Southern Larim flute

Southern Larim flute
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
1979.20.192 .1
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Loryok
Cultural Group:
Southern Larim
Date Made:
By March 1979
Animal Horn , Animal Hide Skin , Brass Metal , Plant Fibre , Wax ?
Carved , Hollowed , Perforated , Covered Recycled? , Twisted Tied Stitched , Decorated Impressed Tooled
L = 212; embouchure = 46 x 29.6, internal opening = 30 x 20; finger-hole diam = 3; hide covering L = 90; upper brass band L = 18, lower band L = 27; suspension loop L = 460, diam = 4.3 mm [RTS 7/9/2005].
85.3 g
Other Owners:
Collected by Jill Goudie from the base camp at Loryok for the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan, headed by Patti Langton, between 20th and 25th March 1979 [RTS 12/5/2004].
Field Collector:
Jill Goudie
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
20 - 25 March 1979
Notched end-blown flute carved from the tip of an animal horn, that is a translucent creamy brown colour mixed with darker brown streaks (Pantone 7501C and Black 7C). The embouchure has been cut to form concave front and back edges, while the body curves and twists slightly below, following the natural shape of the horn, tapering in to its distal end where there is a single finger-hole cut into the tip. The upper body has been covered with a rectangular piece of yellowish brown animal hide (Pantone 7509C), folded over the inside of the embouchure and sewn down the side edges sewn using twisted yellowish brown plant fibre cord (Pantone 7507C). There is some decorative tooling around the upper part of this sheath, consisting of 5 parallel rows of impressed dots, that curve down from the lip on one side. 2 small loops have been threaded through this seam, made of strips of hide with some buff hair left on the surface. These have been used to attach a long suspension loop, made from a pale yellow European 2-ply twisted cord (Pantone 7402C) with its ends knotted together and burnt at the tips. Inside the embouchure a single lump of an unknown material has been added to one side of the opening, to narrow the embouchure and guide the breath. This is usually made from a wax or resinous material, but currently has some kind of white surface coating that obscures the colour of the material beneath. The lower part of the instrument has been decorated with 2 bands, cut from brass cylinders and possibly recycled from cartridges (Pantone 871C). The lower band continues right to the distal end. The object is complete, but has some corrosion around the edges of the finger-hole, a few small tears in the edges of the brass. It has a weight of 85.3 grams and is 212 mm long; the embouchure measures 46 by 29.6 mm across its outside edges and 30 by 20 mm across the internal opening; the finger-hole has a diameter of 3 mm; the hide covering is 90 mm long; the upper brass band is 18 mm long and the lower one has a length of 27 mm, and the suspension loop has an extended length of 460 mm and diameter of 4.3 mm.

Collected by Jill Goudie at Loryok, with feather 1979.20.192.2, sometime between 20th and 25th March 1979, as part of the the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan, directed by Patti Langton.

This object was used in hunting, and contained a cleaning feather that would be used to oil the interior (see 1979.20.192.2). For a similar Larim flute, known as
teri and used to identify a specific hunter after making a kill, see 1979.20.176.1.

Rachael Sparks 19/9/2005.

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 alootment of the collection do not appear on her list and have been added here. See Related Documents file as well. [p. 204] 1979.20.136 - 193 SOUTHERN SUDAN the LARIM The Larim live about 50 miles west of Kapoeta in the eastern corner of S. Sudan. They are a non-Nilotic pastoral people, living in permanent mountain villages. They are part of the Didinga-Longarim-Murle language group. They live in the Boya Hills - Boya is the Topasa (neighbouring group) name for the Larim, which is also used by the Administration. Longarim is the Didinga's name for them but they call themselves the Larim, and that is used here. [p. 205] The LARIM The collection was made in two parts. The "PL" labelled material was collected during Pat Langton's stay in a village in the Northern Larim area. The "∆" labelled material was collected by Jill Goudie, one of the archaeologists on the Expedition, from the base camp LARYOK, among the Southern Larim. Money is known among the Larim but it is used only for buying beads for women from Kapoeta, or for the few members of the group who would go to Juba. The women especially were more interested in exchange gifts of salt, cloth & soap. The Larim material is documented in three parts: a) General Larim pieces - no information as to which section of the Larim it comes from b) the "PL" Collection from the Northern Larim, from three of the eight Northern Larim clans c) the Southern Larim material collected by Jill Goudie, numbered "∆". [p. 210] 1979.20.163 - 193 SOUTHERN LARIM: Collected by Jill Goudie between 20.3 and 25.3.79 [p. 213] 1979.20.192 Hunting whistle made from horn with hide cover and brass mouthpiece (with a feather stuck in). L = ca. 23 cm. Coll. no. ∆47; not on list.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number in red biro] - A5-F36-22, 23.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 26/5/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - S. SUDAN. SOUTHERN LARIM. Hunting whistle. P. Langton Coll. 47 [in triangle] 1979.20.192 [plastic label with metal eyelet, tied to object; RTS 1/9/2005].

Related Documents File -
1979.20 contains a typed packing list, which has been annotated; a typed list of objects arranged by Langton collection numbers and with pencil and biro annotations, and a handwritten list of objects by museum number, essentially repeating this information and annotated with PRM photo numbers in red. This handwritten list seems to be the direct source for the accession book entry. This item appears at the end of Langton's list as a typed addition, 'hunting whistle', and the collection number ∆47 has been added earlier, in the section under the heading 'Southern Larim. These were all collected between 20.3.79 and 25.3.79' [RTS 12/1/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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