231137 - African Okuyi dance African Punu mask - Gabon.


Okuyi dance African Punu mask, Nigeria.
Hand carved from a single piece of wood.
Height: 33 cm.
PUNU mask (pronounced pounou) from Okuyi dance. The Punu are a 'Bantu' people from Central Africa, mainly located in the south of Gabon. Social cohesion is ensured by the 'Moukanji' society, whose essential role is to subdue the evil spirits of the forest. The eyes in fine curved palpebral slits. This striped hairstyle, combined with side quilts, represents the braided braids of Punu women. The face is powdered with white kaolin "itengi" (white clay mixed with powder from broken bones of the deceased), due to his age he still has a little left. Color of mourning, which links to the world of spirits and ancestors. This example is missing the "mabinda" chessboard scarifications that symbolize the nine clans at the origin of the Congo Kingdom.