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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.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Arts of Africa

Culture

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

Purchased with funds provided by Jamee and Marshall Field, and Mrs. Stanley M. Freehling; Laura T. Magnuson Endowment

Reference Number

2002.276

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/159842/manifest.json

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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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