Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Punu Okuyi Belly Mask Phallic African Art

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Title Punu Okuyi Belly Mask Phallic African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Gabon
People Punu
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 20
Width (in) 9
Depth (in) 6.5
Overall Condition Good. 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.

Additional Information: The most common types of objects found are carved masks, which have been stylistically compared to Japanese art. They also carve standing reliquary figures, which watch over the bones of the deceased

Although not much is known about the history of the Punu, linguistic evidence suggests that they moved into their current location from an area to the north, possibly driven southward by the Kota and Fang who moved into the area just north of Punu territory in recent centuries. This area had been occupied by various Pygmy peoples prior to Bantu expansion. Punu art forms suggest a connection with their neighbors that may have emerged from a shared history or simply through contact.