African art > Mask > Punu Mask

Punu Okuyi Mask (N° 16573)

This African Punu Okuyi mask features a double shell formed by braided and shaped hair. These hairstyles in various forms illustrate women's fashion during the 19th century in Gabon. This sculpture corresponds to the canons of Punu art with its frontal and temporal scarifications in diamond and checkerboard, mabinda. A collar also surrounds the entire face. The abraded white patina corresponds to the color of mourning, which establishes a link with the world of spirits and ancestors.
These masks were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri ("le"), the latter spanning into several levels of initiation, to which all punu men belonged, and whose emblem was the caiman. The punu did not involve any masks in the rituals of the Bwiti, unlike the Tsogo. These powerful secret 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 kaolin-bleached face mask, reminiscent of a deceased woman, was displayed at the dance called Okuyi.  

Watch the video


This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

Estimated shipping cost

Originex-collection française.
Weight0.35 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

You could also be interested by these items
Masque YelaMasque EkoiMasque SalampasuMasque BuluCimier buffle Mumuye

You must login to access these options
   Warn me if a similar item is added to the catalog
   Warn me if the price decreases
Manage my alerts

You have question on this item ? contact us


Previously viewed items
African art - Punu Okuyi Mask
African art  -  New York - Paris - London

© 2021 - Digital Consult SPRL

Essentiel Galerie SPRL
73 Rue de Tournai - 7333 Tertre - Belgique
+32 (0)65.529.100