The mask was meant to depict a terrifying entity, and it was used in ceremonies that involved spectacular dances. ‘You can view the Ngil as agents of social control,’ explains the specialist. ‘In simple terms, the ceremonies mainly consisted of frightening those who had evil intentions.
It is the bieri, or ancestor sculpture, which has most obviously given rise to the making of remarkable wooden sculpture. The statuary of the Fang can be classified into three main groups: heads on long necks, half-figures and full figures, standing or seated. The neck is often a massive cylindrical form.
Fang, also spelled Fãn, Bantu-speaking peoples occupying the southernmost districts of Cameroon south of the Sanaga River, mainland Equatorial Guinea, and the forests of the northern half of Gabon south to the Ogooué River estuary.
Masks serve an important role in rituals or ceremonies with varied purposes like ensuring a good harvest, addressing tribal needs in time of peace or war, or conveying spiritual presences in initiation rituals or burial ceremonies. Some masks represent the spirits of deceased ancestors.
Fang /ˈfɒŋ/ is a Central African language spoken by around 1 million people, most of them in Equatorial Guinea, and northern Gabon, where it is the dominant Bantu language; Fang is also spoken in southern Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, and small fractions of the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe.
An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent or (recursively) the parent of an antecedent (i.e., a grandparent, great-grandparent, great-great-grandparent and so forth). Ancestor is “any person from whom one is descended.
Reliquary guardian figures protect the irreplaceable relics that link the living to the dead. Most of the peoples in the region–the Fang, Kota, Hongwe, Shamaye, Obamba, Tsogo, and Vuvi–placed the figures atop bark boxes or baskets holding the relics. The Mbete placed the relics inside the torso of the figure itself.
10 Fascinating Cultural Masks from Around the World Venetian Carnival Masks. Worn during Carnival in Venice, these world-famous masks date back to the 13th century. Mexican Day of the Dead Masks. Chinese New Year Masks. Brazilian Carnival Masks. Filipino Dinagyang Masks. African Festima Masks. Bahamian Junkanoo Masks. Austrian Krampusnacht Festival Masks.
Masks usually represent supernatural beings, ancestors, and fanciful or imagined figures, and they can also be portraits.
Yoruba, Nigeria With an estimated 35 million people in total, Yoruba is undeniably the largest ethnic group in Africa. Members occupy the South Western sides of Nigeria, as well as Southern Benin, but the majority comes from Nigeria. They have a rich history and cultural heritage tracing back to the old Oyo Empire.