The Punu reside on the left bank of the Upper Ngoume River (Gabon) and belong to the group of tribes known as Shira which were originally part of the Luango kingdom of Angola. The Punu migrated northwards during the 18th century and settled in the area where they continue to inhabit to this day.
Punu statues are much less common than Punu masks. The stylized features of this sculpture are similar to Punu masks with characteristic "Asian" eyes, wide face, and very high-domed forehead.
The key on the cheek may refer to the proverb: "A million of keys will get into a lock but only one will open it."