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Punu Mask Maiden Spirit Gabon African Art

Regular Price: $325.00

Special Price: $225.00

Product #: 110432
US Shipping: $12.98
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Title Punu Mask Maiden Spirit Gabon African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Gabon
People Punu or Puno
Materials Wood, paint and pigment
Approximate Age mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 11 Inches
Width: 6 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Pigments are worn, chipped hair, wear

Additional Information: This type of mask is used by various tribes in Gabon.  A Spirit Maiden Mask portrays a beautiful maiden with her whitened face and serene expression. As in life this beautiful maiden wears an elaborate hairstyle shown through polychrome colors. The mask would be worn with a colorful costume covering her body. Although the mask has an Asian expression, no such connection has been established. known as duma or mvudi, it represents a female guardian spirit in the initiation of young girls, funerary rites, ancestor cults, and also in dances of the full moon. At the burial ceremonies of the Puno society, the mask represented a female ancestor. In the Mukui society, the masked performer, sometimes on stilts, performed at the dance of the full moon. (See Segy's MASKS OF BLACK AFRICA.) The refined features and elaborate coiffure of the Puno masks mirror the appearance of tribal women. Social cohesion is ensured by the Mukudji society, whose primary role is to subjugate harmful forest spirits. The white pigments on masks allude to the anti-witchcraft powers of this group. The Puno make only masks of women, with elaborate hairstyles, features which appear somewhat Asian, and white kaolin pigments. They are worn by Mukudji initiates, who are often on stilts. They are thought to represent ancestor's faces. (See THE TRIBAL ARTS OF AFRICA by Bacquart.)