11 Duho Carver

duho carver final

The duho caver

In the cool shade of the neighbouring tree, the master carver finishes work on a duho (ceremonial chair). His toolkit, consisting of a hafted axe and adze, along with extra blades made of imported jadeite stones, is laid out next to him on a woven cotton cloth. The wood chips from the carving, which has taken months of work, litter the ground below the plaited mat. He takes his time in working the surface of the duho with a smoothing stone - one of the many careful, final touches necessary to ensure a fine finish and lustre. His investment of time, and the quality of the carving, will reflect well on his community when the duho is used by the cacique (chief) during important events, such as hosting visiting dignitaries. These seats were the prerogatives of caciques, reflecting their wealth, connection and power - and their abilities to commission talented artists. 

The duho illustrated is directly inspired by one recovered in the 19th century from a cave near the Blue Hills Settlement, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. It shows some of the characteristic features of Lucayan duhos: long, low back terminating in a square tip, tall, cylindrical legs, anthropomorphic/zoomorphic heads and bodies, elaborate two-dimensional designs, and shell or gold inlays for eyes, mouth and arm joints.  



Unit 11 Duho carver (JPG, 0.7MG)