Chief's chair, 19th century

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The Asante people of Ghana developed a complex “seating culture,” with numerous types of stools and chairs employed in different contexts. A striking seat used by the aristocracy is the decoratively carved folding chair, likely based on early European travelers’ chairs. Its back is carved in a perforated pattern, and the entire surface is covered with brass tacks and metal parts. This chair is unusual because of its rich imagery, showing various birds, a person holding a rifle, a turtle and a coiled snake, a shell and a crocodile chasing a fish, and on the front and back rails, the so-called “wisdom knot,” a symbol of intelligence and unity.

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Asante, Ghana, Akonkromfi (#445)
Details
Title
Chief's chair
Role
Artist
Accession Number
90.101
Curator Approved

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