Boa (Baboa, Ababua,
Ababwa, Bua), Democratic Republic of the Congo
War mask. Some
200,000 Boa live between the Congo River and its right Oubangui tributary. They are mainly
farmers and are in frequent contact with the Mangbetu and the Zande. The Boa are known
principally for their masks, believed to be used in war-related ceremonies, particularly
to enhance a warriors courage or to celebrate victories. Their power was thought to
make men invincible and weaken the enemy. The masks have set apart prominent, pierced,
round ears suggesting alertness, and are covered more often with white and black pigments.
Only sparing information about the Boa masks use is available.