Masks from Gabon are often named by the name of the rites in which these paticipate (Bwiti, Bwété, Byéri, Ngil, Emboli, Okuyi, Mukuyi...).
The latter intervene in all the events that are vital for the community, rites with a social aspect (mourning, funerals, illnesses), purification or fecundity rites (birth, adolescence, virginity), reconciliation and justice rites (to restore the authority of the chief, harmony within families, or to solve generation conflicts), or finally protection rites (which specifically aim to attract the good graces of ancestors or spirits...).
Mukuyi masks, commonly named “white masks” are smeared with kaolin, which formerly was mixed with crushed human bones.
This white ritual blusher, still used in Equatorial Africa, is named Pfemba.
Sign of communication with the supernatural world, the white clay is used by men and women, especially during the rites of the Bwiti.
The nine frontal keloids represent the Punu founder myths, the central point represents the creator spirit.
- Indigenous object name
- Philippe Laeremans (Bruxelles, Belgique)
- Ethnic group/ culture
- Region/ country
- 1st half 20th century
- Sold with stand
- 30×20×20 cm