Spiritual Dancers of Burkina Faso


These images are part of a serie named Spiritual Dancers of Burkina Faso. Expressing the unique identity and the traditional ceremonies practised in Burkina Faso. The ceremonies are dedicated to wish for a prosperous, harvest, healthy animals and blessings for the community and passed away ancestors. Every occasion has its own ceremony. Many of the ancient artistic traditions for which Africa is so well known have been preserved in Burkina Faso because so many people continue to honour the ancestral spirits, and the spirits of nature. In great part, they honour the spirits through the use of masks and carved figures. Many of the countries to the north of Burkina Faso had become predominantly Muslim, while many of the countries to the south of Burkina Faso are heavily Christian. In contrast, many of the people of Burkina Faso continue to offer prayers and sacrifices to the spirits of nature and to the spirits of their ancestors. The result is that they continue to use the sorts of art that we see in museums in Europe and America

The ceremonies have a long history going back centuries, until today locals, especially in the villages are celebrating this unique culture. Nevertheless, the slowly increasing influence  of the Islamic culture trying too forbid using the masks, the spiritual dancers are forced to move their ceremonies to more secret locations. Because of this migration their culture tends to slowly slip away from the public eye. Their unique culture inspired me to make this serie and to ask for awareness and the importance to show it to the world around us...

The masks belong to the collection of Afrika Museum in The Netherlands. 


Creative direction & photography : Alice de Kruijs
Assistent concept photography: Boy Surminski
Make-up | Body paint artist: Nur Özkan
Male model: Ingemar Peloz
Female model: Veronique Efomi
Using Format