In 2005, that collection appraised as a whole for more than two million dollars, and has since been divided as part of an estate distribution. This piece remained in the original collector's estate until circa 2011. Since that time, it was acquired by and has been held as part of the Tibiwinston, Ltd. Feel free to message us to learn more about the provenance of this piece.This Punu mask is a fine example, the pronounced lips and hairstyle clearly revealing its origin tribe. White Punu masks are very well known and easily identifiable by their physical features. A typical Punu mask will be white with an Oriental expression. Many will have nine triangular scarification marks on either the forehead or temples or both. A black and finely scored coiffure is always present.
Protruding puckered lips and a pointed chin will also be prevalent. The dancers of these masks would be raised up on stilts and would hold the mask between their teeth with the aid of a small wooden stick. White masks would participate in many festivities that were important to the community.It is not known whether these masks are feminine or masculine, since they convey traits of both. The Punu reside on the left bank of the Upper Ngoume River and belong to a group of tribes known as Shira which were originally part of the Luango kingdom of Angola with the Eshira, the Lumbo, the Vili, the Galoa and the Vungu people, the Punu migrated northwards during the 18th century and settled where they are now.
They live in independent villages divided into clans and families and social cohesion is ensured by a society known as Moukouji, whose primary role is to subjugate harmful forest spirits. During ceremonies related to the society, small statues and masks appear which are often covered in white pigments alluding to their anti-witchcraft functions. Punu masks are thought to represent ancestors faces. They are worn during funerals and by a Moukouji initiate who stands on stilts.
The masks have realistic, usually white, faces with protruding eyes incised with a curve, high-domed foreheads and characteristic rigid high coiffures which reflects the Punu womens hairstyles. The Tribal Arts of Africa.
New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. The item "Authentic Gabon Punu Tribal African Art Mask From Private Collection" is in sale since Friday, May 12, 2017. This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\African\Masks". The seller is "tibiwinston602" and is located in Augusta, Georgia. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Dominican republic, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, El salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Bahamas, Viet nam, Uruguay, China, Thailand, Russian federation.