Bobo Sun Mask

The Bobo Sun mask is a type of African mask worn by the Bobo people of Burkina Faso during their

annual Bwa ceremony. The Bwa ceremony is a period of time where the communities religious

leaders gather to meditate, heal, and connect with the spiritual realm. The Bobo Sun is also known

as the Wanzega mask, which symbolizes the sun, and its vital energies.

The Bobo Sun masks are made from wood or metal, and they often have a glossy or polished

texture. The masks feature a round, convex shape that represents the sun with facial features

including pointed eyes, a flat nose, and a small mouth. The design of the mask also includes

protruding corkscrew-shaped elements that represent rays of sunlight extending from the centre of

the suns face. The rays of the sun are said to represent spirits or ancestors, and they serve as a

conduit between the natural world and the spiritual realm.

The colours of the Bobo Sun masks are typically bright and vibrant, ranging from deep reds and

oranges to bright yellows and greens. The colours represent the suns life-giving energy and are

essential to the mystical healing and rejuvenation of the communities spiritual leaders. The masks

are also adorned with small metal or wood accents such as beads, shells, or feathers that serve to

enhance the masks beauty and sacred symbolism.

During the Bwa ceremony, the Bobo Sun masks are worn by male members of the community, who

dance and perform ritual movements to activate the suns energy. The wearing of the mask allows

the wearer to become a vessel for the suns energy, which is said to bring about healing, wisdom,

and spiritual cleansing. The Bobo Sun mask is an essential part of the Bobo peoples cultural

heritage, and it serves as a powerful symbol of their connection to the natural world and spiritual


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