Songye stools upheld by human figures symbolize the might of a chief who is supported by someone of inferior rank. Among the neighboring Luba peoples, similar stools were made for use by kings as their throne for state occasions. It is thought that the Songye adopted this type of stool from the Luba.
Artist Songye, African
  • Stool
Date between 19th and 20th century
Medium Wood
Dimensions Overall: 21 3/8 × 13 3/4 × 13 1/4 inches (54.3 × 34.9 × 33.7 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund
Accession Number 75.1
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
On View African N100, Level 1 (see map)
1914-1922, F. A. Snow (England).
Merton Simpson (New York City, New York, USA).
1970, sold by Lambert G. Snow.
(John Elliott, New York, New York, USA);
1975-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
African Masterworks In The Detroit Institute of Arts. Washington and London: The Detroit Institute of Arts and Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995, cat. no. 78.