Kuku waist ornament

Kuku waist ornament
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
1940.7.0107 .1
[Southern Sudan] Bahr el Jebel Kajo Kaji District
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1940
Plant Fibre , Glass , Bead
Beadwork , Strung
L = 250, W = 57, th = 3.3; bead diam = 2.5, L = 2 mm [RTS 31/3/2005].
127.5 g
Other Owners:
Samuel P. Powell
Field Collector:
Samuel P. Powell
PRM Source:
Samuel P. Powell
Loaned July 1940
Collected Date:
By 1940
Multi stranded waist ornament, made from 16 horizontal strands of slightly translucent red beads threaded onto twisted plant fibre cord, with the top and bottom strands wound halfway round the circumference to make an additional row before being tied off. The beads vary slightly in form from ring-shaped to cylindrical, but are made of the same coloured glass throughout (Pantone 1805C). For half the circumference, the strands are uninterrupted; on the opposite side, they have been gathered up in 7 places by 2 vertical rows of opaque white beads with blue stripes (Pantone 286C), stitched down over the outside face of the girdle. This means that the object forms a band of consistent width along this area, but then hangs down as a series of concentric loops for the rest of its length. It is complete and intact, with some surface dirt adhering in places. It has a weight of 127.5 grams and is 250 mm long, 57 mm wide and 3.3 mm thick; a typical bead has a diameter of 2.5 mm and is 2 mm long.

Collected by Samuel P. Powell from the Kuku, in the Kajo Kaji area of the Bahr el Jebel administrative district, and loaned to the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1940.

This waist ornament was worn by Kuku girls, along with a fringe apron (1940.7.0107.3), string 'tail' (1940.7.0107.4) and neck ornament (1940.7.0107.2).

Rachael Sparks 14/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [Loans II, p. 308] - ESTATE OF S.P. POWELL, C/O N.H. HASLAM, Esq. Manager, Westminster Bank, Stony Stratford, Bucks. Collected by himself. Data from his labels and notes. [p. 316] From the KUKU TRIBE, KAJO KAJI DISTRICT, SUDAN. 1940.7.0107 - Girl's "wardrobe", complete (4 pieces). (a) beaded girdle, red beads with blue & white bead spacers.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 27/4/2004].

Related Documents File - Appears on undated typed list: "Kuku girls wardrobe complete (four pieces) Tail - chain - apron - red beaded girdle - and hair necklace". List is annotated by hand on back: "List of Curios" and "Far from complete" [RTS 16/12/2003].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - KUKU Girl's 4-piece "Wardrobe" comprising: a) beaded girdle, b) necklace of hair & tubular beads, c) sporran of metal chains, d) tail of string & beads [brown tag, kept with 1940.7.0107.1]; girl's beaded girdle (Part of 'wardrobe' complete in 4 pieces), KUKU from Kajo Kaji, S. Sudan, S.P. Powell 1940.7.0107a [brown luggage tag, tied to object; RTS 31/3/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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