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"Vintage African Ashanti (Asante) chief stool, bench or seat. Carved from wood featuring hammered metal with geometric and dagger inlays. Ashanti, also known as Asante, are part of the Akan ethnic group and are native to the Ashanti Region of modern-day Ghana.
The Golden Stool is the royal and divine throne of kings of the Ashanti people and the ultimate symbol of power in Asante. According to legend, Okomfo Anokye, High Priest and one of the two chief founders of the Asante Confederacy, caused the stool to descend from the sky and land on the lap of the first Asante king, Osei Tutu. Such seats were traditionally symbolic of a chieftain's leadership, but the Golden Stool is believed to house the spirit of the Asante nation—living, dead and yet to be dead.
Symbology and ritual
Each stool is understood to be the seat of the owner's soul and when not in use it is placed against a wall so that other souls passing by may relax on it. The Golden Stool is the royal throne and must never touch the ground; instead it is placed on a blanket. During inauguration, a new king is raised and lowered over the stool without touching it. The Golden Stool is carried to the king on a pillow, as only the Asantehene himself is allowed to handle it. During solemn occasions, the Golden Stool is placed on the king's left on a throne of its own, the hwedom dwa (Ashanti, throne facing the crowd).
Good antique condition, light wear and distressing commensurate with age and use.
22.5" x 12" x 16"h, seat 14.5"