Wooden club

Wooden club
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] [White Nile]
Date Made:
?Before 1874
Wood Plant
Carved , Stained , Polished
L = 800, head diam = 63.8 x 69, shaft max diam = 35.8 x 33.5 mm [RTS 9/5/2005].
547 g
Other Owners:
Pitt Rivers sent this object to Bethnal Green Museum for display, as part of the first batch of objects sent there, probably in 1874. This object was listed in the Delivery Catalogue as having been transferred from South Kensington Museum in 1884.
PRM Source:
Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers founding collection
Donated 1884
Collected Date:
?Prior to 1874
Club carved from a single piece of wood, consisting of a cylindrical head with a slightly convex top and straight sides, cut flat at the base and projecting out from a slender handle that tapers to a pointed butt. Both head and handle are oval in plan view, and have been stained a reddish brown colour throughout and then polished (Pantone 4695C). The object is complete, with a few very minor cracks in the head and some surface damage at the butt. It has a weight of 547 grams and is 800 mm long, with a head diameter of 63.8 by 59 mm and a maximum shaft diameter of 35.8 by 33.5 mm just below the head.

This club is said to have come from the ‘White Nile’, a term that was probably used in a very generic sense at the time of collection to refer to the Bahr el Abiad and Bahr el Jebel rivers, or the areas immediately around them. It was sent to the Bethnal Green Museum for display, as part of the first batch of objects sent there, probably in 1874, then subsequently displayed in the South Kensington Museum, before becoming part of the founding collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1884.

Rachael Sparks 28/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book IV entry [p. 15] - [insert] 3-figure numbers are P.R. printed catalogue of weapons numbers [end insert] [insert] 1884.12 [end insert] WEAPONS CLUBS [insert] 19 [end insert] - 370 - Club of yellow-brown wood with round-mallet head and pointed butt. WHITE NILE.
Additional Accession Book Entry [page opposite 15] - [drawing].
Black book entry [p. 16] - 348-9. Knob-headed Clubs (2). Probably White Nile. [insert] 1884.12.19 & ?28 [end insert].
Delivery Catalogue II entry [p. 202] - Development of mushroom headed and other forms of clubs. Australian, N. American etc etc. [p. 203] - Club wood. White Nile. 370 Screen 12 [cases?] 246 & 247.
Pitt Rivers Catalogue Entry (1874) [p. 73] - SCREEN 12. CLUBS. [p. 75] 370. Club similar to No. 369 [knob-headed club]. From the White Nile.
Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes or clubs catalogue cards [RTS 30/1/2004].
Pitt Rivers Museum label - 370. CLUB, SIMILAR TO NO. 369 [digit not clear] FROM THE WHITE NILE [rectangular paper label stuck to surface, partially damaged]; AFRICA, Sudan. Wooden club with cylindrical head. Pitt Rivers Founding Collection 1884. 1884.12.19 [plastic coated label, tied to object; RTS 10/5/2005].
Written on object - WHITE NILE. P.R. Coll. ... (370). HB cat. XLVII [ink, on handle; RTS 6/4/2005].

Display History:
Displayed in Bethnal Green and South Kensington Museum (V&A) [AP].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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