Lotuko necklet

Lotuko necklet
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Loronyo
Cultural Group:
Lotuko [Otuho]
Date Made:
By 1933
Animal Hide Skin , Glass , Iron Metal
Hammered , ?Stained , ?Drawn , Strung
L = 136.6 mm, W = 116.8 mm, W strip = 9.7 mm, Diam bead = 15.7 mm [RTS 29/4/2004].
16.5 g
Other Owners:
Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife on 13th February 1933 during a shooting expedition
Field Collector:
Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton & Hannah Powell-Cotton (nee Brayton)
PRM Source:
Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton
Donated 1934
Collected Date:
13th April 1933
Necklet made from a narrow strip of animal hide, rectangular in section and slightly concave on both inner and outer faces. The strip has been bent into a roughly circular loop, with one end pierced with two holes, the other with a single hole through what may be the folded end of the strip. A small penannular iron ring has been passed through two of these three holes; this ring is made from a round sectioned rod, bent into an oval loop with the ends just touching. This fastener is complete and intact. A single bead has been pushed onto the strip, adjacent to the fastening; the hide has been compressed to allow it to pass through the bead's thread hole, which must have been done while the hide was still pliable as it has now hardened, fixing the bead firmly in place. The bead is made of translucent glass which has a faint bluish tinge until held up to the light, at which point it appears to be more yellow in colour. This has a regularly shaped, straight, cylindrical thread hole; along with some bubbles in the glass matrix, this suggest that the bead was produced by being drawn. It has been cut flat on its upper and lower surfaces and has convex sides, with a dent in one side that may have been made during the manufacturing process and then polished over. The surface of the bead is slightly pitted and discoloured. The hide band is complete and intact, but the end where the bead has been mounted appears to be fraying and the surface is slightly cracked on the inner face. The colour is uneven, with dark brown being dominant on the edges and inside surface (Pantone black 7C), and a lighter mottled brown on the outside face. There are faint traces of a reddish material containing glistening particles on both inside and outside surfaces this is probably ochre mixed with crushed mica (Pantone 175C). The necklet is 116.8 mm wide, 136.6 mm long, and has an internal width of 110 mm. The hide strip has a width of 9.7 mm, and is 3 mm thick. The bead has a diameter of 15.7 mm and a height of 11.4 mm, the iron fastening ring is 8 mm wide and 1 mm thick, and the entire object weighs 16.5 grams.

Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah at Loronyo on 13th April 1933, during a shooting expedition. They did not record the Lotuko name for this type of object.

For a similar necklet, see 1934.8.70. This is very similar in appearance, but the bead has been mounted to hang on the side opposite the fastening, and the hide strip has been perforated once at either end, not twice. A similar bead without accompanying necklace is supposedly Shilluk (1946.8.105), another similar bead strung onto hair cords came from the Dinka (1934.8.22), while further examples were collected by D. Gunn at Omdurman (1903.16.81 and 1903.16.84).

Similar red ochre traces were found on several Bari objects in the collection (brass and iron armlets 1934.8.50-51 and iron torque 1903.2.3), and on a Lotuko iron torque (1934.8.67) and hide necklet (1934.8.70). It is also similar to the 'red paste' in which a number of beads are embedded on Murle bracelet 1884.82.23. Some groups, such as the Zaghawa, mix ochre with crushed mica and use it as a pottery slip; it is possible that in these cases the mica was also a deliberate addition.

Rachael Sparks 24/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 248] 1934 [insert] 8 [end insert] - MAJOR P. H. G. POWELL-COTTON , Quex Park, Birchington, E. Kent. Specimens collected by himself & Mrs Cotton, during hunting trips, 1933, viz: [...] [p. 252] - From the LATUKA tribe, NAVERA, TORIT, LARONYO. [p. 254, insert] 70-71 [end insert] - [One of] 2 Necklets of hide with one large glass bead on each, ib[idem] [LARONYO] (548 & 554).

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 28/5/2004].

Related Documents File - Typewritten List of "Curios Presented to Dr. Balfour by Major & Mrs. Powell-Cotton. Latuka Tribe". This object appears as item 554: "Bead on leather and small iron ring fastener, 13/4/33 Laronyo 4.38 N 32.37 E”. Also contains details of a cine film 'some tribes of the Southern Sudan', taken by Powell-Cotton during this 1933 expedition, copies of which are now in the National Film and Television Archive and the Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent [RTS 14/3/2005].

Pre-PRM label? - 554 [Made of recycled brown card, tied to object, RTS 29/4/2004].

Old Pitt Rivers Museum label - Necklet with opalescent glass bead. LATUKA, LARONYO, E. SUDAN. 4 ° 38' N., 32° 37' E. d.d. Major Powell-Cotton, 1934 (554) [rectangular metal-edged label, tied to object; RTS 29/4/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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