Carved from a very heavy and dense wood and featuring a lovely seated female as the main support of the stool. The entire stool has a reddish patina , likely from a organic pigment that was rubbed all over the stool surface. Among the Luba, rank and title are indicated by the progressive ascension to more prestigious forms of seating, beginning with simple woven mats and proceeding onto animal pelts, clay thrones, and finally, sculpted wooden thrones such as this example. Stools figure prominently as Luba kings and chiefs accede to power and acquire the appropriate symbols of office. The main function of the stool was not to serve as a seat, but rather as a receptacle for the chief's spirit. Stools are such powerful emblems of a chief's power and identity that they were often kept secretly in a village different from their possessor's to reduce the risk of theft or desecration. Interestingly *all royal stools are considered replicas of an original prototype that was given to their first king, Mbidi Kiluwe, at the time of his coronation. This stool measures 17.5 inches tall x 10.5 inches wide.