/mos"ee/, n., pl. Mossis, (esp. collectively) Mossi for 1.
1. an agricultural people of Africa living mainly in Burkina Faso.
2. Also called Moré. the language of the Mossi people, a Gur language of the Niger-Congo family.

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People of Burkina Faso and other parts of western Africa, mainly Mali and Togo.

They speak Mooré, a Gur language of the Niger-Congo family. Mossi society, organized as in the former Mossi states (с 1500–1895), is divided into royalty, nobles, commoners, and formerly slaves. The morho naba ("big lord") occupies a court in Ouagadougou. In the colonial era the Mossi acted as trading intermediaries between the forest states and the cities of the Niger. Today most of the nearly six million Mossi are sedentary farmers.

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also spelled  Mosi,  also called  Moore 

      people of Burkina Faso and other parts of West Africa, especially Mali and Togo. They numbered some six million at the start of the 21st century. Their language, Moore, belongs to the Gur branch and is akin to that spoken by the Mamprusi and Dagomba of northern Ghana, from whom the Mossi ruling class trace their origin.

      The Mossi are sedentary farmers, growing millet and sorghum as staples. Some artisans, such as smiths and leatherworkers, belong to low-status castes.

      Mossi society, which is organized on the basis of a feudal kingdom, is divided into royalty, nobles, commoners and, formerly, slaves. Each village is governed by a chief who, in turn, is subordinate to a divisional chief. At the top of the hierarchy is the paramount ruler, the morho naba (“big lord”), whose seat is located at Ouagadougou. Divisional chiefs serve as advisers to the morho naba and theoretically choose his successor. Usually, however, the paramount chief's eldest son is chosen.

      Prior to its modernization during the latter part of French rule and since independence (1960) the Mossi kingdom provided an example of a typical African realm. The king's elaborate court, in addition to nobles and high officials, contained numerous bodyguards, page boys, and eunuchs; his wives lived in special villages, all of whose male inhabitants were eunuchs.

      Islam and Christianity are minority religions. The Mossi venerate their ancestors, whose spiritual presence both validates their claims to their land and provides a major mechanism of social control. They also pray to nature deities and propitiate them.

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Universalium. 2010.

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