Altar Stool

A work made of wood and pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood and pigment.

Date:

Mid–/late 19th century

Artist:

Attributed to an unidentified Ketu master (active mid-19th century)
Yoruba
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

A sculptural tour-de-force, this stool was made for an altar dedicated to the deity Sango. At its center is a Sango priest—identifiable by his double-bladed staff and cape covered in cowrie shells—and a woman who reclines before him in a formal greeting. Moving clockwise, they are encircled by a man playing a drum; two women devotees, one of whom is holding a chicken for sacrifice; a rifle-toting soldier leading a bound captive; and a woman holding a large offering bowl. The motif of the soldier and captive, which also appears on the adjacent Esu dance staff by the same artist [see 1991.396], reflects the violent invasions that marked the era.

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Artist

Yoruba

Title

Altar Stool

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1850–1900

Medium

Wood and pigment

Dimensions

40 × 34.3 cm (15 3/4 × 13 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Jamee and Marshall Field, and Mrs. Stanley M. Freehling; Laura T. Magnuson Endowment

Reference Number

2002.276

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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