Punu Lumbo Okuyi mask - SOLD OUT

African art is full of white-faced masks from the Ogooué River region of Gabon. The narrow coffee bean eyes topped by fine arched eyebrows give these African masks an oriental expression. The famous African mask of Punu and Lumbo (or Lumbu) is also surmounted by a headdress in one or more blackened lobes. It is the representation of fashionable headdresses worn by women of this region. Women swelled their hair with hairpieces of fibers to give them this volume.

These traditional masks are called Okuyi, Mukuyi or Mukudji depending on the district. They were used at funerals. These are commemorative portraits of male and female ancestors. They cross the village, perched on stilts, often performing impressive acrobatics. Women and children then prefer to hide, although there is apparently no law prohibiting them from looking at them.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
Circa 1960
31 x 21 cm
Ethnic group
Punu / Bapunu
Wood, kaolin
Tribal art collection France

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