Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution
April 5, 2010
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Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution

Kongo peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo
17th century
Copper alloy
H. 20.6cm (8 1/8in)
Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company

15th century missionaries gave Kongo rulers crucifixes as official gifts. The image of the crucifix was absorbed into local custom and was cast by local artists as items of leadership regalia totally separated from any Christian context.

Walt Disney-Tishman Collection Donation - Sept. 29, 2005