Lot: 29

Female face mask "okuyi" or "mukudji"

Gabon, Punu

Provenance Size Hammer price
Christie's, New York, 22 November 1996, Lot 158
German Private Collection
H: 10 inch 1800 EUR

wood, base

Presumably, the present specimen is a classic white mask "okuyi" in which the typical kaolin layer has been lost.

However, there are also morphologically related masks among the Punu, which are painted black and called "ikwara". While the "okuyi" masks appear during the day and represent a positive aspect, the black masks appear at night and represent a negative and dangerous spiritual background.

They only appear at special night-time gatherings, at rituals for the administration of justice or if the Punu society is threatened by ill-fortune, illness, epidemics, witchcraft or criminality. "Ikwara" masks should divert the evil.

ADHRC: 0124572