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West African Punu Mask with shells- One of a Kind


hand carved wooden Punu mask from west Africa

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.  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. Traditionally, Punu masks represent idealized female ancestors' faces. The classic Punu mask styling includes an eleborate hairdo (popular among the Punu women), realistic, usually white faces with full lips, high-domed foreheads, high eyebrows, and diamond-shape scarification marks on the foreheads and temples. The elaborate Punu hairstyles suggest that the wearer is wealthy as her hair has not been flattened by the need to carry goods.

Masks of this type are nowadays used to entertain audiences during festivals or celebrations. On rare occasions the masks are used during a ritual function.  This unique hand carved mask is one of a kind and might have natural cracks and marks due to its authenticity. Comes with a black metal detachable stand.

Made In: west Africa

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