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

Punu mask (N° 23400)

Among the wide variety of African masks Punu, distinguished by details such as the shape of the hairstyle, the features and the scarfications, this example is topped with multiple horizontal shells. It illustrates the refinement of the bitengi (sing.: itengi) masks that were produced in Gabon during funerals or initiations of young boys.
Matte patina, abrasions, cracks and lack.
The masks of the Punu were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri ("to lead"), the latter spanning several levels of initiation, to which all Punu men belonged, and whose the emblem was the caiman. The Punus did not involve any mask in Bwiti rituals, unlike the Tsogo. These powerful secret societies, which also had a judicial function, included several dances, including the leopard dance, the Esomba, the Mukuyi, and the dance of the Okuyi, on stilts, remaining the most widespread. This whitewashed kaolin face mask, evoking a deceased woman, was exhibited during the dance called Okuyi, where the dancer, equipped with a fly swatter, was draped in a garment concealing his identity in the eyes of the public.  


This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

Estimated shipping cost

OriginEx-collection française
Height cm30
Width27 cm
Weight0.57 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle inclusOptional

You could also be interested by these items
Masque TsoghoMasque LengolaMasque TetelaMasque DanMasque Kuba

You must login to access these options
   Warn me if a similar item is added to the catalog
   Warn me if the price decreases
Manage my alerts

You have question on this item ? contact us


Previously viewed items
African art  - 

© 2023 - Digital Consult SPRL

Essentiel Galerie SPRL
73A Rue de Tournai - 7333 Tertre - Belgique
+32 (0)65.529.100
visa Master CardPaypal