Rumbek Jur shaft straightener

Rumbek Jur shaft straightener
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] El Buheyrat Rumbek District
Cultural Group:
Rumbek Jur Beli
Date Made:
By 1929
Wood Plant
Carved , Perforated
L = 535, max W = 72.2, th = 35.8, opening L = 113, W = 22 mm [RTS 28/6/2005].
547.5 g
Other Owners:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Field Collector:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated November 1929
Collected Date:
By 1929
Tool for straightening spear shafts, carved from a single piece of wood. This has a pointed top, with sides that expand to a narrow body, then taper in again to form a cylindrical, oval sectioned handle with flat-cut base. A rectangular opening has been cut into the centre of the object, at its widest point, with the surface of the wood sloping down towards the hole at top and base on either side. A wooden shaft would be fitted through this hole, angled, and rubbed along these sloping areas to smooth its surface. There is no wear evident on these surfaces, which are only roughly finished, although a small flattened area of the shaft body immediately below has some polish consistent with use. The object is complete, with some cracks developing along the grain of the wood, and is currently a yellowish colour (Pantone 7509C). It has a weight of 547.5 grams and is 535 mm long, 72.2 mm wide across the centre and 35.8 mm thick, with an opening that measures 113 by 22 mm.

Collected by Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard in the Rumbek district, which lies in the modern administrative area of El Buheyrat, probably sometime between March and April 1929. It came from the Mittu-speaking Beli sub-group of the Rumbek Jur.

For similar objects, see 1922.25.1 and 1940.12.624-625 (Lotuko), and 1940.12.623 (Bari).

Rachael Sparks 18/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [VIII, p. 322] - [insert, pencil] 47 [end insert] E.E. EVANS PRITCHARD , Esq. Nov. [insert, pencil] 2 [end insert] - ditto [Wooden lever for straightening spear-shafts], of unusual type, with tubular slot for the spear-shaft, same data [BELI ('JUR') tribe (Mittu-speaking), RUMBEK district, BAHR-EL-GHAZAL PROVINCE, ANGLO-EGYPTIAN SUDÂN] [...] The above were collected by himself.

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Lever for straightening spear-shafts, BELI ('JUR') TRIBE. RUMBEK dist., BAHR-EL-GHAZAL PROV., A.-E. SUDAN. Pres. by E.E. Evans Pritchard 1929 [rectangular paper label, stuck to side of object]; AFRICA, Sudan, Rumbek district. BELI tribe (Jur, Mittu-speaking). Wooden shaft straightener. d.d. E.E. Evans-Pritchard, 1929.47.2 [plastic coated label, tied to object; RTS 28/6/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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