African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Punu statue
Female Punu figure (N° 20944)
Dedicated to the cult of matrilineal ancestors, this African art sculpture of Punu or Lumbu origin, depicting a standing woman, has a graceful braided headdress forming a helmet. The traditional "mabinda" scarifications are inscribed in relief on the face and bust. These checkerboard patterns arranged in rhombuses were incised on the skin in adolescence. Traditionally the guarantors of the well-being of the community in Punu culture, the water spirits, established in various places in nature, are incarnated in women and express themselves through them. Their manifestation takes the form of possession trances.
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Crack of desiccation.
The Punu are a Bantu people from Central Africa who live mainly in the south of Gabon, also in the Republic of Congo in the Niari region. They live in independent villages divided into clans and families. Social cohesion is ensured by the Moukouji society, whose essential role is to subjugate the evil spirits of the forest.
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