Rare form of a night mask - Wood, remains of hair - "Ikwara" - Punu - Gabon

Rare form of a night mask - Wood, remains of hair - "Ikwara" - Punu - Gabon

Provenance: Parisian private collection, Austrian collection. The black masks are much less common than the white Okuyi masks’; they were carved in a very similar style, but were coloured black with dyes from plants. While the white Punu masks were worn during daytime dances at major festivals, as part of full-body costumes, or on up to 2 m tall stilts, the black 'Ikwara or night masks' only appeared at dusk or nighttime. They danced on short, approx. 1 meter tall, stilts. The night masks had a negative and dangerous demeanour. They only appeared at special, nighttime gatherings, at rituals for the administration of justice, or if the Punu community was threatened by disaster, disease, epidemics, witchcraft, or criminality. Ikwara masks are said to avert disaster.

Lot details
Rare form of a night mask
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Wood, remains of hair
Sold with stand
34×0×0 cm
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