Bari tobacco pipe

Bari tobacco pipe
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
1903.2.2 .1 .2
[Southern Sudan] Bahr el Jebel Gondokoro
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1903
Bamboo Plant , Wood Plant , String , ?Cotton Yarn Plant , Pottery
Carved , Twisted , Bound , Tied , Socketed , Handbuilt Fire-Hardened Decorated Incised
Total L = 564 mm. Bamboo stem L = 510 mm; short bamboo piece diam = 8, opening = 4.5 mm; longer piece, L = 412, diam = 14.3, opening = 10 mm; pottery bowl L = 81, W top = 25, W top opening = 17, W bowl rim = 44, bowl mouth W = 34 mm [RTS 21/10/2004].
73.6 g
Other Owners:
Assumed to have been collected by William Leonard Stevenson Loat, in March 1902; presented to PRM in February 1903 [RTS 21/10/2004].
Field Collector:
?William Leonard Stevenson Loat
PRM Source:
William Leonard Stevenson Loat
Donated February 1903
Collected Date:
March 1902
Tobacco pipe consisting of a bamboo stem [.2] fitted with a pottery pipe bowl [.1]. The stem has been made in 2 pieces, each cut from a length of hollow, segmented yellow bamboo (Pantone 7510C). The smaller piece has a diameter of 8 mm and an opening through it that is 4.5 mm wide. This has been cut flat across the top, and inserted into the upper end of a longer piece of bamboo, with a diameter of 14.3 mm, and an opening 10 mm wide. Small slivers of bamboo have been jammed around the junction of the two sections to make the join secure, and a piece of twisted buff coloured string (Pantone 7506C), possibly cotton yarn, has been bound around the body just below to prevent this area splitting, with the loose end of the string tucked under the binding to secure it. The sides of the lower end of this second piece of wood have been shaved for a 27 mm long section, to allow this part to fit snugly into the ceramic bowl. The bowl itself has been hand made from a well levigated clay with numerous small mica inclusions, fired a dark brown throughout (Pantone black 7C). The upper part of this is cylindrical, with a thickened lug projecting from one side; this has been vertically pierced. The body narrows below, ending in a slightly convex and worn base, with the bowl section extending out from the side of the upper part at an acute angle; this flares out to its mouth, which has a narrow flat-topped rim. The exterior has been decorated with bands of crosshatching. A wide band runs around three sides of the upper bowl stem - with the area beneath the lug and around the base left plain - and 4 vertical bands run up the sides of the lower bowl body, with undecorated areas between, the whole framed at the top by a single narrow crosshatched band that runs around the circumference directly below the rim. Sooting is present on the bowl interior. A length of twisted fibre string has been passed through the pierced lug, secured by a knot at its base, then passed up through the hole and across to the bamboo body of the pipe, where the end has been wound around and tied off in a knot. The string is long enough to allow the pipe bowl to be fitted over the stem end; it serves as a safety cord, so that the bowl will not be lost if it comes away from the stem. The pipe is complete as a whole, although the bottom of the bowl is worn; the incised decoration contains some white and pinkish coloured pigment, but this appears random and is probably accidental rather than being added deliberately. It has a combined weight of 73.6 grams, and a total length of 560 mm. The bamboo stem by itself has a length of 510 mm, with the wider piece being 412 mm long; the pottery bowl is 81 mm long, 25 mm wide at the top of its stem, with an opening of 17 mm, and 44 mm wide at the top of the bowl rim, with an opening of 34 mm.

Collected by William Leonard Stevenson Loat at Gondokoro in March 1902; Loat
is known to have worked around Gondokoro during 1902 (see Boulenger, G.A., 1902, “List of the fishes collected by Mr. W.L.S. Loat at Gondokoro”, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (Ser. 7) 10 (38), pp 260-264) . At the time this object was collected, the Ugandan border lay just north of Gondokoro (it was moved further south in 1910). The pipe was donated to the Pitt Rivers Museum in February 1903.

It seems to be quite common to find mica mixed in with Sudanese clays. Schweinfurth noted this was the case for Bongo pottery, which he suggested made their wares very brittle; he believed this mix to be naturally occurring and that the Bongo potters did not know how to remove it from their fabrics (G. Schweinfurth, 1873, In the Heart of Africa Volume I, p. 292).

Rachael Sparks 30/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [III, p. 103] - 1903 [pencil insert] 2 [end insert] W.L.S. LOAT Esq. Cumnor, Berks . Feb. [pencil insert] 2 [end insert] - Bari tobacco pipe, Gondokoro, Uganda Prov.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes catalogue card [RTS 12/2/2004].

Detailed Pipes [Unsorted] Card Catalogue entry - Description: Tobacco pipe bowl made of pottery black [insert] dull [end insert] in colour, trumpet shaped, with stem piece shaped to hold, by means of a perforated expansion, the string which ties bowl part to stem. Bowl and stem piece ornamented with incised cross hatching. Long straight and fairly stout bamboo stem, bound at the mouthpiece end with white string, mouthpiece a length of slender bamboo fixed into the thicker bamboo stem. Colour of stem and mouthpiece yellow. Length 56 cm, bowl part 6.4 cm, stem 39.8 cm, mouthpiece 9.8 cm. Bowl height 6 cm, outer width of rim 4.5 cm. People: Bari. Locality: Gondokoro, Uganda, March 1902. How Acquired: dd WLS Loat 1903 [Drawing].

?Pre-PRM label - Bari pipe, Gondokoro. March 1902. Uganda [rectangular paper tag, still tied to object; RTS 21/10/2004].

Written on object -
BARI pipe, GONDOKORO, UGANDA. March 1902. Pres. by W.L.S. Loat Esq. 1903 [RTS 21/10/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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