Anuak beaded hat

Anuak beaded hat
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan]
Cultural Group:
Anywaa [Anuak]
Date Made:
By 1936
Plant Fibre , String , Animal Hide Skin , Bead , Glass
Basketry , Covered , Strung , Tied , Coiled , Woven Repaired (local)
Ht = 153, base cap L = 205, W = 190 mm; max W with beaded covering = 215 mm; fibre strip edging W = 2 mm; bead L = 4, diam = 4 mm [RTS 11/1/2005].
473.1 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Presumably collected by Evans-Pritchard during his period of fieldwork amongst the Anuak between early March and May 1935 [RTS 18/6/2004].
Field Collector:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1936
Collected Date:
March - May 1935
Basketwork cap with a conical body, open at the apex. This has been made using a coiling technique, with a frame built of thin lengths of flexible plant fibre or twig, bent into a spiral, and joined to adjacent coils by narrow strips of dark brown fibre in a tight weave (Pantone 462C). A lighter yellowish brown strip has been wrapped around the lower edge of the cap, giving it a neat finish (Pantone 729C). There are traces of red ochre coating the interior. The outer surface has been covered with strings of glass beads, wound in a continuous spiral around the body, and secured with 7 vertical rows of fibre stitching around the circumference, that run down from the apex to the lower edge. These beads have been arranged in thick bands of a single colour, beginning with 6 rows of light purple at the base (Pantone 7451C), 6 rows of yellow (Pantone 127C), 8 rows of turquoise (Pantone 632C), 3 rows of dark blue (Pantone 2748C), 16 rows of turquoise, and then 5 rows of white beads at the top. The apex is decorated with 3 short lengths of string threaded with opaque black glass beads (Pantone black 6C), that hang loosely down over the edge. All these beads are of a similar type and dimensions, consisting of short cylinders with longitudinal holes made from an opaque glass that is the same colour throughout the body. A typical bead is 4 mm long and 4 mm in diameter. There is a slight irregular ridging to the body, representing the shape of the basketry frame beneath. There are also at least 2 narrow hide strips sewn to the outer surface, below the bead covering, extending upwards from the lower edge on opposite sides of the cap, and only partially visible, and some string sewn over a small area of the brim that may be a local repair. The cap has a weight of 473.1 grams, and is complete and in good condition, although the surface of a few beads is slightly chipped. The cap is 153 mm high, with a base diameter of 205 by 190 mm; the maximum width is 215 mm including the beaded covering; the fibre strips that provide the lower edge have a width of 2 mm.

Collected by Evans-Pritchard during his period of fieldwork amongst the Anuak between early March and May 1935
(E.E. Evans-Pritchard, 1940, The Political System of the Anuak of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, p. 3).

This type of hat is known in Anuak as
aduda, and is worn by girls of high rank at marriage ceremonies; “ when the daughter of a noble marries … [the bride comes] wearing around her neck a string of dimui beads and bearing in her hand a dem spear. She is draped around the waist with a leopard’s skin and wears on her head a cap decorated with beads ( aduda ). The skin and the cap become the property of the bridegroom.” (E.E. Evans-Pritchard, 1940, The Political System of the Anuak, p. 113). Compare this example with 1936.10.67, which is a smaller version of the same type of cap, as it would look when the glass beads have been removed from it after the marriage ceremony. The hat was illustrated in the leaflet, "On Top of the World: An Exhibition of Hats and Headgear at the Pitt Rivers Museum" in 1986.

The type of bead used on this cap is often seen on trade bead cards under the name 'pipe bead'.

This object is currently on display in the Court, case 21A.

Rachael Sparks 30/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 410] - 1936 [insert] 10 [end insert] E. EVANS-PRITCHARD, M.A., Exeter College, Oxford. - Specimens collected by himself in the EASTERN SUDAN, while travelling with a Grant from the Rockefeller Leverhulme Trustees, viz: [p. 416] [insert] 66 [end insert] - Aduda , conical cap of basket-work, covered outside with vari-coloured beads; worn by girls of high rank at marriage ceremonies. ANUAK.
Additional Accession Book Entry [p. 415] - 1936.10.66 number given - LW.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 30/1/2004].

Old Pitt Rivers Museum label - Adudä , beaded hat worn by girls of high rank at marriage ceremony. ANUAK, E. SUDAN, d.d. E. Evans-Pritchard, 1936 [rectangular metal-edged tag, tied to object; RTS 11/1/2005].

Display History:
Current display label - Beaded cap worn by Anuak girls of high rank at marriage, Sudan. 1936.10.66 [Case C.21.A, RTS 13/12/2004].

Publication History:
Illustrated in the leaflet, "On Top of the World: An Exhibition of Hats and Headgear at the Pitt Rivers Museum", 1986, with text 'EAST SUDAN - ANUAK TRIBE. Beaded basketry cap, aduda, worn by a girl of high rank on the occasion of her wedding. A noble bridegroom would despatch the young men of his household to fetch his bride and bring her home in procession. She wore a leopard skin round her waist and a beaded cap on her head: both became the property of her husband' [RTS 25/1/2005]. Used in the trail 'mad as a hatter' [current in May 2005; RTS 11/5/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
Help | About | Bibliography