Tribal art > African mask > Lumbu mask
Lumbu/ Punu mask (N° 21542)
This mask, which evokes a deceased woman with a face whitened with kaolin and whose braids are joined together to form a visor, was used during the Okuyi dance and during cults dedicated to the ancestors. These ceremonies integrated all the ritual practices that the Lumbu shared with the Punu. The face is devoid of the "mabinda" scarification marks, only cross-shaped motifs are inscribed on the cheeks.
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Within the group named Shira ,the Lumbu Loumbu, Balumbu, of Bantu origin and originally from the Congo kingdom, settled on the coastal part of Gabon, and in the Republic of Congo, in the middle Ogooue. They keep the bones of their ancestors in reliquary baskets adorned with statuettes and other objects of prestige. Among the Lumbu, the boyo is a local equivalent of the mwiri: he was responsible for maintaining order and making women obey. Appearing mostly at night, through the voice of a mirliton, he demanded fish and palm wine from the women, sometimes mats or loincloths.
"Punu". L.Perrois and C. Grand-Dufay.