1080 x 729 Akan Leadership Arts, Page 13 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art

Akan Leadership Arts

by Doran Ross
Formerly Fowler Museum, UCLA

Silver stool of Asante, Mampong, AsanteGhana, 1976. Photo by Doran H. Ross.


After Sika Dwa Kofi (the Golden Stool) of the Asante nation, the Silver Stool of Mampong is next in importance. Stools are the most complex and important of all Asante arts. The Golden Stool was said to have been delivered from the sky by the priest Okomfo Anokye to land on the knees of the first Asantehene, Opoku Ware I, in the late 17th century. This stool houses the soul of the Asante nation and is the supreme symbol of the kingdom. The Silver Stool of Mampong is one of the thirteen stools that are symbols of the other states in the Asante Confederacy. It is shown here seated on its own hwedom chair (see page two of this essay) with other items from the state treasury in front. Still other stools serve as the repositories of ancestral spirits and are blackened and cared for after the death of important individuals.