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A Punu-Lumbo mask is a tribal mask native to the Ogooué River basin in Gabon, especially in the south in Ngounié Province. The masks are valuable to collectors of African art.
The design of the masks are typically oval in shape, with narrowed eyes, arched eyebrows and small ears. The male masks (ikwar) tend to be brown and black pigment over kaolin and viewed as ugly and are shown at night whilst the masks for females (mukudj) tend to be lighter and considered prettier by the locals and are shown in the day. The Okuyi (or mokuyi) white-faced masks commonly contain nine scale like patterns on the forehead. This is said to be a "central eye" and also a flowering tree. The white colour, usually derived from kaolin, represents clarity, light, and beauty.
The Male dancers are known to wear the Okuyi while dancing. The white-faced masks are also used by other Gabon and Zaire rainforest people, such as the Kotas and Mpongwe, The Ashira also share in the white-faced mask tradition, which includes soft facial characteristics.The masks have been linked to the Mukui society and to female ancestor celebration dances, a funerary spirit association.[ A variation of the Punu-Lumbo mask is produced by the Tsangui in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo.
This mask is from a private collection. Brought to Europe by former engineer having worked for a long time in Africa.
Secured shipment with track and trace number.
- Total nr of items
- Dance mask
- Ethnic group/ culture
- Punu (ou Bapounou)
- Region/ country
- Mid 20th century
- Good condition, used with some signs of wear
- Sold with stand
- 29×22×15 cm