masks are tied to the association of ngil
, who played judiciary and political roles among the Fang, assuring peace and hunting witches. The characteristics of the face do not express a composed serenity, but in the deformation of anatomic characteristics reveal its superhuman character. This character is also reasserted by the use of white, the color of death and of spirits. The accentuated vertical development of the mask is underlined by the long line of the nose. We have little information on the use of ngil
masks. They obviously were a part of the paraphernalia of a male ngil
society which used the masks in initiation ceremonies and to pursue and punish sorcerers and offenders. The supposedly gentle expression of the masks therefore stands in striking contrast to the extremely frightening character of the masked performers who only performed at night in the light of torches.
Exhibited at the "Fertile, Frightful, Divine"show. New Brunswick, NJ. July 2011
An individually made metal stand is available separately
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