African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Fang Mask

Ngil's Fang Mask (N° 19779)

Rituals of justice and African masks Fang. Housed under an ample rounded forehead, the concave, stretched face is prolonged by a narrow, curved chin accusing a severe pout.

Locally abraded granular dry skin.
The appearance of these masks coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause fright. This type of mask was used by the male ngil society in northwestern Gabon, southern Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.  This secret society was responsible for initiations and fought against witchcraft.  The ngil was a purifying fire rite symbolized by the gorilla. The bearers of these masks, always in large numbers, made their appearance at night, lit by torches . Their intervention was also linked to the judicial function by designating the culprits of bad deeds within the village.  The Fang ethnic group, established in a region stretching from Yaoundé in Cameroon to Ogooué in Gabon, has never had a political unity.  Clan cohesion was maintained through religious and judicial associations such as the so and ngil.   Following his journey to the region in 1851, Paul du Chaillu drew a portrait of the Fang in his work entitled Voyages et aventures en Afrique équatoriale. His account, long considered fallacious, depicts the Fang as warlike, superstitious and anthropophagous. It is only later that the accuracy of his testimony will be admitted and recognized by his peers.  

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Originex-collection française
Height cm60
Width26 cm
Weight1.40 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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