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Fang Mask Ngil Society Stand Gabon African Art

Regular Price: $650.00

Special Price: $390.00

Product #: 90790
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Title Fang Mask Ngil Society Face in White and Red Face Gabon African
Type of Object Face mask
Country of Origin Gabon
People Fang
Materials wood, pigment
Approximate Age second half 20th century
Dimensions mask only: 23.5 inches H. x 9 inches W. x 8 inches D. ; 34.5 inches H. with stand
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair wear and chips in places


Additional Information:   A large Fang Ngil mask with face painted in white and red. mask with an elongated  heart-shaped face painted in white, prominent eyebrows , eyes and mouth pierced and relief  forms on chin area. .   This mask demonstrates signs of use and substantial use. It comes from an old collection!  This Fang mask  comes with its own stand and it would hold a prominent place in a collection. 


The purity of its forms equals its spiritual identity.  In fact, among the Fang such masks are identified with the Ngil society. Ngil masks were worn during initiations and known for judicial and social control activities in searching out sorcerers, a process that ultimately led to their being banned by the French colonial authorities in 1910. A later development among the Fang was the appearance of a mask known as Ngontangan, "the head of the young white girl" referring to early European women missionaries who arrived on the coast during the nineteenth century. The mask may have had ritual or ceremonial meaning in the past exorcizing malevolent sorcerers but appears not to carry significant symbolic weight today. Though few in number the elegant forms and abstractions of the Ngil masks made them very attractive to early modern European artistic sensibilities serving as models for a number of sculptors.


During migrations which took place in the late 18th and early 19th centuries the Fang population of approximately 200,000 moved to their present area stretching from southern Cameroon, through Equatorial Guinea into present day Gabon. Occupying a large geographical region over an extended period of time the Fang have developed a cultural 'kinship' with the various peoples in the region resulting in a number of shared sculptural styles that have been identified under the general name of Fang. Well known for their reliquary figures, the Fang also danced finely sculpted masks during a number of ritual activities.


Additional Information: Binet, J. Societes de danse chez les Fang, (Paris, 1972)Fernandez, J. 'La statuaire Fang-Gabon', African Arts, 8, No.1, 1974.Fernandez, J. W. and R. L. 'Fang Reliquary Art: Its Quantities and Qualities.'Cahiers d'etudes africaines, 15, No. 5. (1975)Perrois, L. Statuaire fang, (Paris, 1972)Perrois, L. Sculpture traditionelle du Gabon, (Paris, 1977)Perrois, L. 'Arts du Gabon, Les arts plastiques du Bassin de l'Ogoue', Arts d'Afrique Noire. 1979Perrois, L. Arts ancestral du Gabon dans les collections du Musee Barbier-Mueller, (Geneva, 1985)Phillips, T, (ed.) Africa, The Art of a Continent, (Munich, 1995)Roy, C. Art and Life in Africa, (Iowa City, 1992)Schmalenbach, W. African Art from the Barbier-Mueller Collection, (Geneva,1988)Tessmann, G. Die Pangwe, (Berlin and New York, 1913(1972)


I have examined this piece and agree with the description
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.