Related to the Okuyi African masks of the Punu ethnic groups of the Shira tribes, the African masks produced by the outlying groups, Vuvi, Galoa, and Mitsogho, are also covered with white pigments for apotropaic purposes.
The oblique visor headdress, reminiscent of a hair fashion in the Shira group, constituted the frontal part of a cocked hairstyle.
Devoid of scarification, this Gabon mask has protruding eyelids, a triangular nose, and a diamond-shaped mouth carried by bulging cheeks.
Desiccation crack, abrasions. Grainy matte patina.
The Mitsogho, Sogho ethnic group is established in a forested region on the right bank of the Ngoumé River. The Bwiti society, or Bweté, which has a reliquary system comparable to that of the Fang and Kota, formed the cohesion of Mitsogho families. Their masks were worn at night by initiates under the influence of a hallucinogenic iboga plant at funerals, and then stored in the male initiation house ebanza. The Vuvi produced relatively comparable masks, influenced by their proximity to the Mitsogho.
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