Burkina Bobo Nweka Mask
The Bwa masks are usually black and white; additional colors are subject to individual carvers and their styles. Animal depictions are a common attribute of the works. Plank Masks are the most known style of masks for this society. they are vertically shaped and attached to a disk-like base. Decoration is subject to change, but it mostly comes down to zigzags, squares, and circles. The Bwa also make horizontal and heterogenous masks. Heterogenous masks have an ovoid head with round and/or diamond eyes. Sometimes, the artist will choose to add on designs such as crescents or human figures.
The Bwa are well known for their use of traditional tribal masks. There are several types of masks produced by the Bwa that are used in traditional rituals.
In particular the Southern Bwa are known for their tall plank masks, known as nwantantay, and tend to use wood to make their masks. This is a result of their adoption of Nuna religion and their traditions of using wooden masks. The religion associated with wooden masks is focused on the spirit Lanle, whose power is manifested through the wooden masks. Nwantantay can also be made of polychrome by the blacksmiths. Built in horizontal shapes, these masks can represent different animals and have specific designs. For example, a butterfly mask would have concentric circles, while a hawk mask would have a plain white surface. these masks are worn for female entertainment.
The northern Bwa use leaf masks more than wooden ones. These leaf masks frequently represent Dwo in religious ceremonies. The masks also represent the bush spirits including serpents, monkeys, buffalo and hawks. Mask performances generally take place in the dry season between February and May.