A few years ago, I worked at a gallery that had a wonderful selection of African Art (for those of you looking to buy African pieces in Chicago...the gallery was Ann Nathan in River North). I loved learning about how each piece was made, and one favorite was a simple wooden stool made by the Senufo (also spelled Senofu or Senufu) tribe from Ivory Coast. This image of a low Senufo stool is from Rebecca and Roger's House Tour on AT:SF. Click below for more spots to look for these stools in Chicago...
Senufo Stool used as a side table in a room designed by Kara Mann
Close to the ground, with a concave top and thick, tapered legs, they almost look like modern sculptures. They're hand-carved from a single block of wood...in an authentic piece you can see the varied carving marks of the artist's hand. Since they're one-of-a-kind pieces, the nicest ones can be found at galleries and high-end import stores, although you're not guaranteed they'll be in stock. They range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the complexity, size, and estimated age of the stool.
Some places to look for them in Chicago: Ann Nathan Gallery, Douglas Dawson Gallery, and Jayson Home & Garden.