Today is the first day of the World Cup soccer tournament! During the British colonization of Africa in the early 19th century, the sport of soccer was introduced to the continent. As the game increased in popularity, traditional African symbols depicted on chiefs’ stools gave way to symbols projecting Western influence and power. This intriguing stool depicts the feet of two opposing athletes, each poised to kick a ball. It is carved from a single piece of hardwood, with the exception of the ball, which actually spins. Currently on view in Gallery 40.
Stool, Ca. 1920–1930. Ghana, Asante people. Wood. Museum purchase, Volunteer Council Acquisition Fund. 1999.12