Courtyard stools





Sankofa Birds



Rear Chalk-board doors.






African Heritage Classroom



Stools, Chalkboard doors, Sankofa Birds


The Professor's Lectern

The lectern design stems from a traditional Benin stool (agba) of the period 900-1200 A.D. The legs' interlaced pattern, called "The Rope of the World," was a symbol of status.









Courtyard Stools

Wooden stools used throughout Africa have distinctive forms and are known for their beauty and stylistic diversity. Our stools were carved by Kweku Andrews, a professor of Fine Arts in Ghana. The stools provide informal seating in the room. Andrews also created the frieze symbols, the wall bas reliefs, and the thatch roof.


Sankofa Birds. Below the chalkboard, Sankofa birds, facing in different directions, symbolize the need to learn from the past in order to prepare for the future.


The Chalkboard. The room contains two sets of chalkboard doors, one in the Front and one in the Rear. Carved by Lamidi Fakeye of Nigeria, the doors are patterned after Igbo doors and bear the lozenge-and-star design found in the Awka (Nimo) area of Nigeria. The lozenge represents the kola nut bowl (okwa uji), symbol of ritual hospitality and decorum. The star symbolizes the head of the kola nut, reinforcing ritual and social values.


The doors in the front of the room open to reveal brass plates bearing maps of ancient and medieval African kingdoms and of modern African nations. The complex cultures of the continent have produced the many languages and dialects that are listed here.



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