The Bamileke king of Cameroon sits on this stool during public ceremonies. This is the only time that the stool is used and the king is the only one to ever use it. The rosette design that adorns the piece is a visual compliment to the earth spider, heteroscodra crassipes. Believe it or not this spider plays a crucial role in solving problems that a Bamileke village might face by a process called spider divination. Because it lives underground, the earth spider is viewed as a link between this world and that of the ancestors. During this ritual a bottomless and topless container is placed to surround an earth spiders hole. Palm leaf chips, marked with special symbols are then positioned to cover the opening (see photo below). When the spider exits, the chips are moved and examined by the spider. After this is done the village diviner interprets the chips (signs) by their positioning. This is an old and well- respected Bamileke practice. In Bamileke art, the spiders' shape is represented by a cross, "X", rosettes and a six or eight star pattern, all of which are symbolic of divine knowledge. Like the spider, the king is thought to be at the center of sacred knowledge and the resolver of problems. Our handcrafted stools are carved from one piece of Teum wood. Please note that our selections are still carved from the traditional, heavy, hardwood unlike most that are seen on the market today that are hastily created from lighter, less dense materials!
The dimensions range from 12 inches tall with 12 inch diameters to stools that are 2 feet tall with diameters over 3 feet!
3/17: A shipment of Bamileke stools will arrive. Please contact us with your ideal size and color.