Lot: 301

94th Tribal Art Auction

Figure of the Crucified "nkangi kiditu"

D. R. Congo, Bakongo

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
François Restiau, Belgian colonial administrator (coll. in situ, between 1920-1935)
Sold by the family (2005)
Lucien van de Velde, Antwerp, Belgium (2005)

Restiau collected objects of African art while working for a railroad company in the Belgian Congo between 1928 -1948.
H: 7.1 inch This object is not available anymore.

brass, base As early as the end of the 15th century, some fractions of the Kongo Kingdom adopted Catholicism as their religion from the Portuguese. Catholicism even became the state religion in the 16th century. Many aspects of Catholicism were however unacceptable to Kongo society. The image of Christ was not very popular among the Bakongo who had difficulty associating a Supreme Being with a suffering crucified man. The crucifix was more often than not diverted from its original intent and became either an emblem of rank and title or a cult object related to war and hunting.