This beautiful mask was carved in the style of an Ngil mask from the Fang people of Gabon. The mask has been decorated with sheet metal and metal wire. It measures 38.5 inches tall and weighs 3 pounds. There is some minor cracking, scuffing and wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos. Stand not included.
Decorative Fang Inspired Mask 38.5″ – Gabon – African Art
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Wood, pigment and metal
Some minor cracking, scuffing and general wear and taer.
About the Fang People
“Fang tribespeople migrated from the north-west during the 18th and 19th centuries and are today scattered across southern Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. They are principally hunters, but also farm. Fang social structure is based on the clan, a group of individuals with a common ancestor, and on the family. They also maintain tribal cohesion through the So and Gil societies. Each family possessed a Byeri, or reliquary box, in which the bones of famous ancestors were kept. The box was kept by the Esa, the eldest man in the family. “
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.
About the Ngil Mask
The Ngil (gorilla) mask was made by a secret society, also called Ngil. This was a men’s only society whose purpose was to initiate new members and persecute adulterers, thieves, debtors, poisoners, etc. The mask would be painted with white kaolin, a type of clay, and is thought to invoke the power of the deceased to eradicate evil. During the ceremony, the dancer would carry a torchlight which would illuminate the white mask in the dark, and bring terror to those watching.
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