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Tribal art > African mask > Punu mask

Punu mask (N° 21814)

Braids organized in shells cover the face of this punu mask devoid of the traditional "mabinda" scarifications. Carved in soft wood, this mask is representative of the African art productions of the Punu. Desiccation cracks, erosions.
The white masks of Gabon, itengi , (pl. Bitengi) were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri ("to lead"), the latter ranging from several levels of initiation, to which all Punu men belonged, and whose emblem was the caiman (hence, for some, the motif with saurian scales). The punu did not involve any mask in the rituals of Bwiti, unlike the Tsogo. This object, evocation of a deceased young woman, was exhibited during the dance called Okuyi. These powerful secret societies, which also had a judicial function, featured several dances, including the leopard dance , the Esomba , the Mukuyi or the Okuyi depending on the location, acrobatic dance on stilts, remaining the most common. In some villages, at dawn or dusk, Okuyi was accompanied by songs in an esoteric language that only initiates could understand. (Punu, L. Perrois and C. Grand-Dufay)  

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Possibility of payment in3x (3x 216.7 €)

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OriginCollection Mercier
Height cm30
Width19 cm
Weight0.95 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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