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First half 20th C. Massive and Robust Zela Caryatide Stool held by a Female sculpture covered with typical scarifications.

Price 4.950 €


The stool represented here is a typical Caryatide stool of the Zela people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The stool is carved out of wood and is held up by a kneeling woman covered with typical Zela scarifications,showing her high ranking among her people. The base of the stool is robust and the wood is less sleek than the sculpture and the top part. Both the base and the top show a nice patina and some age cracks.

Sculpted seats, like this one, are among the most important insignia of office used exclusively by rulers.These stools are believed to serve as a receptacle for a ruler’s spirit and are not used to actually sit on.The one’s that incorporate female caryatids give expression to the Zela conception of the female body as a spiritual receptacle that supports rulership. The aesthetic refinement of the female body through elaborate skin ornamentation serves as a metaphor for the civilization and refinement that Zela rulers disseminate within society.

H x W x D

55 x 32 cm