Okuyi Mask 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.
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.
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.