Christian Processional Cross

possibly 15th century

African Art

On view, 1st floor, African Art

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.


Copper alloy


19 1/2 × 14 × 2 in. (49.5 × 35.56 × 5.08 cm)

Credit Line

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund

Accession Number



18th–19th century


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 records is ongoing.



Dr. and Mrs. John Summerskill, Addis Ababa (at the time of collection, the couple left Ethiopia in 1970), c. 1968-2007; William Wright (son of Mrs. John Summerskill), Belle Mead, New Jersey, 2007-2010; sold to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2010

  • Frederick John Lamp, "Designs against Evil: An Ethiopian Orthodox Processional Cross," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2012), 112–113, fig. 1A–B
  • "Acquisitions," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin: Online Supplement (accessed March 1, 2012), 4–5, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

crosses (objects), pendants (jewelry), religious art



Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.