Throughout the Congo, many groups respectfully carried their leaders in palanquins or hammocks. Europeans adopted similar modes of transportation when they arrived in the area, but according to a 1908 letter in the Smithsonian's National Anthropological Archives, riding in a reclining hammock was "unbearably fatiguing and jarring." This artwork depicts two Africans transporting a bearded European man in a vehicle known as a Kongo chair. Invented by a Swedish missionary, this unusual vehicle was used by missionaries, doctors and related officials at the Red Cross station in Boma, Congo.
One piece wood carving of a bearded European man on a single wheeled chair being pushed and pulled by two African attendants. Light colored wood with dark stain.
Marcia Hersey, New York, 2010
Bryna Freyer, Washington, D.C., 2010
Patricia Kluge, Charlottesville, Virginia
Irwin and Marcia Hersey, New York
African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2013–August 12, 2019 (deinstalled February 19, 2014)
African Mosaic: Celebrating a Decade of Collecting, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2010-November 13, 2013
The Stranger Among Us, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., March 24-September 7, 1982
Cole, Herbert M. 1989. Icons: Ideals and Power in the Art of Africa. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Sotheby's. 1987. Tribal Art: Property of Various Owners. Auction catalogue (May 20, sale 5587). New York, no. 293.
Walker, Roslyn. 1982. The Stranger Among Us. Exhibition brochure. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.