Tribal art > African Chair > Tabouret Chokwe
Tchokwe prestigious stool (N° 13862)
Ex-collection French tribal art.
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Among the chef's regalia, this stool illustrates the importance attached to the prestige of its owner. The protection of ancestors is invoked thanks to the sculpted effigies playing the role of caryatids supporting the used circular seat. While one of them is like a Chokwe tribal leader who could be Chibinda Ilunga, a mythical hunter and hero, founder of the Chokwé ethnic group, wearing his large side winged headdress cipenya-mutwe, the second depicts an 18th century Portuguese settler. The chiefs had a major function in the rites of propitiation intended for the hunting and fertility of women, the objects being decorated with this figure therefore presumably having a protective function. Old prints of upholstery nails. Desication cracks.
Paisiblely settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwé never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of the Lunda, weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé had no centralized power but great chiefdoms. They were the ones who attracted artists who wanted to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied pieces of such quality that the Lunda court employed only them. As early as the 18th century, exchanges with Europeans, the Portuguese in particular, influenced their sculptures.
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