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L. Crucifix R. Globe with Cross

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L. Crucifix R. Globe with Cross
17th c African (Central) Kongo Sculpture

BENIN KINGDOM Anonymous (c. 900 - 1897) Primary
BENIN KINGDOM Anonymous (c. 900 - 1897)
c. 1600-1699
17th c
Rome. Vatican Museums.
The Portuguese had been particularly active in the kingdom of Kongo, which was at its height in 1482, having been founded around 1350. The Portuguese traders were followed by the missionaries who arrived in 1490, and within a year the ruler Mani Kongo and his family were converted to Christianity. Mani was baptized as Alfonso I, and his craftsmen copied Portuguese religious objects and created crucifixes like the one shown on the left. Although the Christian kingdom collapsed in the 18th century, the crucifix and other Christian symbols continued to be created as power symbols. The globe surmounted by the cross shown on the right was made by the Benin, who resisted the Christians but adopted their symbols of power.

Caption: L KONGO PEOPLES R. BENIN| L. Crucifix R. Globe with Cross. | c. 1600-1699 | African | L. Kongo R. Nigeria
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