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

Punu Mask (N° 24458)

Among the variety of African masks Punu, this version offers a face topped with two parallel shells framed by quilts. Devoid of the traditional "mabinda" checkerboard scarifications, this eroded mask takes on a two-tone hue. Named bitengi (sing.: itengi) the masks were used during funerals and initiations of young boys. Velvety matte patina.
Height on base: 44 cm.
The masks of the Punus were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri ("to lead"), the latter spanning several levels of initiation. These powerful societies, which also had a judicial function, included several dances, including the leopard dance, the Esomba, the Mukuyi, and the Okuyi dance, on stilts, remaining the most widespread. . This whitewashed kaolin face mask, evoking a deceased woman, was exhibited during the Okuyi dance, where the dancer, equipped with a fly swatter, was draped in a garment concealing his identity. in the public eye.  

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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyPunu
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood
Height cm28
Width22 cm
Weight1.12 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle includedYes

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