Dinka Tuich trumpet

Dinka Tuich trumpet
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
Antelope Horn Animal , Gourd Plant , Animal Hide Skin , Goat Hair Animal , Cattle Dung Animal , String , Plant Fibre
Carved , Hollowed , Perforated , Stitched , Twisted , Strung Tied Knotted
Total L = 900 mm; horn L = 560, W = 70, th = 53 mm; embouchure diam = 18 by 16 mm; gourd diam = 150, bell mouth diam = 38; dung sealing strip W = 30; L tassel = 210 (hair only), diam skin disc = 37.6, cord diam = 3.7, string diam = 1 mm [RTS 8/12/2004].
613.3 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Purchased by Patti Langton for 3 on 20th 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:
20 February 1979
Side-blown trumpet, consisting of a body carved from a large antelope horn, with a narrow rounded point at the solid proximal end and a hollowed out body that tapers out to the bell end, with marked ribbing around its circumference. This follows the natural curvature of the horn, with an oval embouchure cut into the lower part of the convex side; the material is a dark brown colour throughout (Pantone black 7C). A spherical gourd has been attached at the distal end to form the bell. At the join, both horn and gourd have been perforated 7 times around their edges, and sewn together using a light cream coloured twisted 2-ply fibre string (Pantone 7401C). The join is sealed by a thick layer of greyish brown cow dung (Pantone 7530C), smeared around the outside face, with some tool marks and fingerprints impressed in the surface; there are several vertical cracks around this, and it has been partially re-glued in place and restored. The gourd, which is an orangey brown colour (Pantone 723C), has a smaller circular opening cut into it to form the bell mouth.

At the proximal end, the tip of the horn has been perforated, and a decorative tassel attached using a length of thick yellow hide cord, made from 2 strands twisted together (Pantone 7507C). This has been tied loosely through the hole, with the tassel threaded onto its body and secured with a knot at its base. At the top of the tassel is a circular disc of gourd, probably cut out of the bell, with the orange side uppermost and a hole through the centre. The tassel body is made from 3 separate sections strung one above the other. Each is composed of thin strips of goat skin with long hair attached to the outer surface; each strip has been wound into a spiral to make a circular disc, concave on the underside and with a hole at its centre, through which the cord can pass; string fibre stitching keeps each spiral together - using the same type of string as used to attach the gourd bell. These discs are arranged as 2 bunches of white hair (Pantone 7401C), with black goat's hair sandwiched in between (Pantone black 6C).

The object is nearly complete, excepting the missing areas of dung sealing described above; there is also some surface damage to the horn body. It has a weight of 613.3 grams, and a total length of around 900 mm, or 560 mm long from tip of horn to gourd base. The horn has a maximum width of 70 mm and thickness of 53 mm; the hole through its tip is 6 mm wide. The embouchure has a diameter of 16 by 18 mm. The gourd bell has a diameter of 150 mm, and a bell mouth 38 mm in diameter, while the dung sealing strip is 30 mm wide. The decorative tassel is 210 mm long (not including the cord), and the component disc has a diameter of 37.6 mm. The suspension cord has a diameter of 3.7 mm, and the stitching string, which could be European, a diameter of around 1 mm.

Purchased by Patti Langton on 20th February 1979 for £3, as part of the British Institute in East 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 type of horn is known as
muong, and is used in hunting and during initiation ceremonies.

Currently on display in the Upper Gallery, Case 26A.

Rachael Sparks 25/9/2005.

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 alottment 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 [insert] (the collectors) [end insert] were offering money, the Dinka in surrounding compounds came daily, increasing prices as often as they could! [p. 197] 1979.20.85 Waterbuck (?) sideblown horn instrument used in hunting and at initiation ceremonies; muong . This has a gourd attached with rope and with cow dung, which improves the sound. Goat hair ornament also attached. L. horn + gourd = ca. 70 cm. Coll. 20.2.79; £3. Coll. no. 198.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number in red biro] - A5-F34-24.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 4/3/2004].

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 [RTS 12/1/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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