|White Mask from Gabon, Africa|
This white mask is typical of those made by the Punu people of southern Gabon. It is made of wood (although they are often made of 'precious' metals such as copper). It is covered in pigment derived from white clay and the face, especially the half-closed eyes, is meant to evoke a meditative female serenity. The mask, however, would generally be worn by a male dancer in a ceremony.
The influence of African art on major European art is often overlooked but look at this detail from a painting by Pablo Picasso!
|Nude by Pablo Picasso 1907|