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, hide, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 47.5 x 31 x 40 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 18 11/16 x 12 3/16 x 15 3/4 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3158

The small wooden chair has a hide seat. The back of the chair is decorated with a head with a two-lobed headdress, identified as a chief's headdress. The panel around the head is decorated with linear designs.

The front stretcher is decorated with a seated figure, on the facing right, facing the chair leg. There is evidence that a second figure has been lost.

The facing left stretcher is decorated with two human figures. The forward figure is supine and headless. The rear figure is seated, right arm resting on the right cheek.

The facing right stretcher is decorated with two seated human figures, both facing the chair front, with elbows resting on bent knees. The front figure appears to be holding an object. Both figures have a short beard.

The back stretcher is decorated with a four legged animal with a long tail and blunted snout.

The seat was once covered with dark brown and light colored mottled fur and held in place with laces on the underside.