- Museum number
Ritual seat (duho) sculpted from the dense tropical harwdwood guayacan, in the form of a powerful male figure crouching on all fours. The eyes, mouth and shoulders are inlaid with gold. The back of the seat is carved with a geometric design.
- Production date
- 1292-1399 (Calibrated radiocarbon dates)
Height: 22 centimetres
Length: 44 centimetres
Width: 16.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
"Found in a cave in Santa Domingo" called Duho; Arawak craftsmanship, 15th century.
Wooden four-legged stool carved in anthropomorphic form and inlaid with gold; called duho.
See ETH DOC 1307.
One of the most triking Taino masterworks is this chief's stool sculpted from the dense tropical hardwood guayacan (Guaiacum officinale). It assumes the form of a powerful male figure with ear spools crouching on all fours with his head tilted up and mouth locked open in a tense grimace. The inscribed patterns just below the shoulders and on the backrest represent cotton armbands and a waistband. The Taino prized the hardness, durability and above all the blackness of the guayacan for their most precious religious objects. Black represented night and was also equated with the absence of colour in the invisible spirit realm. Hammered gold inlay was placed in the eyes to indicate the ability to "see" into this supernatural world. Gold was also applied to the joints - the points of articulation that maintain the component body parts as an integral whole. Chiefs and shamans used these "seats of power" to intercede with the ancestor spirits (cernis) and to help manage and control the invisible forces governing the natural world as well as the human affairs.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2005-2007 1 Oct-7 Jan, London, Horniman Museum, Amazon to Caribbean: Early Peoples of the Rainforest
2008 Apr-Sept, Barcelona, Museo Barbier-Mueller D'Art Precolombi, Caribbean Before Columbus
2008-2009 Sept-Jan, Santiago de Compostela, Fundacion Caixa Galiciade, Caribbean Before Columbus
2009, Jan-Apr, Madrid, Museo de America, Caribbean Before Columbus
2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, A History of the World in 100 Objects
2014 23 Apr-01 Aug, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2014-2015 13 Dec-15 Mar, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2015 18 Apr–28 Jun, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2015 14 Jul–6 Sep, Kyushu National Museum, Dazaifu, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2015-2016 20 Sep-11 Jan, Kobe City Museum, Kobe, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2016 13 Feb-18 Jun, National Museum of Western Australia, Perth, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2016-2017 08 Sep-29 Jan, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2017 1 Mar-31 May, National Museum of China, Beijing, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2017 28 Jun-08 Oct, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2018 19 Apr-22 Jul, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valenciennes, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2019 15 May-9 Sep, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number