material: wood and beads
vendor: hamill gallery
Most Bamileke art (and the work of other kingdoms of the Cameroon Grasslands) relates to kings and important chiefs, who defined their power by the display of prestige objects during important ceremonies. Stools were among the most important of these objects. The motifs include leopards, human figures and heads, spiders, lizards and other subjects plus abstract designs. The spider, often found abstracted in repeating patterns, is a symbol of wisdom. The leopard; cunning, fast, mobile and guardedly aggressive, signifies the ability to survive and is the most important royal icon, often even the king's alter ego. Glass beads embellish the most important royal stools.