African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Okuyi
Statue Okuyi (N° 19173)
Ex-Swiss African art collection.
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Statuette of insider wearing the mask okuyi , okukwe . This mask appeared during the day, at the time of major social events: initiations of young people, funerals of dignitaries, birth or death of twins or their parents. It also intervened during disputes.
Matt patina, drying crack.
The Galoa (or Galwa), sub-group Pounou , live downstream of Lambaréné on the Ogooué river, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. They are named "people of the lake". They have also produced masks named Okouyi, Okukwé, used by initiatory societies to reveal witchcraft and their authors through divination.
Several neighboring ethnic groups, including the Adouma and the Kota, but also the Myéné, use in Gabon flattened masks of contrasting colors, including kaolin, which is believed to have apotropaic virtues.
Groups in Gabon practice the cult of bwiti, the cult of ancestors, and their relics are surmounted by a sculpture that serves as a watchman.
"The soul of Africa" S. Diakonoff; "L'Art tribal d'Afrique noire" ed. Assouline; "Masques du Gabon" published by Sillages.
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