Mossi Doll (Biiga)


Burkina Faso

The Mossi are the largest ethnic group living in Burkina Faso. Among the various masks and sculptures that Mossi produce there is the Mossi Doll (Biiga). The biiga are given to young female children to serve as a play doll but also it gives her the power that will enable her to have a child. By playing and caring for the doll, the child learns how to take care of the baby she will have. All Mossi dolls have a cylindrical base that is slightly wider than the body. It is carved without legs or arms but has accentuated breasts which are a symbol of motherhood. Lines that are etched into the head represent braids. The biiga also features scarifications that are realistic and found on the Mossi people themselves.

The biiga doll is washed, dressed and carried on the back just like a real child would be. If it is damaged, the biiga is taken to the local diviner for attention. The biiga is passed on from mother to daughter or from sister to sister.


Height : 12″ (30.5cm)