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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Yoruba Wooden Stool
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Yoruba Wooden Stool - PF.4995
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 13" (33.0cm) high
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
Medium: wood


Location: United States
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Description
The stool is regarded as a symbol of prestige, lifting the person above the earth, symbolic of the gods above the world of humans. The figures surrounding this stool are both representational and symbolic. The large animal resembles a stylized monkey with a curled tail arching over its back. A snake continues the animal motif, its body twisting over a large spoon and a solid triangle. The snake is a symbol of fertility, as is most probably the female figure facing frontally with her arms above her head. Y-shaped symbols as seen in the objects the woman holds in her hands, and the solid triangle may relate to fertility of the fields. The Yoruba believe that when an artist creates a work it is thereafter imbued with power, and the spirit of the deity within can be "awakened" through ritual and incantation. The beauty of this stool lies in its rough hewn quality, as if the sculptor was anxious to reach the magic within the wood itself, drawing from deep inside the symbols important to his people. - (PF.4995)

 

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