DescriptionAKAN (ASANTE or FANTE), Ghana
Abstract support designs on Akan stools symbolize aspects of social relationships, politics or historical events. A "two-story," or "double-decker" stool showing one stool on top of another, all carved from one piece of fine-grained wood, is an old device, documented nearly a century ago. It is named "Obi-te-obi-so" ("Someone sits on someone else" in life). This is the recognition of the fact that not all social positions are of equal power and that there is a proper order of seniority not only for citizens, but also among leaders. An order of precedence must be observed so that society can function well.
In the present example, the support of the bottom stool is an X-shape once used by leaders. A rifle carved in relief on one side of the rectangular base underscores the power of the chief. The support of the upper stool rests firmly upon a large catfish carved in relief on its base. A proverb "Whatever the catfish eats is to the good of its master, the crocodile" expresses the idea of a hierarchy of power, and so the message of this stool is that no matter what one's social standing, one is called upon to cooperate with others for the good of everyone.
The Robert V. Berg Collection
Length: 23 inches
Estimate: $400 - $600.
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