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Mossi(mŏs`ē), African people, numbering about 2.5 million, mostly in Burkina Faso. From c.A.D. 1000 the Mossi were organized into several kingdoms, one of which has continued to the present day. Despite long and intimate contact with Muslims, the Mossi have retained their ancient traditional religion, which has a strong emphasis on ancestor worship.
See P. B. Hammond, Yatenga (1966).
a people of West Africa. The Mossi constitute more than 50 percent of the population of Upper Volta, and some live in the northern part of Ghana. The total Mossi population is 4.7 million (1970, estimate). The dominant language among the Mossi is More, which belongs to the Gur language group. The majority of the Mossi preserve traditional beliefs, although some have adopted Christianity and Islam.
The principal occupation among the Mossi is hoe agriculture; major crops include millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, and rice. The fruit of the shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii ) is collected and oil is obtained from the seeds. There is small-scale raising of donkeys, sheep, goats, and chickens; in some areas, the Mossi also engage in horse breeding. High population density and poor soil cause significant migration; every year almost 500,000 of the Mossi leave to work in the mines of Ghana or on the plantations of the Ivory Coast.