The figure in these Chokwe stools is an ancestor holding her head in sorrow. She is worried that her descendants are not honoring her as they should and fears that they may be punished for their misdeeds. Many African cultures, including the Chokwe, believe death is not an end, but merely a transition to the spirit world. Departed ancestors continue to play an active role in the life of the living, providing protection and guidance.
Culture and Traditions
Chokwe, also spelled Ciokwe, or Cokwe, also called Bajokwe, or Badjok, Bantu-speaking people who inhabit the southern part of Congo (Kinshasa) from the Kwango River to the Lualaba; northeastern Angola; and, since 1920, the northwestern corner of Zambia.
Mr. Robert Levy donated in the year 2003.
Date of Digitization
J. B . Coleman Library
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Prairie View A&M University, "CHOKWE Culture of Arts from the southern part of Congo (Kinshasa) from the Kwango River to the Lualaba; northeastern Angola; and, the northwestern corner of Zambia - (Stool)" (2022). African Sculptures and Masks. 60.