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Fang mask (N° 21358)

This African Fang mask illustrates one of the variants of the Fang masks of the Ngil, that is to say, a stretched face in which the assertive features give an austere physiognomy. The nose is long, drawing the eye to a wide mouth with pursed lips. Surface coated with kaolin. The scars are raised with red ochre.
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 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. The bearers of these masks, always in large numbers, appeared at night, lit by torches. Their intervention was also linked to the judicial function by designating those guilty 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 unit. Clan cohesion was maintained through religious and judicial associations such as the so and ngil.  

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OriginColl. française Dr Voltz
EthnyFang
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood
Height cm63
Width19 cm
Weight3.30 Kg
Estimated datingn/a
Socle inclusOptional

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