African Nupe Stool with Eight Legs
This Nigerian stool, made by the Nupe people in the first half of the twentieth century, is carved out of one piece of wood with eight tapering legs and a circular top with incised decoration of abstract pattern. The art of the Nupe is often abstract, and they are well know for their wooden stools with patterns carved onto the top surface.
The Nupe people claim that they originally lived in Egypt, but more common tradition traces their origin to Tsoede, who fled the court of Idah and established a loose confederation of towns along the Niger River in the 15th century. The proximity of Nupe to the Yoruba Igbomina people in the south and to the Yoruba Oyo people in the southwest led to cross-fertilization of cultural influences through trade and conflicts over the centuries.