Ouagadougou (/ˌwɑːɡəˈduːɡuː/; Mossi: [ˈwaɡᵊdᵊɡᵊ]) is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural and economic centre of the nation. It is also the country's largest city, with a population of 1,475,223 (as of 2006).The city's name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais. The spelling of the name Ouagadougou is derived from the French orthography common in former French African colonies.
Two key elements for the culture of Burkina Faso (a country once known as Upper Volta) are its indigenous masks and dancing. The masks used in this region of the western Sahel are made for rites of sacrifice to gods and animal spirits in the villages. Native dance, on the other hand, is employed to demonstrate the villagers’ desire for blessings by the spirits.