Punu Mask (Okuyi)

Punu peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Gabon

Dimensions

11 1/2 in. h x 7 in. w x 7 in. d

Accession Number

1994.394

Medium or Technique

Wood, pigments

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania

Classifications

Masks

White-faced masks were emoyed by several Ogoew River peoples, chiefly he Puna and Lumbo, and also were traded widely by the coastal Mpongwe. They are said to embody the personas of past community elders and were worn by costumed stilt-dancers at Mukuji society funerary rites. This example has the characteristic three-part black coiffure, arching brows over slit eyes, and pursed red lips. The haunting combination of beauty and balance was much admired by early European collectors.

Provenance

May 22, 1969, sold by the Galerie Le Corneur Roudillon, Paris, to William Teel and Bertha, Marblehead, MA; 1994, partial gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA; 2014, acquired fully with the bequest of William Teel to the MFA. (Accession Dates: January 26, 1994 and February 26, 2014)

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel