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The versatile African slot chair, table

REAL ESTATE
By Wangeci Kanyeki | July 21st 2016

Most rural African home-settings have a variation of this versatile slot chair or table which was popularly used in villages. A portable and durable furniture piece, it is collapsible and doesn't occupy much space. It can be set up and dismantled with minimal effort.

Kenyan artist Frederick Bundi Raria of Febra Creations has re-invented the African slot chair and table into a modern piece with a strong ethnic formation. Here are the different slot chairs and tables in the market:

Round slot table

Made from mature jacaranda tree, the wood is treated to preserve it from insects then it is handcrafted into semi-circular African patterns or an African animal print such as giraffe, zebra, cheetah or crocodile. No nails are used on this piece of furniture.

The slot legs are made to match the table-top and are joined using strong marine glue. After carving, the artists smoothen it with sandpaper then burns and smokes it to achieve the African chocolate colour. A rectangular contour abstract design provides an alternative shape.

Console table

Also called a moon table due to its semi-circular shape or flower table, this versatile table stands against a wall and is appropriate for displaying photographs or flowers at an entry hall.

The table top measures 36" x 18" x 36" and can be positioned underneath a matching arch mirror to catch a last-minute reflection before you leave the house.

The detachable slot legs are stable and solid and the table is made in such a way that it does not rock or topple over. The threesome semi-circle surrounds a mid-section that is machine-textured to get that small-pebble like effect.

Slot camping chairs

His and hers detachable chairs provide straight support system, especially for the respected village elders and for the aged. Made from solid Meru teak wood and carved with African patterns, the man's chair has a carving of a masculine Maasai warrior while the woman's chair depicts a bare-chested lady picking fruits and placing them into a basket on her head.

The bottom of the slot chairs have lion faces: a possible prey for a courageous Maasai warrior. There is a double human picture of women faces peering from under the ladies' slot chair perhaps gossiping about some imaginary or fictitious story.

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