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African art - Fang:

The Fang ethnic group occupies Cameroon as well as Gabon. They are also called Pahouins, which means conquering warriors. They invaded various villages from the Sanaga in Cameroon to the Ogooué in Gabon between the 18th and 20th centuries. Among the Fang, certain things are a priority. These include maintaining social identity, surviving in a hostile environment and communicating with the spirits in order to keep them away from the living. However, this ethnic group lacks political unity. Some Fang works are particularly illustrious. For example, the Fang justice masks, covered with kaolin, whose whitish colour recalls the power of the ancestors, were used by the Ngil male society. Its members were in charge of initiation rites and the fight against black magic. They came out masked at night to point out delinquents. The Byéri, reliquary chests, are also famous among the Fang. They were stored in the hut of the oldest man in the village, the esa, in a dark and smoky corner, surrounded by protective sculptures. The Byeri went out during the initiation rites of the So society.


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

Rituals of justice and African Fang masks.
A rib borders the eye sockets in the heart of this mask, extending to the rectangular, toothed mouth. The eyelids are hatched, accentuating the severity of the features.
Native restoration at the top using aluminum foil.

Dense wood, abraded dry patina. Desiccation cracks, erosions.
The appearance of these masks coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause fear. This type of mask was used by ngil male society in northwest Gabon, southern Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. This secret society was responsible for initiations and fought against witchcraft. The ngil was a rite of purifying fire symbolized by the gorilla. The wearers of these ...


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Fang figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fang figure

African figurine inspired by classic fang criteria, protruding musculature, concave face topped with an ample shell, metal-encrusted pupils. Shiny black patina. Slight cracks.
Among the peoples known as the Fang, or "Pahouins", qualified as conquering warriors, the boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the hut, supposed to divert evil influences towards someone else. Samples were also taken from the figures for therapeutic purposes. They were also used during initiation ceremonies for young people linked to the "So" society. During festivals, the statues were separated from their boxes and carried ...


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Masque Ngon Ntang
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Ngon Ntang

African masks Fang Ngon Ntang, which are often white, come in different variants. Incarnating an ancestor spirit, the mask evokes foresight (Ntang), and "Ngon" encompasses a principle of femininity, the whole would be a " view of moon", alluding to the lunar cycles associated with the ages of the woman. This mask appears, accompanied by drums carved in wood, horns, rattles and bells, during successive stages of life: birth, union, death. This type of mask has taken over from the Fang masks of the Ngil in order to maintain a festive dialogue with the ancestors after the disappearance of the cult.
In the middle part of a round face with fine features, heart orbits are hollowed out with inlays of tapestry nails, the pupils being represented by brass cabochons. It significantly ...


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

Ex-French African art collection.
Intended to unmask sorcerers, this type of African mask was carved on the eve of ceremonies. The austere physiognomy was meant 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.
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 which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. The ngil, a rite of purifying fire symbolized by the gorilla, was the guarantor of peace, also fixed the ...


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280.00

Statue Fang
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Fang

The anthropomorphic sculptures acting as "guardians" and embodying the ancestor illustrate the African art associated with the Byeri cult.
Male figure of an unusual type in the arrangement of the arms and the wicker rods and fragments of textile skilfully twisted around the limbs. The rest of the morphology remains classic. The face with metallic pupils, framed by flat braids, offers relatively realistic features. Eroded matte patina.
Among the Fang, the boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the hut, supposed to divert evil influences towards someone else. They were also used during ...


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190.00

Fang figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fang figure

Male figure sculpted according to classical Fang criteria, protruding musculature, concave face topped with an ample shell, pupils encrusted with metal. Heterogeneous glossy patina. Cracks.
Among the peoples known as the Fang, or "Pahouins", qualified as conquering warriors, the boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the hut, supposed to divert evil influences towards someone else. Samples were also taken from the figures for therapeutic purposes. They were also used during initiation ceremonies for young people linked to the "So" society. During festivals, the statues were separated from their ...


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95.00

Fang statue
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fang statue

The African art of the Byeri cult is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures that act as "guardians" and embody the ancestor. This female figure has a prognathic jaw that highlights a wide open mouth. Under the joined hands, the tubular excrescence of the abdomen symbolizes the lineage. Satin patina locally grainy. The boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as a guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the hut, supposed to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the "So" society. During festivals, the statues were separated from their boxes and carried in ...


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Fang reliquary
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fang reliquary

This sculpted figure of head Fang offers a face marked with the austere pout characteristic of these sculptures of ancestors. The neck was introduced into the reliquary basket. Grainy patina, resinous residues, indigenous restoration.
Among the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are kept. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or head which acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the hut, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during initiation ceremonies for young people linked to the "So" society. The term Angokh means "full head of the ancestor" ...


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280.00

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

Fang type mask, carved on the eve of ceremonies, and whose intervention was accompanied by words, gestures, dances and sacrifices. He also appeared during initiations, out of sight of the profane, and pointed out the culprits of bad deeds within the village. Velvety matte patina, discreet native restorations (wickerwork), erosions, cracks.
The Fang, established in a region extending from Yaoundé in Cameroon to Ogooué in Gabon, have never had political unity. Clan cohesion was maintained through religious and judicial associations such as the so and the ngil. The appearance of masks generally coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause dread. The ngil male secret society, which no longer exists today, was in charge ...


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380.00

Fang spoon
African art > Spoons, ladles > Fang spoon

This African object illustrates the diversity of the decorative arts of the Fang: the sculpted motif is here like the statues of ancestors surmounting the reliquary baskets in the Byeri cult. Anthropomorphic spoon-emblems are recurrent in tribal art. Although ritual, the spoon is also an emblem of social status, depending on the complexity of its shapes and decorative motifs.
Height on base: 35 cm. Shiny patina, abrasions.
The African art of the Byeri cult is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures acting as "guardians" and embodying the ancestor. The boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark ...


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150.00


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Rituals of justice and African masks Fang. Housed under the mass of the forehead, the concave face, stretched, extends from a narrow chin in galoche with a severe pout.

Bois soft, locally abraded grainy dry 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 male society ngil in northwestern Gabon, southern Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.  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 ...


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

African fang rituals and masks. Soft wood, dry patina, granular kaolin residue. Height on a base: 28 cm.
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 in northwestern Gabon, southern Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.  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 the bad deeds within the village.  The Fang ethnic group, based in a region stretching from Yaounde in ...


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Fang Box
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Fang Box



This container has a lid topped with three stylized faces reminiscent of the guardian heads of the byeri reliquary. Three fang figures with protective virtues, arms bent, hands clasped, adorn the walls of the box. Since the reliquary boxes contain the bones of the ancestors are most often made up of bark, this wooden sculpture could also have been used as a medicine container or a box dedicated to divination. The internal walls are lined with residues of yellow ochre vegetable oil.
Geometric patterns and parallel lines are engraved on the matte surface. Desication cracks. Indigenous restorations using metal staples.
The peoples known as Fang, or "Pahouins", described as conquering warriors, invaded in successive leaps, from villages to villages, the entire vast ...


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Spoon Fang
African art > Spoons, ladles > Spoon Fang

This object illustrates the diversity of the decorative arts of the Fang: the sculpted motif, a head, offers the features of the statuary surmounting the reliquary baskets. Anthropomorphic spoon-emblems are recurrent in tribal art. Although ritual, the spoon is also an emblem of social status, depending on the complexity of its shapes and decorative motifs.
Shiny oiled patina.


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150.00

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

African art among the Fang.

Formerly called Pahouins, the Fang constitute a very large ethnic group settled, following migrations, in Central Africa, in the three republics of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. In the shape of a barrel, this mask offers four scarified faces, endowed with stylized human features, and eyebrows in continuous perforations. Linked to ancestor worship, the Byéri, this mask was responsible for discerning troublemakers, especially sorcerers. It comes out these days for entertainment parties. He now also appears at parties, funerals, baby showers, and on the occasion of an important decision within the village. It was also worn by Fang Okak and Ntoumou, Ntumu men from Equatorial Guinea during a dance associated with the Byeri cult. It sometimes ...


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380.00

Fang head
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fang head

Fang head whose neck was introduced into the reliquary basket. The heart-shaped face under a wide forehead, the protruding mouth, and the helmet hairstyle, indicate certain characteristics of the Ntumu style. This type of sculpture fulfilled the same function as the byeri statuettes. Brown satin patina, cracks and accidents.
Height on base: 41 cm.
Among the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are kept. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or a head which acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the hut, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used ...


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

This African mask of the Fang is carved from a rectangular block forming a face in which the forehead occupies almost half of the face. The deeply recessed superciliary arches and the powerful nose, as well as the discretion of the organs of sight and speech, mark the physiognomy of this large mask of austere severity.
Velvety matt patina, cracks of desiccation and abrasions. 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 fear. 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. The ngil was a purifying fire rite symbolized by the gorilla. The bearers of ...


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290.00

Fang staff
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African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Fang staff

Fang-type prestige scepter, offering an anthropomorphic figure associated with the worship of the ancestors of the Byeri. Sculpted with skill, the piece features a young woman with a long bust framed by bent arms whose hands rest under her breasts. The curved legs rise, semi-flexed, from a rounded base that extends the handle. The face is shaped like a heart in the center of a spherical head.
Shiny patina, cracks.
Among the Fang, the relics of the most remarkable ancestors were kept in cylindrical bark boxes near the couch of the head of the lineage, initiate of the family cult of Byéri. Surmounted by a human effigy which affirmed their identity, they contributed to the protection of their descendants. The initiation rites, forbidden to women and children, took place under ...


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

Intended to unmask sorcerers, this type of mask was carved on the eve of ceremonies. The austere physiognomy was meant 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.
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 which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and 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 ...


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280.00

Fang statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fang statue

The African art relating to the Byeri cult is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures acting as "guardians" and incarnating the ancestor.
This male figure has a pouting mouth revealing filed teeth. Under clasped hands, the umbilical outgrowth refers to the lineage. Semi-matte black patina, missing. The boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were kept by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Topped by a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the box, supposed to deflect evil influences. They were also used during initiation ceremonies for young people linked to "So" society. During the holidays, the statues were separated from their boxes and carried in parade.

The ...


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290.00

Fang statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fang statue

This anthropomorphic sculpture forms the incarnation of a female ancestor. Carried by powerful half-bent legs whose modeling contrasts with a reduced chest, it offers in addition a large head encrusted with exorbitant metallic pupils. Bright patina, erosions.
Among the Fang of Cameroon and in Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of ancestors are kept. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa." The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as a guardian of the "byeri" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the hut, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the "So" society. During the ...


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290.00





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