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

Punu mask of the Okuyi dance (N° 20100)

Braids organized in a single horizontal protruding shell cap the kaolin-coated face of this Punu mask. The modelling of the face and the feminine features give it a great softness, characteristic of white masks from Gabon. Desiccation cracks, erosions. The white masks of Gabon, itengi, (pl. bitengi) were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri ("lead"), the latter of which ranged through several levels of initiation, to which all Punu men belonged, and whose emblem was the caiman (hence, for some, the saurian scale motif). The Punu did not use masks in the Bwiti rituals, unlike the Tsogo. This object, an evocation of a dead young woman, was displayed during the dance called Okuyi. These powerful secret societies, which also had a judicial function, included several dances, of which the Leopard Dance, the Esomba ,the Mukuyi or the Okuyi depending on the place, an acrobatic dance on stilts, remained the most widespread. In some villages, at dawn or dusk, the Okuyi was accompanied by songs in an esoteric language that only the initiated could understand. (Punu, L. Perrois and C. Grand-Dufay)  

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380.00 € 304.00 ( -20.0 %) 
Possibility of payment in2x (2x 152.0 €)

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Originex-collection française
Weight0.45 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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