African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Punu Mask

Punu Mask (N° 24160)

It was during difficult palaver that this type of dark mask intervened. This vigilante mask danced during the ikwara dance. The particularly elaborate modeling of the face gives this sculpture a refined realism. The face, topped with a single domed shell extended with small quilts, is highlighted by a jugular mat. Dark abraded patina, subtle reddish highlights.
The white masks of Gabon, itengi, (pl. bitengi) were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri i> ("to lead"), the latter being spread over several levels of initiation, to which all the 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, had several dances, including the leopard dance, the Esomba, the Mukuyi, and the dance of the Okuyi, on high stilts, remaining the most widespread.
Source: "Visions of Africa, Punu" L. Perrois and C. Grand-Dufay, ed.5Continents.  

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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyPunu
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood
Height cm36
Width23 cm
Weight1.35 Kg

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