Burkinabè culture combines spiritual beliefs and social customs. The countrys
traditional art forms include body decoration, fine jewellery, textiles, pottery, folk
tales, and stories of magic which are passed down by word of mouth from generation to
generation. Each ethnic group has its own artistic style: the Mossi, the Gourounsi, and
the Bobo are best known for their carved wooden masks which are used during funeral rites.
The Mossi use tall wooden antelope masks and the Bobo are famous for their horizontal
butterfly masks which are painted red, black, and white. The Lobi, who dont use
masks, usually carve wooden figures representing gods and ancestors, which are used for
ancestral shrines in the home.
The renowned architecture of the Bobo and Gourounsi is
shown in the photograph on the history page. Because they are
animists, and believe that the spirits of their dead ancestors live in their homes, they
are reluctant to knock houses down. Though houses are built only from timber and unfired
mud, some have stood for over three hundred years. The houses of the Gourounsi around
Tiébélé, near Pô, are also beautifully decorated with paintings and engravings, work
that is always carried out by women.
Every so often artists from all over the world come to a granite hillside just outside
Ouagadougou. They come to carve huge sculptures in the granite - of people, animals, and
|Once every two years Burkina Faso becomes
the Hollywood of Africa. Fespaco is Burkina Faso's famous film festival
In recent years Burkina Faso has gained an international
reputation for its film industry, and every other year Ouagadougou becomes the
Hollywood of Africa during the Panafrican Cinema Festival (FESPACO).