220636 - Tribal used African Punu Maiden Spirit Mask Mukudji White - Gabon.
Tribal used african Punu Maiden Spirit Mask Mukudji White , Gabon.
This finely crafted object depicts female face.
Hand carved from a single piece of colorful painted wood, with scar tattoos and artful hairdo.
Height: 29 cm.
This mask is used by various tribes in Gabon. This one comes from the Punu. Mmwo Spirit Maiden Mask portrays a beautiful maiden with her whitened face and serene expression. As in life this beautiful maiden wears an elaborate hairstyle shown through polychrome colors. The mask would be worn with a colorful costume covering her body. Although the mask has an Asian expression, no such connection has been established. known as duma or mvudi, it represents a female guardian spirit in the initiation of young girls, funerary rites, ancestor cults, and also in dances of the full moon. At the burial ceremonies of the Puno society, the mask represented a female ancestor. In the Mukui (Moukouj, Mukuji) society, the masked performer, sometimes on stilts, performed at the dance of the full moon. (See Segy's MASKS OF BLACK AFRICA.) The refined features and elaborate coiffure of the Puno masks mirror the appearance of tribal women. Social cohesion is ensured by a society known as Moukouji, whose primary role is to subjugate harmful forest spirits. The white pigments on masks allude to the anti-witchcraft powers of this group. The Puno make only masks of women, with elaborate hairstyles, features which appear somewhat Asian, and white kaolin pigments. They are worn by Moukouji initiates, who are often on stilts. They are thought to represent ancestor's faces.