Leopard Caryatid Stool

Leopard Caryatid Stool

possibly 1800s

Wood, cotton, fabric and glass beads

Overall: 51 x 38 x 43 cm (20 1/16 x 14 15/16 x 16 15/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2006.138

Fun Fact

In Cameroon powerful animal imagery was associated with the wealth and prestige of rulers. This stool incorporates a ferocious leopard. It was once owned by the king of Bandjoun, a kingdom located on the west coast of Africa.

Description

Bead-covered wooden stools and thrones are one of the most prevalent art forms among the various kingdoms and chiefdoms in the Cameroon grasslands. This example, once part of the royal treasury, belongs in the category of "travel stools," usually used in conjunction with more private, minor ceremonies and rituals at the palace. The leopard imagery confirms the object’s royal status. It alludes to the belief that the king was able to temporarily transform himself into this feared predator.

Video

Travel Stool
Royal Leopard
Provenance
Artistic Influence
See also

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