Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ceremonial Seat (Ngundja)

19th–20th century
Chokwe peoples
Wood, brass tacks
H. 14 3/8 x W. 7 3/8 x D. 10 1/2 in. (36.5 x 18.8 x 26.7 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1970
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 352
The broad expanse of open savanna in southern Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola witnessed the rise of several wealthy and powerful states during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In these societies art objects are made to show the power of the chief. Chokwe chiefs possess many articles--chairs, stools, ceremonial weapons, staffs of office, even tobacco pipes--elaborately carved with figures and scenes of village life.
Jeanne Walschot, Brussels, Belgium; Clark and Frances Stillman, New York, until 1970; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1970–1978

Jordán, Manuel, ed. Chokwe! Art and Initiation among Chokwe and Related Peoples. Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1998.

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