This stunning Fang mask was carved in the style of the Ngil, a secret male society mask. The mask has nice clean and simple lines making it a versatile piece of artwork. It measures 28 inches tall and weighs 3.5 pounds. There is some minor cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear. Please inspect photos.
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Some cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout.
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.