Moru skin quiver

Moru skin quiver
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
1930.86.18 .1
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1930
Cat Skin Animal , Animal Hide Skin
Perforated , Stitched , Bound , Woven , Repaired (local)
L = 766; top diam = 60.8 x 52.7; base diam = 44.8 x 40; handle L - 29.5, W = 15.7 mm [RTS 15/7/2005].
104.5 g
Other Owners:
This object was collected by Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard in the Southern Sudan sometime before December 1930 [RTS 4/8/2005].
Field Collector:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Purchased 31 December 1930
Collected Date:
By 1930
Quiver consisting of a rectangular piece of lion skin, bent into an oval sectioned cylinder that tapers in towards its base, with a seam running up one side, stitched together with narrow strips of brown hide (Pantone 7531C). The joining edges fold inwards, to produce a raised ridge down the inside face of the seam. The skin is a yellowish brown colour (Pantone 7509C), and quite thin, with a number of fine veins running across the surface. It is covered in traces of buff hair (Pantone 7506C), which are best preserved near the open top. A small segment of the upper body has also been repaired with a curving row of stitching; it is not clear if this is a replacement patch or simply a mend across a tear. About one third the way down the length of the body, a rectangular piece of lion skin has been sewn onto the surface, across the seam, with a row of hide stitches down either side. This is used as a base plate for 2 horizontal hide strips, passing through the walls of the quiver, and woven round with additional strips to form a narrow horizontal handle or attachment loop, most likely used to seat some kind of carrying strap. The base of the quiver has been closed with an oval piece of thick brown to reddish brown hide (Pantone 732C), and a second rectangular band wrapped around the circumference of the quiver just above; the two have been stitched together with a narrow hide thong. The hide is much more robust that the quiver walls, and provides a solid foot for the whole. The quiver is nearly complete, but has a number of tears and holes in the thin walls, and most of the surface hair has been lost - exposing a series of tool marks along the length of the body in the form of flat, narrow facets. It has a weight of 104.5 grams and is 766 mm long, with a diameter at the top end of 60.8 by 52.7 mm, and at the base of 44.8 mm by 40 mm; the handle is 29.5 mm long and 15.7 mm wide.

This object was collected by Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard in the Southern Sudan sometime before December 1930. It was associated with 14 iron headed arrows, 1930.86.18.2-15.

A number of Nilotic quivers are published by Boccassino in: R. Boccassino, 1960, "Contributo allo studio dell’ ergologia delle popolazioni Nilotiche e Nilo-camitche",
Annali Lateranensi XXIV, figures 146-165, and pp 384-6, mostly from groups such as the Bari, Dinka and Alur. Trowell and Wachsmann also discuss skin quivers briefly, which appear amongst Ugandan groups such as the Alur, Acholi, Kakwa, Kuku, Madi, Lugbara, Amba and Gishu (Trowell, M. & Wachsmann, K.P., 1953, Tribal Crafts of Uganda, p. 251).

Rachael Sparks 4/8/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [BIV, p. 138] - 1930 [insert] 86 [end insert] E.E. EVANS PRITCHARD 31 Dec. Specimens collected by himself in the EASTERN SUDAN, etc. [insert] 18 [end insert] - Quiver of lion's skin with 14 iron headed arrows [for arrows, see 1930.86.18.2-15], MORO tribe. [Base of p. 139, total of items 1930.86.1-65] - P[ai]d by cheque 31 Dec £ 25-0-0 .
Added Accession Book Entry [p. opposite 138] - 1930.86 See Related Documents File for letter from Henry Balfour to Evans-Pritchard concerning the purchase of this collection.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes catalogue card [RTS 2/6/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Quiver of skin (?lion) with 14 iron-headed arrows. MORO tribe. E. CENT. AFRICA. Evans Pritchard coll. Pur. 31.12.1930 [ink, label obverse]; 1930.86.18 (.1 = quiver, .2-15 = arrows stored separately) [ink, reverse; rectangular metal-edged label, tied to 1930.86.18.1]; Found with Collinson coll. Belongs with Evans Pritchard/quiver strap, E[lizabeth].S[andford].G[unn] [obverse] 377 IaC6.1 640 [reverse; blue striped luggage tag, tied to quiver; RTS 8/7/2005].

Related Documents File - RDF 1930.86 contains a letter from Balfour to Evans-Pritchard, dated 31 December 1930 that specifies the objects which he would like to purchase for the Pitt Rivers Museum, and suggests a price of £25, which was one quarter of his annual budget. The list matches the objects ultimately accessioned quite closely. The file also contains a letter from Evans-Pritchard to Mr. Malcolm dated 12 December 1930, offering him some 81 Zande and Nuer objects. As Malcolm was curator of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, it seems unlikely that these objects were ever sent to the Pitt Rivers Museum and this letter is only useful as background for Evans-Pritchard's attritudes to the intended future use of his material, and as evidence for the temporary storage of these objects in Professor Seligman's office in the London School of Economics at the time. The file also contains an undated list of 48 objects, which does not seem to match accessioned material and could be the list of rejected items that Balfour mentions in another letter on file, dated 31 December 1930 [RTS 10/1/2005].

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