African art > Mask > Fang Mask

Large Fang mask of the Ngil (N° 16970)

This mask of justice, whose austere appearance is marked by gravity, has scarifications raised in grey. Dry white kaolin patina.
The appearance of these kaolin-coated masks (the white color evokes the power of ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause dread. 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. Ngil was a purifying fire rite 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 identifying the culprits of the bad deeds within the village. The Fang ethnic group, established in a region stretching from Yaounde 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 ngil.  

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Originex-collection française
EthnyFang
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood
Height82
Width29
Weight2.00 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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