Okuyi Mask 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. Punu masks have realistic, mostly white but sometimes black faces with protruding pursed lips, high-domed foreheads, and characteristic rigid high coiffures reflecting the Punu women's hair styles. The masks often have an Oriental expression, but no such influence has been established. Many Punu masks can be recognized by raised diamond-shape scarification marks on the foreheads and temples. The scarification marks on the temples are thought to be associated either with a female ancestor, or with a southern sub-group of the Punu tribe.
A dancer on tall stilts performing a ceremony would wear such a mask tilted forward on his head. He would also wear costume of skins as well as raffia cloth and carry a whip of dried grass in each hand.