African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lumbu mask
Lumbu, Lumbo, Okuyi mask (N° 21588)
This traditional African mask from Gabon presents a face whitened with kaolin, evoking a deceased woman. It was used during the Okuyi dance and cults dedicated to the ancestors, ritual practices shared with the Punu. The regular face is devoid of scarification marks, the arched eyelids are half closed, the mouth with colored lips is half open, and the chin is narrow. The presence of horns, with damaged tips, is probably associated with a bush spirit.
Within the group named Shira ,the Lumbu Loumbu, Balumbu, of Bantu origin and originally from the Congo kingdom, settled on the coastal part of Gabon, and in the Republic of Congo, in the middle Ogooue. They keep the bones of their ancestors in reliquary baskets decorated with statuettes and other prestigious objects.
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Among the Lumbu, the boyo is a local equivalent of the mwiri: he was responsible for maintaining order and making the women obey. Appearing mostly at night,through the voice of a mirliton, he demanded fish and palm wine from the women, sometimes mats or loincloths.
Abraded matte patina, desiccation cracks.
"Punu". L.Perrois and C. Grand-Dufay.
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