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Elephant Stool

Ashante, Ghana

Stool. Ashante Culture. Ghana

 

This large Ashanti stool from Ghana depicts an elephant – a symbol of power and strength in the Ashante culture. This impressive stool has been carved from a heavy brown wood.

 

Ex Private Collection, UK

Estimated Period: First Quarter of 20th Century

Condition: There is a missing piece to one of the corners, as shown in the photographs. 

H: 55cm 

L: 58cm

 

It was the Ashanti custom for every man and woman to have their own stool. Alongside their pragmatic use, the stools also have a spiritual meaning. They served as the seat of the owner’s soul. When the stool was not used, it was leaned aslant against a wall in order to prevent other ‘souls’ passing by from sitting on it. Should a high dignitary pass away, they stool would be dyed black. This piece of furniture thus became a sacred object of recollection, of remembering one’s ancestors. It would hence be venerated, sacrificed and no one was allowed to sit on it.

 

Reference 

 

S. Bocola, Afrikanische Sitze pp.35-36 

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H: 55 CM
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