About this artwork
A hierarchy of titled ranks is an important feature among the Igbo, and many men and women attain an initial title in adulthood. Moving upward in rank, however, requires a significant investment in resources, social contacts, and time. A title comes with responsibilities and privileges, including regalia and status objects like this stool. Remarkably, the seat’s two levels of interlocking supports were sculpted from a single block of wood. An Irish missionary obtained the stool in Nigeria in the early 20th century. Catholic missions were established near Onitsha, Nigeria, in 1885, and in Awka, the town best known for elaborate title stools, in 1908.
- Wood, iron nails, and traces of pigment
- 57.2 × 34.9 cm (22 1/2 × 13 3/4 in.)
- African Decorative Arts Fund