Lotuko arm ornament

Lotuko arm ornament
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Navera
Cultural Group:
Lotuko [Otuho]
Date Made:
By 1933
Animal Tail , Cattle Hair Animal , Plant Fibre , ?Glass
Perforated , Twisted , Tied , Strung , ?Moulded
Diam across arm loop = 65 mm, L tassel = 280 mm, L string = 390 mm, diam cord = 1 mm, diam beads = 5.5 mm, L beads = 5 mm [RTS 8/6/2004].
48.5 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife on 6th April 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:
6th April 1933
Upper arm ornament consisting of a series of 91 opaque glass beads strung onto a twisted plant fibre cord, in the following order: 3 blue (Pantone 2975C), 2 white, 2 blue, 70 white, 1 yellow (Pantone 128C), 2 white, 1 blue, 5 white and 5 blue beads. The end of the string has been doubled over, forming a circle to fit around the upper arm, and then fastened to the body with a short fibre cord loop. This fastening loop is loose, and can be moved up and down the body to widen or constrict the arm loop as required. At present, this encompasses a small diameter of 65 mm. The beads are spherical, with a broad flat section running around their circumference that is probably a mould line. The other end of the bead string has been passed through a hole at the top of a tassel and knotted at the other side to secure it. The tassel is made from a cow's tail with dark brown to black cow hair (Pantone black 4C). The object is complete, although some hair may have been lost near the top of the tassel; most beads are encrusted with dirt. The tassel is 280 mm long, and measures 14.6 by 7.8 across the top, where the bead string is attached. The bead string has a current length of 390 mm (with the arm loop), and the cord has a diameter of 1 mm. The beads themselves are very similar in size, a typical one having a diameter of 5.5 mm and a length of 5 mm; the moulded band around the sides is 1.5 mm in width. In its entirety, the object weighs 48.5 grams.

Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah at Navera on 6th April 1933, during a shooting expedition.

This ornament was worn on the left upper arm, and is known as
nanalong. It is said to be worn for good luck.

For similar moulded glass beads, see 1940.7.049 (Labwor, North Uganda) and 1934.8.104 (Jur, Luklun). This type of bead also appears in Arkell's collection of trade bead sample cards (see 1971.15.195, 1971.15.196 and 1971.15.257; the cards were purchased in Omdurman and El Fasher, and the beads shown on them were made in Jablonec nad Nisou in the Czech Republic. For other uses of these glass beads with broad moulded ribs around the centre amongst the Lotuko, using a similar range of colours, see 1934.8.62 (an apron) and 1934.8.66 (a necklet or arm ornament).

This object is currently on display in the Lower Gallery, case 111A.

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. 256, insert] 76 [end insert] - Nanalong , black cow’s tail tassel mounted on string of beads, worn on left upper arm. NAVERA (464).

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 1/6/2004].

?Pre-PRM label -
464 B [brown paper tag, tied to object; RTS 8/6/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label -
Nanalong , black cow's tail on a bead sstring, for wearing on left upper arm. LATUKA, NAVERA, E. SUDAN. 4 30' N., 32 30' E. d.d. Major Powell-Cotton, 1934 (464) [on reverse of card in pencil] For good luck [Metal-edged rectangular tag, tied to object; RTS 8/6/2004].

Related Documents File - Typewritten List of "Curios Presented to Dr. Balfour by Major & Mrs. Powell-Cotton. Tribe Latuka". This object appears as item 464: "Black cow's tail, with bead string of white & blue, for left upper arm, native name Nanalong , 6/4/33 Navera, about 4.30 N 32.30 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].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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