African art > Mask > Fang Mask
Ngil Fang Mask (N° 16394)
An angular version of the Fang mask, it is offered here in red, white and dark tones. The long rectangular nose is marked here with two successive edges under the large faceted volume of the forehead. A recurrence: placed in the lower end of the face, the mouth is drawn in pout.
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Dark satin patina with matte coloured beaches.
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 men's society ngil which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. 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.
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