Crucifix (Nkangi Kiditu)
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.
Acquired by Brooklyn Museum from Jean C. & Raymond E. Britt Jr. Collection by exchange