Puno mask from Africa

Q: I bought this mask from an estate sale of a well traveled man who served in both Northern Africa and Burma in the war. His daughter said she can remember the mask as a child and it used to scare her. I have no idea if there is truth to the story but she was in her early 70s. I paid $60 for it. I have always loved tribal masks but don’t know enough about them to comfortably collect them. I should note that the reddish colour and white are not paints but powder. Jarrett, 1606

A: Nice mask in my opinion. You got it for a good price. And if it would prove to be authentic its value would be much higher. You can learn a little more about Puno masks by going to our archives or Google. Confirming the authenticity of realistic African masks can be very difficult for most people. However, we occasionally get comments from viewers who can do this just by looking at the scans. Keep your fingers crossed.


  • Eric

    It’s a very modern fake Punu, made for sale.
    No more than 20 years old at most, and likely a lot less than that – take a look at ones in museums and books, you will see the differences.
    There are late Punu masks made wel into the 20th c but this isn’t one of them,
    It was made for sale in Cameroon by a fakers workshop that caters to foreign tourists.
    The good news – you paid about what it it worth and you have a decorative object for a fair price.

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