African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Punu mask
Punu mask (N° 23313)
Serenity of the African masks of the Okuyi dances
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The white masks of Gabon, itengi, (pl. bitengi) were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri i> ("to lead") which was spread over several levels of initiation, and to which all Punu men belonged. These powerful secret societies, which also had a judicial function, featured several dances, including the Leopard Dance, the Esomba, the Mukuyi, and the Dance of the < i> Okuyi, on stilts, remaining the most widespread.
This kaolin whitewashed face mask, an evocation of a deceased woman, was exhibited during the dance named Okuyi.
Damaged internal upper contour.
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