Primary Source

Crucifix (Nkangi Kiditu)

  • Copper-alloy cast crucifix, with two kneeling figures resting on bar above hands, with a third projecting below the central figure's feet.


This cross or cosmogram from the 17th century shows the way in which the Kongolese understanding of Christianity incorporated traditional thinking and is in essence both a good example of syncretism and a warning. It shows the four moments of the sun and integrates magical protective properties that are a part of this matrilineal culture. Yes, the cross is also a typical Christian symbol and the metal used comes from Europe. Syncretism in that it combines both cultures and a warning in that the equilibrium can be broken and then the cooperation between the two cultures is in question.

Crucifix (Nkangi Kiditu)


Acquired by Brooklyn Museum from Jean C. & Raymond E. Britt Jr. Collection by exchange

How to Cite This Source
Crucifix (Nkangi Kiditu) in World History Commons,