Vintage Punu Lumbo Okuyi Female Mask. Gabon Africa
The okuyi or mukudj mask portrays Punu ideals of feminine beauty and exudes serenity: elegant coiffure, rounded forehead, highly arched eyebrows, almond shaped eyes, narrow face, and small chin. These same features are similar in other African tribes and their feminine masks.
I purchased this mask from a collector’s estate. He was well known for his expertise of Gabon art. The workmanship and coloring on this mask are quite remarkable. Normally these masks have a white face representing the soul of an ancestor. This mask has a highly finished appearance. I am assuming that this particular mask was created for a “rights of passage” ceremonial for a well-respected member of the village.