Wamboui, 20 kilometers to the east, which attended a year-end celebration in Zeguedeguin in May 1977. Yet the Nyonyosé of Zeguedegum identify themselves as Mossi.
This lack of independent stylistic development may be the result of politicalfactors. Unlike the other autochthonous groups which were subjugated by the Nakomsé at the end of the fifteenth century, the Gourma had an established centralized political authority. As a result, the Nakomsé themselves became heavily acculturated, and the Nyonyosé in the east who carve masks never totally lost contact with their Gourma relatives. Close cultural contact resulted in closer stylistic similarities than elsewhere in Mossi country.
Regions in Which No Masks Are Found
The entire southeastern corner of Mossi country is entirely devoid of masking traditions. This area includes the region south of Boulsa and east of the White Volta River, including the towns of Zorgo, Pouytenga, Koupéla, and Tenkodogo. Much of this area lies within the valley of the White Volta, and, because of fly-borne onchocerciasis, it is largely uninhabited. n the remainder of the area the autochthonous ethnic groups which were subjugated by the Nakomsé horsemen from Dagomba and integrated into Mossi society as the Nyonyosé have evidently never used masks on any occasion (see map).
It is now clear that Mossi mask sculpture can no longer be described solely in terms of the tall, vertically oriented karansé from Yatenga which have been attributed to the Mossi for decades. Rather than one mask style which can be said to embody all of the characteristics of Mossi art, we find that the Mossi produce several styles whose complex regional distribution reflects the distribution of the many autochthonous ethnic groups which occupied the basin of the White Volta River at the arrival of the Nakomsé horsemen almost 500 years ago. Masks are used by the descendants of the several autochthonous groups who have been completely integrated into Mossi society. Mossi cul tural history must be understood as an amalgamation of the Tengabisi agricul turalists and the Nakomsé cavalrymen, a process which began in the early fifteenth century.
1. The research on which this paper is based was funded by grants from the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad Program and from the International Doctoral Research Fellowship Program sponsored by the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies. The conclusions, opinions, and other statements made in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of the institutions.
2. A number of scholars have written the name Mossi as "Moshi," perhaps following the tradition begun by A. W. Cardinall (1925, 1923, 1927). Among the Mossi the sound is pronounced [s], as in "see," not [SI as in "she."
3. The traditional date for the founding of the Mossi states has been ca. 1250, based on evidence from the Tarikh el-Fettach by Mahmoud Kati and the Tarikh Es-Soudan by Es-Sa'di. However, more recent research by Fage and Izard indicates that the Mossi in vaders of Timbuctu in 1480 mentioned in the Arabic chronicles are not the same Nakomse who founded the states of Ten kodogo, Ouagadougou, and Yatenga.
4. The word Nyonyosé is a very general term which designates those Mossi who are descended from the autochthonous farmers who occupied the basin of the White Volta before the arrival of the Nakomsé. In the past, a number of scholars have made the mistake of referring to a "Nyonyosé tribe" or group which is distinct from the Mossi, or of equating the Nyonyose with the Kurumba. While it is true that in the northern section of Mossi country the Nyonyosé subgroup of the Mossi is descended from the Kurumba, other Nyonyosé in other areas of Mossi country may be descended from the Gurunsi, the Dogon, or the Gurmantche, resulting in a marked cultural diversity throughout Mossi country. Elsy Leuzinger has, at least twice (1972:54 and 1978:108) stated that "Nyonyose means not Mossi."ln fact, all Nyonyose are Mossi. The problem has arisen from the fact that most scholars who have studied the Mossi have concentrated on only one small geographical area. Both Tauxier (1917) and Schweeger-Hefel (1962-72) have worked in the north, where the Nyonyosé stated that their ancestors were the Kurumba. A thorough survey of Mossi country reveals that the Nyonyosé in other areas trace their origins to quite different ethnic groups.
It must be remembered that regardless of their origins and the presence or lack of any traces of information about their origins in oral literature, these Nyonyosé groups have been thoroughly integrated into a Mossi society which is distinct from the neighboring groups. The Nyonyosé uniformly identify themselves first as Mossi, or, on further inquiry, as Nyonyosé, but never as Fulse or Gurunsi.
5. Attributions of Ouagadougou style Mossi masks in private and public collections in Europe and the United States are marred by inaccuracies. Three southwestern Mossi masks in the Musée de l'Homme in Paris are labeled "Bobo Ule (Bwa)" and to each is attached a note stating that "this mask, produced by the Bobo, is of the Bwa type, and Gurunsi style." Each of the masks is of the naturalistic style common in the area around Ouagadougou, and is worn horizontally, on top of the head. None of the masks is provided with holes to permit the wearer to see through. Two of the masks (M.H. X.71.1 and M.H. X.71.2) are covered with red, white, and black triangles and other graphic motives characteristic of Mossi masks, while the third (M.H. 68.96.2) is decorated with checkerboard" patterns and narrow, parallel black lines which are more characteristic of Gurunsi masks. This mask may have been carved in a western Mossi area under heavy Nuna influence, or it may in fact be Nuna, rather than Mossi.
A Ouagadougou style "hawk" mask (wan-silga) in the Musée National des Arts Africains et Oceaniens in Paris is attributed to the Bobo (MNAN #65-1-7). The six parallel slits in the face of the mask indicate that it was worn over the face and may have been carved in the area north of Ouagadougou.
A Ouagadougou style Mossi mask with the characteristic tri-lobed crest which is common on the small zoomorphic masks from the region southwest of the White Volta River is exhibited in the Museum für Volkerkunde in Vienna and is labeled "Stylized Animal-headed Mask of the Landuma," probably on the basis of the very superficial resemblance to a type of mask called Msom Ka Benumbe produced by the Nalu and Landuma of Guinea (Museum für Völkerkunde, Vienna #72 Stilisierte Tierkopf masken der Landuma" (in Nr. 130.214); Schweeger-Hefel 1969:80, #72). The Vienna mask is provided with four round eyeholes indicating that it was worn over the face. The stylized nose and mouth and the red coloring on the facial area indicate that the mask was probably intended to represent the albino, and therefore was called wan-mwega. The tn-lobed crest which rises vertically above the face represents the lobed coiffure which the Mossi call gyonfo.
Völkerkunde, Vienna #72 Stilisierte Tierkopf masken der Landuma" (in Nr. 130.214); Schweeger-Hefel 1969:80, #72). The Vienna mask is provided with four round eyeholes indicating that it was worn over the face. The stylized nose and mouth and the red coloring on the facial area indicate that the mask was probably intended to represent the albino, and therefore was called wan-mwega. The tn-lobed crest which rises vertically above the face represents the lobed coiffure which the Mossi call gyonfo.
6. There are many exceptions. Of the four Kaya mask styles in the National Museum in Ouagadougou, two have vertical ridges which bisect the face. Most of the masks attributed to the Kaya region by dealers in "antiquities" in Ouagadougou lack a central vertical ridge.
7. For examples of Kurumba masks see Anne-Marie Schweeger-Hefel, Die Kurumba von Lurum (Vienna: 1972, illustrations 99101,105-112).
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1. Mask wan-silga, representing a hawk. Funeral, February 13, 1977, Saaba Sukwaba community of Byisiga, 20 km. southwest of Yako. The mask has just selected the portion of millet beer to be consumed by its attendants.
2. Mask wan-nyaka, in the collection of Christopher and Nora Roy, Iowa City, Iowa. Sold by the owner, Rasablaga Bonkuongo, for 3,000 CFA ($12) because it did not function adequately as a line of communication with his ancestors. 50 cm. long.
3. Mask wan-nyaka, representing the small antelope Gazella rufifrons, with full costume of the fibers of Hibiscus cannabinus. The University of Iowa Museum of Art, gift of Max and Betty Stanley.
4. Mossi mask wan-silga, representing a hawk. Ouagadougou style. Ouagadougou, Musée National. Museum data: "wa-silga, eagle mask from the Bousse area." 33 cm. long, 15 cm. high.
5. Mossi mask wan-n yaka, representing a small antelope. Ouagadougou style. Ouagadougou, Musée National. Museum data: "From the village of Bousse-Boulale, mask over 75 years old, sold by Pabouzuide Kabre 8/8/69." 50 cm. long, 24 cm. wide.
6. Mossi mask wan-balinga, representing a Fulani woman. Ouagadougou style. Bloomington, Indiana, collection of Roy and Sophia Sieber.