African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Punu mask
Punu mask (N° 21456)
African Punu art and its African ancestor masks.
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This African mask for the ikwara dance was used, according to Alisa LaGamma, during difficult palavers. A vigilante mask dancing on small stilts, it is topped with a hat matched with short side bows. Linear scarifications are inscribed on the face covered with a black patina that is locally abraded.
The white masks of Gabon, itengi, (pl. bitengi) were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri ("directing") ,the latter ranging in several levels of initiation, to which all Punu men belonged,and whose emblem was the cayman. The Punu did not involve any masks in the rituals of Bwiti ,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 Okuyi dance, on high stilts, remaining the most widespread.
Source ( L. Perrois)
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