Chief's stool with figures - ROM2004_946_11


Chief's stool with figures

Maker: Unidentified Luvale (Lwena) or Mbunda artist
Medium:Carved wood
Geography: Angola
Date: late 19th century - early 20th century
60 × 24 cm
Object number: 919.12.394
Credit Line: The Walter Thomas Currie Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific
DescriptionAmong the Luvale of eastern Angola and western Zambia, political leadership and chiefly titles are transmitted matrilineally. While the power structure is not highly centralized, chiefs exert their power over a small territories and administer local politics and justice. Their authority is emphasized by a number of regalia. According to Manuel Jordan, an expert on Chokwe and related arts, this particular chief's throne presents the formal characteristics of the Mbunda style. The mask carved on the back of the stool probably represents Sachihongo, a spirit of wealth and abundance honored by the Mbunda. Among the carved figures on the stool one can identify also royal ancestral couples, regal storks, and other representations of ancestral masks. The high back of the stool marks a formal transition from the simple stool form and the European style chairs adopted by Chokwe chiefs in the 19th century.
Global Africa
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