Medium: One of a Kind Hand Carved Wood Dimensions (in): 24" x 10" Dimensions (cm): 60.96 x 25.4 Region: Cameroon Tribe: Fang Tribe Approximate Age: 30 years (1988) Availability: In Stock Item Number: M019 Condition: Excellent Certificate of Authenticity Provided
This mask is worn by spiritual leaders during rituals to drive away evil spirits or as a symbol depicting wealth and prosperity. The Fang people also used masks in their secret societies. Members of the male society wore the Ngil masks during the initiation of new members and the persecution of wrongdoers. Masqueraders, clad in raffia costumes along with helpers, would materialize in the village after dark, and each of the maskers would bear a torchlight.
Fang masks were acquired and relished by modernist artists such as Picasso and Matisse. The African pieces, Picasso said, helped him to understand his purpose as a painter, which was not to entertain with decorative images, but to meditate between perceived reality and the creativity of the human mind--to be freed or "exorcised" from fear of the unknown by giving form to it.
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