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STATUETTE-PENDANT depicting Saint ANTHONY of PADUA also called Toni Malau
Kongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
19th century or earlier
H: 11; Wt: 4.5; Thickness: 5.5 cm
It presents Saint Anthony of Padua dressed as a Franciscan, supporting the Child Jesus with his left arm and a cross with his right hand. The bronze, pierced at the base, was made using the lost wax technique. It has a ring on the back used to suspend the pendant.
This statuette refers to the first contacts with Europeans and Christianity. The spelling of Toni Malau can also be found in Ntoni Malawu.
We find in Raphaël Batsîkama's work ba Mampuya ma Ndâwla The Ancient Kingdom of the Congo and the Bakongoles the following statements explaining the importance of Saint Anthony among the Kongos: "Why Saint Anthony? He was the most popular saint in the country. Each house had "its fetish of Ntoni Malawu" (Antoine of luck) such as this one ... (...) Let us say in parentheses that at that time Saint Antoine was called throughout the country "Ntoni Malawu": the Saint of Prosperity, the meaning at this time of the ruins, is not to be sought. "
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