African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Punu mask
Punu mask (N° 23198)
Cross scarifications adorn the face of this African tribal art mask. The headdress is made of a single non-striated shell, perched like a visor. Under the accent of the eyebrows, long curved eyelids adopt a horizontal line in the same way as the mouth. This mask with serene features was intended to establish a link with the world of spirits and ancestors, to whom protective and beneficial virtues were attributed. Smooth patina.
Okuyi masks were exhibited during rituals with very ancient origins during which dancers mounted on stilts moved in order to invoke the spirit of a deceased person using a mask representing a beautiful young woman. .
These rituals took place during the funerals of notables, of women who had given birth to twins or were themselves twins, but also on the occasion of the birth of twins. They still accompany, nowadays, the dances of rejoicing.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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