- Dan peoples
- 20th–mid 20th century
This stool is carved in the form of two opposing cones that appear as if they are separate pieces joined at their narrow ends; however, the stool was carved from a single block of wood. The two cone-forms are thought to be symbolic: the upper cone symbolizes the skies or heaven and the lower one the earth.
Belonging to a Dan village chief, this stool would elevate the leader above other villagers seated on mats on the ground, indicating his privileged status. On special occasions, such as the public events following boys' initiation into manhood, the young men were allowed to sit on a stool such as this one in recognition of their new status.
Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.
- University of Iowa Museum of Art, Art & Life in Africa
Learn more about furniture in African cultures.