Late 19th or early 20th century
Carved wood and pigments
Height: 27 cm – 18 ¾ in.
Ex collection Octave Mariani (1885-1976), Mbigou
Acquired before 1923 and by descent
Ex collection Bernard Dulon, Paris
Ex collection Béatrice & Patrick Caput, Paris
C. Grand-Dufay, « Les Lumbu, un art sacré. Bungeelë yi bayisi », Paris, 2016, pp. 64-65, n° 36 a et b
V. Plisnier & P. Caput, « Arts d’Afrique. Portraits d’une collection », Milan, 2016, pp. 170, 173, 246 & 258
« Arts d’Afrique. Portraits d’une collection », Galerie Bernard Dulon, Paris, 4 – 26 nov. 2016
This M'Pongwe Mukuyi ritual mask (also known as mukudj or okuyi) is the representation of an idealized woman's face. It combines expressiveness and grace. Such masks were testaments to the power and beauty of Punu women.
This mask has all the characteristics of ancient classical Punu masks: a refined and elaborate crested coiffure, delicate face features and perfect balance and construction. The filtering look, enhanced by the thin eyebrows and slit eyes, conveys an intense sense of serenity.