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Straw - Twentieth century

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Basket from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This flat offering basket is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was collected from Yakusu, a missionary station run by the Baptist Missionary Society. This style of coiled basket is quite characteristic of Nigeria and the surrounding region, suggesting perhaps that the maker of this basket, or his teacher, may have travelled to Yakusu from West Africa. Many traditional objects collected by missionaries were given up as part of the process of conversion, collected as 'curios', or brought back to Britain for use in missionary exhibitions and fundraising.

The Museum has a large collection of objects from the DRC which were collected by John and William Forfeitt, secretary and missionary for the Baptist Missionary Society, respectively, but it is not known if this object was part of that earlier collection. The Forfeitts had links to significant Reading families and businesses - both worked for Suttons Seeds before their mission with the BMS, and William Forfeitt married a daughter of the Collier family.

Museum object number REDMG : 2007.1424.1

See related topic: World Collection: Belief

See related topic: World Collection: Reading Missionaries