Boa / Ababua / Ababwa / Baboa / Babua / Babwa / Bua / Bwa

The Baboa people (singular Boa, also Ababua, Ababwa, Babua, Babwa, Bwa) are an ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They speak the Bwa language.

The Baboa live in the savanna region in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are in close contact with the Mangbetu and Zande peoples. Most of the inhabitants of the Bas-Uele District, with a population of 900,000 in 2007, are Boa. They live mainly through subsistence farming and hunting, with some river commerce.

Each village is headed by a chief from the most prestigious clan. The Boa are mainly farmers and are in frequent contact with the Mangbetu and the Zande.

Boa People Boa People

The Boa are known principally for their masks, believed to be used in war-related ceremonies, particularly to enhance a warrior’s courage or to celebrate victories. They have set-apart ears and are covered with white and black pigments. The Boa also carve statues with apotropaic functions. The Mangbetu influence can be seen in the Boa tendency to decorate knives, ceramics, harps and seats with human heads.

Boa Masks Boa Masks