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Punu Mask Maiden Spirit Mukudji White Gabon African Art

Product #: 114463
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Title Punu Mask Maiden Spirit Mukudji White Gabon African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Gabon
People Punu
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 12 Inches
Width: 8.5 Inches
Depth: 5 Inches
Overall Condition poor
Damage/Repair evidence of arrested bug damage in front and back of mask. scraped, dirty surfaces. cracks

Additional Information: The Spirit Maiden Mask"portrays a beautiful maiden with her whitened face and serene expression. 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 (Moukouj, Mukuji) 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 a society known as Moukouji, 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 Moukouji initiates, who are often on stilts. They are thought to represent ancestor's faces.

Recommended Reading: Kerchache's ART OF AFRICA