African art > African mask > Fang Mask

Ngil Fang Mask (N° 13334)

African art and tribal masks linked to justice
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 male society ngil which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. This African mask was not spared by insects. It remains impressive, with a polychromy that emphasizes its features. He has retained a collar of raffia and wicker on which cotton strips are also tied. A native repair, using a brass leaf, was performed on the abraded inner face. The 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 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 any political unity. Clan cohesion was maintained through religious and judicial associations such as so and ngil . Following his journey in the region in 1851, Paul du Chaillu drew a portrait of the Fang in his book entitled "Voyages and Adventures in Equatorial Africa". His story, long considered fallacious, portrays the Fangs as belligerent, superstitious and anthropophages. It is only later that the correctness of her testimony will be admitted and recognized by her peers.  

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Originex-collection française
Material(s)wood, metal, plant fibre, textile
Weight1.40 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1970
Socle inclusOptional

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