This mask was carved in the style of the Punu people of Gabon. The mask is darkly pigmented with reddish colored accents. There are cowrie shells surrounding the rim of the mask. The mask measures 12.5 inches tall and weighs 2 pounds. There is some cracking, scuffing and wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos carefully. Stand not included.
Beautiful Punu Mask w/ Cowrie Shells 12.5″ – Gabon – African Art
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Wood, pigment, vegetable fiber, fabric and cowrie shells
Some cracking, scrapes and scuffs.
About the Punu People
“The Punu reside on the left bank of the Upper Ngoume River and belong to a group of tribes known as Shira which were originally part of the Luango kingdom of Angola with the Eshira, the Lumbo, the Vili, the Galoa and the Vungu people, the Punu migrated northwards during the 18th century and settled where they are now. They live in independent villages divided into clans and families and social cohesion is ensured by a society known as Moukouji, whose primary role is to subjugate harmful forest spirits. During ceremonies related to the society, small statues and masks appear which are often covered in white pigments alluding to their anti-witchcraft functions.”
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.