This African mask of the Fang illustrates one of the many stylistic variations of the Fang masks of the Ngil, distinguished by their austere physiognomy. The crested hairstyle takes up one of the many models once worn by the Fang.
Locally abraded bleached patina, colored highlights. Erosions and cracks.
The appearance of these masks generally coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause terror. This type of mask was used by the male ngil society which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft.
The ngil was a rite of purifying fire symbolized by the gorilla.
The wearers of these masks, always in large numbers, appeared at night, lit by torches. Their intervention was also linked to the judicial function by pointing out the culprits of bad deeds within the village. The Fang ethnic group, established in a region extending from Yaoundé in Cameroon to Ogooué in Gabon, has never had political unity. Clan cohesion was maintained through religious and judicial associations such as the so and the ngil.
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