African Christianities

ink and color on paper
5 7/8 in x 3 13/16 in (14.9 cm x 9.7 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Milton B. Freudenheim in memory of Otto F. Ege
MS Leaf: Hymnal
Ink on vellum
5 15/16 in x 3 15/16 in (15.1 cm x 10 cm)
Museum Purchase
This bronze light fixture consists of a central circular celestial motif from which extend twelve arms in a radial pattern. Six of these arms, embellished with maltese crosses, end in omega-shaped terminals. These decorated arms alternate with six unadorned arms that terminate in rings designed to hold glass oil lamps. The entire disk is suspended from three bronze chains joined to a large hook.
Coptic; Egyptian
Polycandelon for six oil lamps
12 3/16 in x 9 13/16 in x 9 13/16 in (31 cm x 25 cm x 25 cm);12 3/16 in x 9 13/16 in x 9 13/16 in (31 cm x 25 cm x 25 cm)
Museum Purchase
The body of this cylindrical censer is decorated with eight columns spaced at regular intervals. The lid of the censer consists of an openwork dome divided into sections by eight vertical ribs that converge at its apex. An arched horizontal band intersects the midpoint of the ribs, and these eight junctures are marked with a projecting bird that holds a small bronze ball dangling from its beak. Two segments of the dome are decorated with Maltese crosses while another two feature curved plant forms. The apex is surmounted by a finial comprised of a globe topped by a Maltese cross on which a bird holding a piece of fruit perches.
Coptic; Egyptian
Censer with Maltese crosses, birds, and columns
12 3/8 in x 4 1/2 in x 4 3/4 in (31.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 12 cm);12 1/4 in x 4 1/2 in x 4 3/4 in (31.2 cm x 11.5 cm x 12 cm)
Museum Purchase
Long narrow strip of parchment with writing in red and black pigment; image at top shows a face with large eyes in a square with eight radiating triangles (Solomon's Seal); image at bottom shows a winged figure holding a sword (archangel).  Rows of eyes border the images.
Ethiopian Orthodox
Healing Scroll
parchment, pigment on leather scroll
60 7/8 in x 6 7/8 in x 1 1/2 in (154.62 cm x 17.46 cm x 3.81 cm);55 1/2 in x 3 5/16 in (140.97 cm x 8.41 cm);60 7/8 in x 6 7/8 in x 1 1/2 in (154.62 cm x 17.46 cm x 3.81 cm)
Gift of F. Karel Wiest
A massive wood-carved headdress with stylized face (showing classic Yoruba features) of bulging eyes with defined upper lids, long, straight, triangular nose, symmetrical scarification patterns consisting of three horizontal lines on each cheek, and a short beard from ear to ear just underneath the lower lip. Two large “ears” protrude on either side of head and act as “scaffolding” for numerous attachments of symbolic content: birds and lions predominate, but also visible are amulets, wooden claws and beads, crosses, and an insignia shield of some kind. The ears terminate in two oblong mirrors with lions leaping off of each. Layers of pigment are visible, giving the impression that it has been repainted over time.
Workshop of Adugbologe
Egúngún headdress
wood, mirrors, pigment, gourd, beads and metal
30 in x 26 in x 19 in (76.2 cm x 66.04 cm x 48.26 cm);30 in x 26 in x 19 in (76.2 cm x 66.04 cm x 48.26 cm)
Gift of the Edward H. Eliscu Family
A naturalistic rendering of a human face. Eyes carved in relief are convex and almond-shaped with narrow slits and are placed in round, concave eye sockets. Nose is slender at the bridge and rounded at the tip. The horizontal mouth is partially opened. Half rounded ears display metal loops, one includes a tag with the number 039641-HAV(?). The "hair" is attached with a cloth headband, covered in snakeskin, placed high on the forehead and is made from clay and red tukula powder. The face shows striated, scarifcation patters underneath and to the sides of the eyes; the forehead shows is a chingelyengelye cross motif. The patina is smooth and redish brown in color.
Pwo Mask
wood, tukula powder, clay, string, metal, fur, snakeskin, cloth
11 7/8 in x 11 1/4 in x 6 11/16 in (30.1 cm x 28.6 cm x 17 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
Wood-carved, standing male figure 40 inches in height. Its shoulders and torso are impaled with iron blades, nails and fragments. The torso is long, arms at side are bent at elbow and hands rest on lower abdomen. The right wrist wears a bracelet with attachments. The legs are truncated, with twisted metal anklet on right foot. The face is naturalistic, the mouth slightly open, the nose long and narrow with slightly flared nostrils. Eyes are almond shaped, may have had inlay that is now gone. The top of the head shows a tiered, "layer cake like" coiffure. The figure has a long and deep crack down the entire length of its left side, from top of the head to the left ankle.
Vili (Kongo)
Power Figure
wood, iron nails, blades and fragments, and fiber cord
40 3/4 in x 13 3/4 in x 10 1/16 in (103.5 cm x 35 cm x 25.5 cm);40 3/4 in x 13 3/4 in x 10 1/16 in (103.5 cm x 35 cm x 25.5 cm)
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern


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February 7, 2020 2:29 p.m.


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