U2P8S638-9.jpg (51323 bytes)Punu (Apono, Bapunu, Mpongwe, Pounou, Puno), Gabon

Ceremonial statues.  The Punu are equatorial people settled in the southwest of Gabon. Organized into villages, clans and lineages, with neither a centralized power structure nor a strict political hierarchy, the Punu group has a culture based on the cult of ancestors, a general respect for the deceased, and a fear of the spirits of the wilderness. The principal traditional society, of initiatory character, called moukoudji regulates community life with regards to social and judicial matters, and mainly applies itself to the neutralization of evil forces and sorcerers. Their rare statues appeared in funerary rituals, initiation ceremonies, and in the magical rites whose function was to unmask sorcerers. Nowadays Punu sculptures may entertain audiences on festive occasions. These statues represent idealized man and woman. This is indicated by the scale-like scarification patterns on the forehead and the body, arranged in a diamond - a characteristic attribute of Punu’s art.

Material: wood

Size of male: 31”x 8”x 7”

Size of female: 30”x 8”x 8”

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