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Helmet mask – Wood – Ngongtang – Fang – Gabon


In stock

SKU: 44.367 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

Wonderful Fang Ngongtang helmet mask from Gabon. The artistic mask has great eye for detail.

The (Fang groups) Betsi and Ntumu call this type of helmet mask ngontang, a term that is a contraction of nlo ngon ntanga, which means ‘face of the daughter of the white man.’ When the Betsi and Ntumu peoples first encountered the Europeans, they believed the Europeans were spirits returned from the world of the dead. Introduced in the 1920s, these mask were a ritual object that fought against malevolent forces such as witchcraft. It is thought the ngontang replaced the ngil mask, which policed the Fang communities and was banned by the French colonial government.”

The mask is in good condition with a wonderful aged patina. There is a small standing ancestor figure on top of the mask.

Provenance: Manfred Schäfer collection, ex- gallery owner from Ulm, Germany. Stand is included in this lot!

Object: Helmet mask
Indigenous object name: Ngongtang
Ethnic group/ culture: Fang
Region/ country: Gabon
Material: Wood
Period: Mid 20th century
Condition: Good
Sold with stand: Yes
Dimensions: 34×26×26 cm
Weight: 3200 g


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