The famous white masks of the Punu and Lumbo peoples were worn during the okuyi performance (LaGamma 1995 calles them mukudj'), one of the rites of mwiri, an important male initiation society spread throughout southern and central Gabon.
The okuyi masks appeared during community rituals linked to important events of village life (funerals, end of mourning, youth initiation, transgressions of clan orders, birth, epidemics, etc). Representing female entities from the world of spirits or the dead, the masks capture an ideal of beauty. They are characterized by a face with youthful features, half-closed eyelids under slightly raised arching eyebrows, a fine realistically-rendered nose, a mouth pursed forward with full red-painted lips, painted red, and a typical coiffure.
Varying by region, some masks have scars on the forehead.
The mask has a small damage at the backside (top) see pictures.
- Total nr of items
- Initiation mask
- Ethnic group/ culture
- In the style of Punu
- Region/ country
- Good condition, used with some signs of wear
- Sold with stand
- 28×19×13 cm
- 750 g