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Mask for the Okuyi Society (Mukudj)

Arts of Africa

On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
In the past mukudj masks were danced on stilts in masquerades during funeral celebrations. The mask’s white coloring symbolizes peace, the afterlife, and the spirits of the dead—though today its performances are chiefly for entertainment.
CULTURE Punu
MEDIUM Wood, pigment
  • Place Made: Gabon
  • DATES late 19th century
    DIMENSIONS 9 7/8 x 7 x 6in. (25.1 x 17.8 x 15.2cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 22.225
    CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Punu. Mask for the Okuyi Society (Mukudj), late 19th century. Wood, pigment, 9 7/8 x 7 x 6in. (25.1 x 17.8 x 15.2cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.225. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 22.225_SL1_edited_version.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Light wooden dance mask, carved in the form of a human face with high headdress painted black in six parallel, curved ridges going from front to back. Face colored white and decorated with three groups of keloids: between brows, at outer edges of eyes and brows, and on temples. Slit eyes, holes at either side for attachment. Used by a female secret society. Condition: Surface wear; missing pigment. Holes in face at lower left and in one eye.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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