Child's rattle

Child's rattle
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
?Sudan , ?Congo, Democratic Republic of
[Southern Sudan?] [?Al Istiwa'iyah] [?Equatoria] ?Bahr el Jebel ?Eastern Equatoria ?Western Equatoria
Palm Leaf Plant , Wood Plant , Plant Seed?
Plaited , Basketry
Total L = 287; head L = 93.5, W = 102.5, th = 34.5; handle L = 200, diam = 12 x 11; strip W = 18 mm [RTS 12/9/2005].
22.6 g
Other Owners:
Collected by William Ernest Taylor while working for the Church Missionary Society in East Africa, and purchased from his widow Catherine Taylor after his death in October 1927 [RTS 10/2/2005].
Field Collector:
William Ernest Taylor, Church Missionary Society
PRM Source:
Catherine Taylor
Purchased December 1927
Collected Date:
1882 - 1890?
Rattle consisting of lozenge-shaped body made from broad strips of palm leaf woven together in a bias checkweave (over 1, under 1), forming a container that has been filled with medium-sized pellets of an unknown material, possibly seeds. A wooden stick has been inserted into the base of this section - at one corner of the 'lozenge' - with the remaining strips woven around it to form a long, flexible handle. The strips are a pale greenish brown colour (Pantone 7502C), and the wood below a pale pinkish brown (Pantone 7515C). The rattle is complete, but the fibre is fraying in places. It has a weight of 22.6 grams and a total length of 287 mm; the rattle head is 93.5 mm long, 102.5 mm wide and 34.5 mm thick; the handle is 200 mm long, 12 mm wide and 11 mm thick, and the constituent strips have a width of 18 mm.

Collected by William Ernest Taylor in the 'Equatorial Region' while working for the Church Missionary Society in East Africa
. This is an ambiguous term that could refer to an area including Sudan and the 'Belgian Congo'. The item was purchased from his widow, Catherine Taylor, in December 1927. The collection dates for this object were said to be between 1882 and 1890. This relates to a period before Taylor married Catherine, so the collection dates cannot have come from her direct personal knowledge. In addition, Taylor's activities for the Church Missionary Society did not seem to take him to East Equatorial Africa until after this period; he was examining chaplain to the Bishop of that region in 1895, he was working in Cairo from 1896, is recorded as visiting Omdurman in 1900, and was a missionary for the society in Khartoum for a brief period in 1903. It seems more likely that this item was collected during this later part of his career.

Rachael Sparks 19/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 88] - 1927 [insert] 84 [end insert] MRS W.E. TAYLOR Dec. Specimens collected in EAST AFRICA by the late Rev[erand]. W.E. Taylor between 1882 and 1890, viz: [p. 89, insert] 36 [end insert] - Child's rattle of plaited palm-leaf with pellets, EQUATORIAL REGION. [p. 92, summary at end of group 1927.84.1-87] P[ai]d by cheque, 30 Dec. 1927 £ 4-10-0 .
Additional Accession Book Entry [page opposite 89] - 1927.84.36 Number given HLR.

Card Catalogue Entry - EAST AFRICA, EQUATORIAL REGION Child's rattle of plaited palm leaf, with pellets. Coll. by Rev. W.E. Taylor between 1882 and 1890. Mrs W.E. Taylor Dec. 1927.

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Child's rattle of palm-leaf. EQUATORIAL REGION, BRIT. E. AFRICA. Rev. W.E. Taylor coll. .Pur. 1927 (Mrs Taylor) [rectangular metal-edged tag, tied to object; RTS 1/9/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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