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Kongo (or Bakongo), Dem. Rep. of Congo, Rep. Congo (Brazzaville), Angola: A rare, Christian crucifix ‘Nkangi Kiditu’ made of brass, 19th century.
Lot No. 82 
Kongo (or Bakongo), Dem. Rep. of Congo, Rep. Congo (Brazzaville), Angola: A rare, Christian crucifix ‘Nkangi Kiditu’ made of brass, 19th century.
  • Kongo (or Bakongo), Dem. Rep. of Congo, Rep. Congo (Brazzaville), Angola: A rare, Christian crucifix ‘Nkangi Kiditu’ made of brass, 19th century.
  • Kongo (or Bakongo), Dem. Rep. of Congo, Rep. Congo (Brazzaville), Angola: A rare, Christian crucifix ‘Nkangi Kiditu’ made of brass, 19th century.

Kongo (or Bakongo), Dem. Rep. of Congo, Rep. Congo (Brazzaville), Angola: A rare, Christian crucifix ‘Nkangi Kiditu’ made of brass, 19th century.

Dem. Rep. of Congo, Rep. Congo (Brazzaville), Angola: A rare, 'Nkangi Kiditu’ Christian crucifix made of yellow cast-alloy (brass), 19th century. The Kongo or Bakongo are a large people (more than 5 million) living on the Atlantic coast, along the lower reaches and at the mouth of the Kongo river. In 1482 the Portuguese seafarer Diego Cao reached the Kongo delta, which was at the heart of the powerful Kingdom of Kongo at that time. The encounter was peaceful and Portugal even established an official embassy in the capital Mbanza Kongo. From 1485 onwards, Christian missionaries came to the Kindgom of Kongo. As early as 3 May 1491, the then king of the Bakongo people, Nzinga Nkuma, converted to Christianity, was baptised and henceforth styled himself as King ‘Joao I’. Most of his countrymen followed his example and merged their former religion (with ancestor cult, gods and magic) with Christianity. 'Joao I' sent his son and follower Afonso to Portugal to study and his grandson became the first ‘black bishop’ of West Africa. Today, the Kongo are regarded as ‘Christianised’, but divided into Catholics, Baptists, new ‘Revivalist Churches’ and syncretist sects. Missionaries also brought clear Christian influences to the traditional art of the Bakongo people. Thus, they knew the hand crosses of the missionaries and, from the 16th/17th century onwards, created their own crosses based on these models. However, the result was a slightly modified, typically ‘Kongolese’ form, called ‘Nkangi Kiditu’: initially as a wooden cross, then with cast figures and finally entirely made of yellow cast-alloy (brass) with ‘waste mould’ casting. Just like the present, characteristic ‘Kongo cross’, which is made up of two cast parts. The first part consists of the high cross and the three small figures. These three sitting figures, two on the crosspiece, one under the Crucified, represent praying persons. The second part is the figure of the Christ, which is cast separately and ‘nailed’ to the cross with three iron-rivets. All four figures of this typical Bakongo cross have ‘African’ faces.

Additional picture:
A chief of the Kongo (or Bakongo) with a typical ‘Kongo cross’
Photo: ORA PRO NOBIS, Julien Volper, Etnografisch Museum, Antwerp

Esperto: Prof. Erwin Melchardt

Kongo (or Bakongo), Dem. Rep. of Congo, Rep. Congo (Brazzaville), Angola: A rare, Christian crucifix ‘Nkangi Kiditu’ made of brass, 19th century.
conversione valuta
  • Stima
    EUR 1.200 ,- a 1.800 ,-
    USD 1.400 ,- a 2.050 ,-

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DETTAGLI ASTA

Tribal Art
Data: 05.11.2014, 13:00
Luogo dell'asta: Palais Dorotheum Vienna
Esposizione: 31.10. - 05.11.2014
Auctioneer:

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