This African mask whose face is surmounted by a single domed shell, extended by short quilts, constitutes one of the stylistic variants of the white masks of Gabon, itengi, ( pl. bitengi). Checkerboard scarifications, mabinda, adorn the face.
Matt patina, abrasions, cracks.
In tribal art, this tribal mask from Gabon was associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri ("to lead"), the latter spanning several levels of initiation, to which all Punu men belonged, and whose emblem was the caiman. The Punu did not involve any mask in Bwiti rituals, unlike the Tsogo. These powerful secret societies, which also had a judicial function, featured several dances, including the Leopard Dance, the Esomba, the Mukuyi, and the i> Okuyi, on stilts, remaining the most widespread. This kaolin-bleached face mask, an evocation of a deceased woman, was exhibited during the dance named Okuyi
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