African art > Mask > Punu Mask

Punu mask of Okuyi dance (N° 17571)

Refinement of Gabon's white African masks in a contemporary version.
This African mask features coffee bean eyelids, a narrow mouth with protruding lips, and scarification patterns, in nine scales, 'mabinda', are inscribed on the forehead and temples; a thick raffia trim, embellished with cursings and colorful pearl necklaces, highlights the contours. These hairstyles come in different forms and illustrate women's fashion during the 19th century in Gabon. A basket helmet, covered with canvas, extends the double top shell at the back.
The okuyi masks were displayed during rituals with very ancient origins in which dancers mounted on stilts agitated in order to invoke the spirit of a deceased with a mask depicting a beautiful young woman.
This rituals took place during the funerals of notables, women who gave birth to twins or were twins themselves, but also on the occasion of the birth of twins.  

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This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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Originex-collection française
Material(s)wood, perles, cauris, plant fibre, textile
Weight0.94 Kg
Estimated datingcontemporain
Socle inclusOptional

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African art - Punu mask of Okuyi dance
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