Strongly represented in African tribal art, one-piece solid wood carving in the Devils style of carving is quite unique.
For the simple reason that this style of carving takes place while the artist goes into a trance, following a shamanic ritual, during which time he sees shapes and scenes that he then translates into wood. Shamanism and trance are important parts of African culture and spiritual life, which is why it was impossible not to find them in woodcarving.
Carvers can belong to any tribe if they are initiated into this type of carving and if they can access the trance state in order to create. This is why the name of the style is given to the type of shapes predominantly found in furniture pieces or African wood carvings: of devils. As with the Animals style, animals and vegetation.
In the Devils style, the elements that the artist sees during the shamanic ritual are not necessarily human or animal figures, nor vegetation, but can be fantastical, asymmetrical, abstract elements that are totally interesting and fascinating.
This is why furniture carved in wood in one piece is usually of medium size, such as side tables, as the trances do not last very long.
Obviously, the trances contain all that the carving artist has accumulated in terms of myths, stories, fables and symbols, and the results of this very special process are among the most appreciated by those who see the cultural richness and mystery of Africa in the purest forms of tribal art.