Tribal art > African mask > Fang Mask
Ngontang Fang Ntumu Mask (N° 19706)
Ex-collection African tribal art French.
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.The remarkable Fang sculptors and blacksmiths in African art.
This helmet mask is topped with shell elements associated with traditional hairstyles. Three faces with joined eyebrows are carved on the walls of the mask. The carved lizard refers to the origins of creation: according to Fang myths, the god Mebere created the first man Nzame from a clay lizard. Mebere is said to have passed on to Nzame all techniques including sculpture. Abrasions and indigenous restoration using wicker.
This variant of the Fang masks is known as Ngontang (or Ngontanga), "the figure of the white man's daughter" . Appearing in the 1920s, it represents the spirits of the dead who visit in the form of a young white woman from the afterlife and was used to locate sorcerers and those who abuse spiritual powers. They also come out at festivals, funerals, birthdays, and on the occasion of an important decision in the village. It was also worn by the Fang Okak and Ntoumou men, Ntumu, from Equatorial Guinea during a dance associated with the Byeri cult. It sometimes has up to six faces.
Ref : "Art of Equatorial Guinea" Perrois and Delage, ed. Rizzoli.