African Art

Christian Processional Cross

possibly 15th century

Copper alloy

9 7/16 x 5 1/2 x 1 1/4 in. (24 x 13.97 x 3.18 cm)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund
2010.119.1
This fifteenth-century cross is interesting for its arabesques, which include a central cross with the kabbalistic design of a continuous four-part loop, called a hatumere in Arabic and known all across the Saharan region as a protective image. Processional crosses like this one are shown being carried by figures in fifteenth-century illuminated manuscripts, but existing processional crosses with this design are rare; the design is more common for silver pectoral crosses.
Culture: 
Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Period: 
15th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Geography: 
Country Ethiopia
Status: 
On view*
Provenance: 

Purchased by Yale University Art Gallery in 2010 from Milos Simovic

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pub_Bull_acquisitions_2011.pdf (accessed March 1, 2012).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.