Introduction / History The Mossi people constitute the largest single people group in Burkina Faso, occupying a large area in the center of the country. The historic Mossi Kingdom ruled the land until French colonial powers arrived in the nineteenth century. A King still rules and influences the people today, although he has lost all legitimate political power.
The Mossis speak Moore, and are very proud of their mother tongue. Publications in the vernacular include the entire Bible, song books, pamphlets on health care and culture, and University linguistic reports. There are many primary schools, and some can read in French or Moore, but an extensive literacy effort is still needed. The Mossi celebrate many traditional festivals that include dancing, drinking, and singing. Funerals, marriages, and circumcisions are important ceremonies, as are mask festivals, a harvest "Feast of the Chief," and an Enthronement ceremony to crown a new Chief or King.
Wrestling, going to the market, and visiting neighbors are other common recreations. Despite numerous churches and their own Bible translation, the Mossi remain largely animistic. Those who live in villages are reluctant to change, and cling tightly to spirit worship and the use of sacrifices. More literacy work, evangelistic films, and unity among different Christian groups may help spread the Good News among the Mossi people.