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Hemba double caryatid stool from Democratic Republic of Congo

In many cultures throughout the southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo—indeed, throughout much of Africa—the seats of leaders are important symbols of power and authority.

This work may be related to the atelier of the northern Hemba, whose caryatid stools are characterized by the standing posture of the woman, the carving of the seat, the position of the arms and hands, the hand’s palm turned frontward.