Originally intended to unmask sorcerers, this type of African mask was carved on the eve of ceremonies. The austerity of the countenance was supposed to weaken the occult powers. Accompanied by words, gestures, dances and sacrifices, the fang mask also intervened during initiations out of sight of the profane. Velvety matte patina. Abrasions, desication cracks, native restorations.
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 ngil male 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. Guarantor of peace, he also fixed the seasons, the location where the villages were to be established, and the conditions of exploitation of the agricultural land.
The Fang ethnic group, established in a region stretching 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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