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Bwa sun mask

Known as the Sun Masks, these wooden round masks depicting a face are danced by the Bwa People during agricultural ceremonies to bless the crops. The Bwa live in large areas of Mali and Burkina Faso, and are known for producing different types of masks in wood that portray human and animals characters with dramatic abstracted features and brightly colored geometric designs. The Bwa religion is based in animism and magical objects and figures are kept in villages and family shrines. The spirits that inhabit these shrines are also found in the different masks, symbolizing early myths and local history, during annual celebrations when the masks are "danced".

Photo credits: Festima Festival, Burkina Faso (Author unkown)