Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

ngunja (carved chair)
  • unknown Chokwe maker
  • ngunja (carved chair), late 1800s–1908
  • Where object was made: Angola
  • wood, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 43.5 x 23.5 x 30 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 17 1/8 x 9 1/4 x 11 3/4 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3156

The small wooden chair has a carved back and a wooden seat.

The back is decorated with two human figures, seated with arms bent and hands forward. They both have a two-lobed headdress, identified as a chief's headdress. The crosspiece above the figures is decorated with a center square of a harlequin pattern with a zigzag on either side.

The posts are each topped with a small human head with a two-lobed hairstyle, with a grid detail, probably ancestor heads.

The seat has three wooden slats and undecorated rails. The front feet are round and the back feet are square, with rounded rear corners.