Lango fringe apron

Lango fringe apron
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
North of Lake Kyoga
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1925
Animal Hide Skin , ?String , Ochre
Plaited , Knotted , Bound
L = 718 mm, L apron strings = 126 mm, Tail W = 9 mm, Th = 7.5 mm, belt body W = 8 mm, Th = 6.5 mm, diam strings = 1 mm; W binding strips = 5 mm [RTS 30/7/2004].
101.1 g
Local Name:
chip [cip]
Other Owners:
Jack Herbert Driberg
Field Collector:
Jack Herbert Driberg
PRM Source:
Jack Herbert Driberg
Donated 1925
Collected Date:
By 1925
Belt and fringe apron made from 3 strips of dark brown animal hide (Pantone black 4C), plaited tightly together to create a herringbone design, and bent into a circle that would fit around the waist. The long ends have been left unplaited, and gathered together into a bundle that extends for a further 276 mm beyond the body, forming a 'tail' that would stand stiffly out from the back. This tail is kept stiff with another thin strip of hide that has been wound tightly around the body. The binding been secured at its base by pushing it through the plaited body of the belt; a second binding strip has been knotted on halfway along the tail before being tied off near the top. An apron made of a fringe of loose hanging strings with swollen ends has been attached to the centre of the belt, opposite the tail. These are heavily coated with red ochre, as is the belt itself (Pantone 477C), which partially obscures the method by which the strings are attached - although there seems to be an additional hide strip woven in and out of the body at this point. The object is complete and intact, although the end of the binding strip is beginning to fray. There are a few odd dark hairs projecting from the tail, beneath the binding; these could be the remnant of hairs still attached to the surface of some of the hide strips. The apron has a weight of 101.1 grams, and is 718 mm long. The tail measures by 7.5 by 9 mm across its bound area; the binding strips are 5 mm wide. The belt body is 6.5 by 8 mm wide; the string apron has a length of 126 mm, while each individual string is roughly 1 mm in diameter.

Collected by Jack Herbert Driberg in Uganda, North of Lake Kyoga, and donated to the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1925.

According to museum records, this type of apron was worn by married women, and is known as a
chip. Driberg discusses such garments in his book on the Lango: “ From about the age of five girls wear over the pudenda a few strings or threads (called chip) made from the hibiscus, increasing in number with the age of the wearer. There are attached to a thin leather girdle ( del ) which is fastened behind and twisted into a stick-like leather continuation ( achudi) which projects backwards. If the father is prosperous, an unmarried girl wears an ariko , or apron of small metal chains in place of threads. (J.H. Driberg 1923, The Lango, pp 64-65). The chip and achudi del are illustrated by a photograph opposite p. 64. According to Driberg, achudi is simply defined as a protuberance or projection. ' Achudi del ' is specifically the projecting ends of this type of girdle (J.H. Driberg, 1923, The Lango, p. 359, defined in his Lango-English dictionary at the back of the volume).

Driberg's discussion in his book does not seem to suggest that this particular style of apron should be associated specifically with married women, as stated in the accession book entry - unless this is implicit in the size of the
chip. Two decades after Driberg published his book on the Lango, Hayley observed that 'The chip is only worn on certain ceremonial occasions by the modern woman who wears clothes' (T.T.S Hayley, 1947, The Anatomy of Lango Religion and Groups, p. 183).

Rachael Sparks 25/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [VII, p. 189] - 1925 [pencil insert] 14 [end insert] J.H. DRIBERG , Esq. c/o the Postmaster, Khartoum. Specimens collected by himself among the LANGO tribe in the UGANDA PROTECTORATE, N. of LAKE KIOGA. Viz: [...] 1925.202 [pencil insert] 6 [end insert] - Married woman's girdle of plaited hide with string work apron ( chip ) in front & a stiff 'tail' behind.
Additional Accession Book Entry [VII, p. 25 top, in pencil] - blue numbers not valid & not on specimens. Inserted by an assistant in error.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 24/5/2004].

?Pre-PRM label - Lango chip married [female symbol] dress [large paper tag, written in pencil, kept with object; RTS 30/7/2004].

Old Pitt Rivers Museum label -
Married woman's belt & fringe apron ( chip ). LANGO tribe, UGANDA PROT. (N. of L. Kioga). Pres. by J.H. Driberg 1925 [rectangular metal-edged tag, tied to object; RTS 30/7/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
Help | About | Bibliography