Mukuyi Okuyi mask - Punu/Pounou - Gabon

Mukuyi Okuyi mask - Punu/Pounou - Gabon
2nd half of the 20th century - Reasonable condition

Mukuyi Okuyi mask - Punu/Pounou - Gabon 32 cm
Wood; Pigments; Patina of wear.

Object delivered without stand.

In vast areas of the region of the Ngounié and the Nyanga valleys, in the south and centre-south of Gabon, funerary ceremonies were the occasion to take out the white, so-called Okuyi, Mukuyi or Mukudji masks, depending on the places.

Okuyi masks are made of soft wood, they are light-weighted and were whitened with white clay (which in earlier times was mixed with bone powder). They are the commemorative representation of deceased ancestors, men or women. The fact that masks can be gendered explains the male/female pairs.

Perched on tall wooden stilts, the dancer was dressed with wraparound skirts in raffia or cotton fabric. He would perform breathtaking acrobatic figures throughout the village and around the huts.

The Okuyi mask can indifferently be seen by men, women and children, although the latter preferred most of the time to stay hidden!

Careful packaging. Express shipment.

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