African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Fang mask
Fang mask (N° 23306)
Intended to unmask sorcerers, this type of African mask was carved on the eve of ceremonies. The austere, sometimes implacable appearance was intended to counter occult powers. Accompanied by words, gestures, dances and sacrifices, it also intervened during initiations out of sight of the profane. Velvety matte patina. Erosions, chips.
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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, responsible for initiations and which 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.
Chipped matte patina.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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