Punu Okuyi Mask

Exhibits: Ancestor Cult
Tribes: Punu peoples
Location: South-west Gabon
Period: 20th Century
Materials: Pigments, White Kaolin, Wood

This mask, used by various tribes in the Ogoowe River area, has a face painted white with Kaolin, scar markings carved in relief, slit eyes, red painted lips and a hairdo piled high which, resembles that of the women living in this region. The mask bears an oriental expression. Its source is unknown. The mask represents a female guardian spirit in the funerary rites, initiations of adolescent girls, the ancestral cult and also in dances of the full moon. In the Mukuyi society the dancer, often on stilts, performs acrobatically at the dance of the full moon. 


L. Segy, Masks of Black Africa, 1976, pl.194.

Punu Okuyi Mask
Punu Okuyi Mask
Punu Okuyi Mask
Punu Okuyi Mask