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An unusual Punu maiden mask (mukudj)

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Directory: Hidden: Viewable: Pre 1940: item # 1122984

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michael cichon tribal arts
P.O. Box 5919
Bradenton, FL 34281
941.224.0440

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Price and further provenance on request

An unusual Punu maiden mask (mukudj)
Although exhibiting many classic maiden mask features, this old example has an equal amount of aberrant characteristics for such masks: its form is narrow and deep compared to most examples, the wood is of medium-heavy density with a pithy core which has been left in-place at the top, but removed at the bottom where the hole was intentionally bored-out, indicating the mask was displayed and probably stored on a pole rather than worn (since there are no holes for strapping). A whitened surface exists, but has been altered in its history, darkening the color and hue to a greenish tone in some places. More typically, a high, domed forehead with diamond-shaped scarification, a ridged coiffure in elaborate, segmented form, pursed, puffy lips, and closed, swollen eyes, are present. The mask's features are distinctly carved to represent the portrait of a female ancestor whose image was believed to be effective against witchcraft. With an encrusted, deep, aged patina, overall. 12.25"H x 7.25"W, from the southern region of Gabon. Early 20th c. Provenance: Bart family estate, NYC and FL since the 1960's.


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