Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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ngunja (carved stool)
  • unknown Chokwe maker
  • ngunja (carved stool), late 1800s–1914
  • Where object was made: Angola
  • antelope hide, wood, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 32 x 34.5 x 30 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 12 5/8 x 13 9/16 x 11 13/16 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0324
Label Text

This is a stool with wooden legs and a hide seat. The stretchers between the legs are each carved with figures.

One has three figures seated on the rail. The facing left figure is a woman with bare breasts and a skirt. Her abdomen shows crescent shaped scarring. Her left hand rests on her abdomen and her right hand steadies the container on her head. The middle figure has her head turned to her left. She is bare breasted with chevron shaped abdominal scarring. Both hands rest on her abdomen. The facing right figure has her head turned to her right. She has a distinctive split in her hairstyle but no distinctive scarring or clothing. Both hands rest on her abdomen.

The second rung has two figures on top with a slit gong. The facing left figure has his legs extended and the gong rests on his right leg. He has a short knotted looking hairstyle. The facing right figure has bent legs. Both figures have a stick to play the gong.

The third rung has three figures, each of whom appear to be straddling the rung. The facing left figure has abdominal scarring. She is smoking a pipe. The middle figure has a plate lifted to her mouth with her left hand resting on her scarred abdomen. The facing right figure has bent knees. She holds a gourd in her proper left hand and raises a cup to her lips with her proper right hand.

The fourth rung shows two long-necked birds facing each other.

The seat is made from light brown fur with irregular, lighter colored lines. It is laced on the underside with strips of leather.