210903 - Old Tribal used African Tsangui mask - Gabon


Old Tribal used Finely crafted African Tsangui mask, Gabon

Hand carved from a single piece of wood, with color pigments.

Heights: 33 cm.


This is a Tsangui mask from Gabon, a subgroup of the Punu.  Tsangui masks are difficult to find.  This mask is really rich in interesting details: it has the typically oval face of the Punu with a whitened patina of kaolin, protruding half-closed eyes, the nose in the form of a T and a projected mouth.  The ears are in dark wood and the mouth is coloured with a reddish pigment which contrasts with the white of the face.  The usual scarification in the form of a diamond on the forehead, symbolising the nine subgroups composing the Punu people, is reproduced in front of each ear. There are in the same reddish colour than the lips. On top of the face, there is a very elaborate hairstyle on both sides and on the elevated area on the summit, entirely incised with angular lines.  The element which identifies it as a Tsangui is the vertical line, in light-coloured wood, which divides the face and ends in front of each ear.