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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mbamelke African Bronze Judgment Chair

Throughout history, cultures have used various types of torture devices to force the truth, or in this case a confession. Many West and Central African tribes used "judgment chairs" in their criminal trials, chairs that were believed to have the power to the reveal the truth. This intricately decorated chair was used by the Mbamelke of Cameroon. The Mbamelke used separate chairs for both male and females. If you notice, the figures on the chair depict male and female spirits.

The accused was forced to sit in the chair during the trial and if they were found guilty of a crime, such as murder or adultery, they would actually be executed while sitting in the chair. I had the chance to sit in the chair, and for some reason, it just had a sort of macabre feeling about it. Now you know why.

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Icy BC said...

That's a beautiful chair, but I wouldn't like to be near it for any reason. Interesting read though.

Richard Wing said...

I bet it did give you a macabre feeling. Unique detail of history and a curious apparatus, for sure. Some US states still have the electric chair, too.

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