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 17th-century brass Kongolese crucifix was based on European models, but transformed by the local artisan who made it. In the center is Jesus, but with large hands, flattened feet, and African facial features, including protruding eyes that convey spiritual connection. This way of representing Christ developed in Kongo during the sixteenth century, and continues to today. Surrounding him are three small praying figures, who might represent the Virgin Mary or other saints, or the dead, mourners, intercessors, or captives, sit on its arms. This source is a part of the Christianity and Slavery in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1480s-1520s teaching module.


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, [accessed December 5, 2023]