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Punu Mask

Punu, Gabon. Wood. Pigments.
Height 13"

Some Punu masks have been said to resemble Orientals, but investigation and research have produced no such connection. Their naturalistic looks have also led to the belief that they were carved to resemble past ancestors. However, there are also other cultural groups that carved naturalistic looking ancestors.

The particular fore head scarification, mostly carved in relief, is said by some oral history, to be the "Cingelingeli" sign which the the Punus can use to trace their lineage to their first ancestor, and by association, their first god.
Used for initiation and protection rites.
Th e surrealistic seems to add to the mask's beauty.

Ezn. 104

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