Dinka Tuich bead

Dinka Tuich bead
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Northern Bahr el Ghazal ?Dhangrial ?Wun Rog ?Mayen
Cultural Group:
Dinka Tuich
Date Made:
By 1979
Animal Ivory Tooth
Carved , Polished
Max L = 32.2 mm Max W = 29.3 mm Max Th = 13.6 mm Max Diam [hole] = 15 mm
11.3 g
Other Owners:
Collected by Patti Langton on 23rd February 1979 as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan [RTS 14/5/2004].
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
23 February 1979
Large bead carved from a single piece of ivory, consisting of a slightly flattened upper and lower surface, and biconical body with slightly angular carination around the centre of the outer face. The object has been perforated with a large hole for threading the bead; this is nearly circular, and placed slightly off-centre. There appears to be some wear towards one side of this hole, suggesting that the bead had been strung at some time; the collector records that this object was part of a bead necklace. There are also patches of wear on opposite sides of the bead, in the places where the bead would have touched the owner's chest if hung directly on a cord. The object is complete and intact, with some cracks developing along the direction of the grain; the surface has been polished and is currently a yellowish brown colour (Pantone 7407C). It has a length of 32.2 mm, a width of 29.3 mm, a thickness of 13.6 mm and the thread hole has a diameter of 15 mm. The bead weighs 11.3 grams.

Collected by Patti Langton on 23rd February 1979 as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan. The place of collection was not specified, but would have been either Dhangrial, Wun Rog or Mayen, all of which like in the modern administrative district of Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
For a map showing the distribution of Dinka Tuich groups, see J. Ryle, 1982, Warriors of the White Nile: The Dinka , p. 25.

This bead would have been used as part of a bead necklace. Langton did not record its Dinka Tuich name, but Nebel translates ivory as
tung akòòn (Nebel 1979, Dinka-English Dictionary, p. 153).

Rachael Sparks 15/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 185] - 1979.20 (.1 - 206) P[urchase] MISS PATTI LANGTON, DEPT. of ETHNOLOGY & PREHISTORY, OXFORD. Collection made by Patti Langton during the British Institute in East Africa's expedition to the Southern Sudan; Jan. - April 1979. The collection was made in three culture areas during the dry season. The amount paid for each object is listed if the information is known. In Jan. 1979 £1 is equivalent to 95 piastres (pt.) Sudanese. This documentation is based largely upon Patti's own list of objects and her notes on these. Sometimes objects included in the Pitt Rivers alotment of the collection do not appear on her list and have been added here. See Related Documents file as well. [p. 191] 1979.20.43-135 SOUTHERN SUDAN the DINKA TUICH. The Dinka Tuich, a pastoral people, live to the north of Wau, in Bahr el Ghazal province. This collection was made mostly at Dhangrial, the archaeological site at which we camped. Other artifacts were collected either at Wun Rog, a small town about a mile south of Dhangrial, or at Mayen, the new administrative centre 12 miles north. This was a remote area, difficult of access and rarely visited by outsiders. The Dinka are very aware of the potential of money, which is used either to help family members acquire education or entry into commerce and administration in Juba or Khartoum. Once it was known we (the collectors) were offering money, the Dinka in surrounding compounds came daily, increasing prices as often as they could! [p. 200] 1979.20.102 Ivory bead used as part of bead necklace. L = 3.2 cm. Coll. no. 261. Collected 23.2.79.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number in red biro] - A5-F33-11.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 9/3/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - AFRICA, SUDAN Northern Bahrel Ghazal DINKA TUICH Ivory bead Purchased Pat Langton 1979 Coll. No. 261 1979.20.102 [EC 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 7/10/2005]

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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