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Punu Queens Mask

  • Punu Queens Mask
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Item 632
10.00 LBS
$22.00 (Fixed shipping cost)
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)

Product Description

During the 18th century the Punu had to flee their land, under pressure from the Fang and settled in the south and southwest of Gabon. The Punu belong to a nation of people known as The Shira. This group consists of the Eshira, Lumbo, Vili, Galoa and Vunga people. Although part of this collective, the Punu are well known throughout Central Africa partly because Punu ladies are thought to be very beautiful. Adhering to tradition, only Punu males are allowed to carve tribal masks and then only of Punu women. The masks that portray the ladies are so well liked that they can be found on currency that belongs to several Central African countries. The classic Punu mask styling includes a high pointed hairdo (popular among the Punu women), full lips, tribal geometrical scarification on the forehead and slit eyes. This legendary beauty holds true in our offering. The mask on display, found in this region, is used during special dance ceremonies, wherein the ancestors are asked to bless the tribe with good fortune. The headdress that is featured on this mask though is of a special variety that shows off an elaborate hairdo in an abstract and unique way. A craftsman stretched a leather skin over a soft wooden frame; making a dome-like structure and then applied a thin wet earthen coating onto the leather facing. In time the leather dried and tightened over the frame. Thick raffia strands, virtually hidden from view, helped to attach the headdress onto the facial mask. Artistic patterns were drawn upon the surface and then filled in, some with color pigmentation. Cowry shells, for visual enrichment were placed along the front bottom edge. The masker that wore this facial covering was surely the center of attention; while draped in tribal fare this achievement was a ceremonial highlight!

Please click photo for enlargement!


Dimensions: 18 inches tall x 10 inches deep x 12 inches wide. These measurements include the decorative top hair cover. 

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*Fixed or free shipping for domestic orders only* 




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