- Tribe: Hehe
- Origin: Tanzania
- Approx Age: early to mid 20th Century
- Materials: Wood
- Dimensions cm: 19 high x 26 wide
- Ref. Number: 0176
A nicely styled Hehe stool from Tanzania. Although elegantly carved, these three legged stools are considered everyday objects and are also used for sitting whilst milking cows / goats.
Music is a major form of expression within the Hehe tribe. Singing, drumming, and the playing of stringed instruments, both plucked and bowed, are widely practiced. There is little graphic or plastic art aside from minimal decoration of pottery and the carving of wooden stools.
Their early history is vague and lost in time. Most people, who were eventually to be called Hehe by Europeans, lived in isolation on a highland in south western Tanzania, north east of Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi), and had few ancestors who had been in Uhehe for more than four generations.With the exception of some pastoralists on the plains and some keeping a limited number of cattle and goats, the Wahehe were primarily an agricultural people.
Rain ceremonies at royal burial sites were formerly an annual observance. Coming of age rituals for girls are said to be ancient, whereas such rituals for boys are felt to have emerged with the age regiments that regulated life during the late nineteenth century. All these rituals have declined with the rise of schools, the end of the Hehe monarchy, and the influence of Christianity. Rituals of mourning for the dead are probably the most common forms of enactment. There are also rituals of marriage and birth, especially the birth of twins.