Cameroon Fang Mask
Detail: Wood carved Cameroonian Fang Tribe Mask
Cameroon Fang Mask. The Fang people used masks in their secret societies. Members of this male society wore the Ngil masks during the initiation of new members and the persecution of wrongdoers. Masqueraders, clad in raffia costumes and attended by helpers, would materialize in the village after dark, illuminated by flickering torchlight. The Fang tribe are spread over a vast area along the Atlantic coast line of equatorial Africa and can be found in Cameroon equatorial Guinea and Gabon namely along the bank of the Ogowe river.
African Mask from the Fang Tribe of Gabon were worn worn by spiritual leaders during rituals to ward off evil spirits, or as symbols depicting wealth and prosperity. Hand made from wood
Ritual and ceremonial masks are an essential feature of the traditional culture and art of the peoples of Subsaharan and West Africa. While the specific implications associated to ritual masks widely vary in different cultures, some traits are common to most African cultures: e.g., masks usually have a spiritual and religious meaning and they are used in ritual dances and social and religious events, and a special status is attributed to the artists that create masks and to those that wear them in ceremonies. In most cases, mask-making is an art that is passed on from father to son, along with the knowledge of the symbolic meanings conveyed by such masks.