Batonga stools

Since this blog seems to be transitioning from all-workbenches-all-the-time to all-stools-all-the-time, I thought I’d pass along something I came across recently. The Batonga people, of present-day Zimbabwe and Zambia, have traditionally carved stools out of single log sections. The stools range from very simple:

to much more elaborate:

They sometimes incorporate a carrying handle, as the latter image shows.

Designs vary quite a bit, although there are some recurring themes. I do wonder about the long-term viability of a stool whose supports incorporate a sharp, cross-grain right angle:

Then again, the people who carve and use these probably don’t have BMI levels in quite the same range as our own.

If you do a search on “batonga stool” you’ll find quite a few for sale.

–Steve Schafer

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2 Responses to Batonga stools

  1. nrhiller says:

    There is so much I love about this post, but ultimately, the best is simply your invocation of “all stools all the time.” (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

  2. I believe that there are countries on the West coast of central Africa where the chair is an important symbol of leadership. Certainly Ghana is one.

If you don't do it, don't say it.

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