Ebira, Central Nigeria
Early 20th Century
Provenance: Private New York Collection
Ebira elders sat on large decorated stools, similar to this example. These stools marked the status of the Ebira men who acquired them. Extremely rare, those stools were not carved by the Ebira themselves, but by Uneme smiths or other Edo groups. Their spiritual meaning is very different from how they were used by the Ebira. Decorated with four figures, usually female, who standing with arms raised to support the seat of the stool. Each figure is carved in a similar style and embellished with geometric carvings, suggesting jewelry. This example is beautifully detailed, with expressive faces and strong body profiles. The base of the stool has been decorated, with the carver taking time to delineate the toes and feet of the figures.
H: 16 in D: 12 1/2 in
IN 03-9-15/ SOLD