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Asanti Stool

Region: Ghana
Tribe: Asanti
Age: Approx. 25 years

The seat is the most important piece of furniture in Africa, usually taking the form of a stool or a chair. It serves as a social insignia because every person is entitled to a type of seat that corresponds to their social rank. It was said that a man was judged and respected according to the kind of stool he had. Stools can be bought by anyone, as long as the model is appropriate to the person's social status. Now, as in the past, stools have a spiritual significance as well as a purely practical use. The stool was understood to be the seat of its owner’s soul. When not in use it was therefore placed at a slant against a wall so that none of the souls passing by could settle on it. The Asanti say that there are no secrets between a man and his stool. Such stools were carved out of a single piece of light wood. If a king died a natural death during his reign, one of his stools was blackened and would, in future, be regarded as an ancestral seat. Sacrifices would then be made to it.

Dimensions: 28x46x22cm