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.

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