Punu mask from Gabon, West Africa


Q: I have bought this mask on a second-hand market. There was no further information about it, I would be delighted to know where the mask is coming from and whether it is authentic. The mask smells like fire but there are no burn marks to see. There are traces of use, for example, to see on the inside left is a dark spot, it looks like of the face often scoured against that spot. At the 2 holes you see that the rope has left traces there. Yber, 850

A: I apologize for taking so long to answer. We have been working on this website for several weeks. Your mask is not typical of the Punu Maidens we normally see, but it is handsome and could possibly been used. If you can get an expert to confirm its authenticity it will increase the mask’s value significantly. All three of your photos look promising and I will try to post them later. Please remember that many African mask makers are experts in antiquing and are quite capable of realistically aging a piece such as yours.

One Comment

  • eric

    This is a Cameroon – made fake in the style of a Punu mask.
    It hasn’t been used, and the smell of smoke is a giveaway that it’s fake.

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