Formerly intended to unmask sorcerers, this African mask of the fang type was cut on the eve of ceremonies. It is out of the sight of lay people that, accompanied by words, gestures, dances and sacrifices, he also intervened during initiations. Velvety matte patina. Abrasions.
Among the Fang, established in a region extending from Yaoundé in Cameroon to Ogooué in Gabon, 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 Ngil religious and judicial male society which no longer exists today. This secret society was responsible for 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 villages were to be established, and the conditions for exploiting agricultural land.
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