A Punu mask, one of many masks of Africa can be an apt gift for the newly-married couple because of the symbolism they carry. From spiritual symbolism to celebrating the beauty of Punu women, giving one of these as a wedding present will be a unique and thoughtful gesture.
There are many masks from Africa and depending on the message you want to convey, your choices are almost limitless. You will find that many a Punu mask revolve around ancestral spirits. Just as many however, depict the beauty and enchantment of Punu women.
The Punu people are primarily from Gabon but may also hail from Cameroon and the Congo. They belong to the Shira group of tribes, direct descendants of the Luango kingdom of Angola. Historically, among Central Africans, Punu women are considered to be some the most beautiful… but certainly not the only ones who are beautiful in that region.
The masks that depict women tend to have tall hairdos and this is no coincidence. The tall/high hairdos are particularly significant because they indicate that the women are wealthy and thus have no need to carry any wares on their heads. By giving a new bride such a mask, you can let her know that you are wishing her the good fortune of having a nice easy life wherein she need not have to engage in hard physical labor to live comfortably.
This is also a way of scourging the groom to step up and be the man of the his new household and the caretaker and provider for his new wife and the family they will build together.
Masks From Africa – Punu
The mask above is called Beauty and the one below is called Ancestral Beauty. Both of these masks denote the trademark tribal marks on the womens’ foreheads; the almond-shaped eyes beneath their distinctly-arched eyebrows. These denote the standard of beauty among Punu women.