Moru stirrer

Moru stirrer
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1930
Wood Plant , Iron Metal
Carved , Perforated , Nailed
L = 703 mm, W handle = 11.7 mm, Th handle = 11 mm; cross piece L = 103 mm, W = 28 mm, Th = 18 mm; diam head side nail = 5 mm, base nail = 9 mm [RTS 29/6/2004].
85.7 g
Other Owners:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Field Collector:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Purchased 31 December 1930
Collected Date:
By 1930
Wooden stirring stick, made in two pieces. The body has been carved from a single piece of light brown wood (Pantone 7509C), and consists of a rounded handle end and long body with slightly irregular sides, varying from round to slightly oval in section. This is attached to a second, crescent-shaped piece of wood with flat, concave top, flat sides and a convex underside with worn surface, probably shaped this way to avoid scratching the base of the container in which the stirrer was used. The handle has been fitted through a circular hole, cut into the centre of the cross piece, with two short wooden wings extending from the sides of the latter to protect the join. A small iron nail appears to have been hammered into the top of the handle from the centre underside of the cross piece, then the head bent down to lie flush with the surface. A second flat headed nail has been hammered through the side of the cross piece to further secure the handle. The lower part of the handle and upper part of the cross piece both show traces of surface burning. There is also a light brown residue visible at the junction of the two parts and on the base of the side nail, probably representing traces of whatever foodstuff the stirrer was used in conjunction with. The object is complete, but has a long split running down the length of the handle. It has a weight of 85.7 grams, and is 703 mm long. The handle has a width of 11.7 mm and a thickness of 11 mm; the cross piece is 103 mm long, 28 mm wide and 18 mm thick; the side nail has a head diameter of 5 mm, and the base nail has a head diameter of 9 mm.

Collected by Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard by 1930. He does not record the local name for the object. This type of stirrer may be related to those used in Uganda for beating vegetables, found amongst groups such as the Acholi, Lango and Kakwa (see M. Howell & K.P. Wachsmann, 1953,
Tribal Crafts of Uganda, p. 164, pl. 39D).

Rachael Sparks 20/08/2005.

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. [...] [p. 139] [insert] 40 [end insert] - 1 ditto [T-shaped swizzle stick], 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].

Related Documents File - This 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; this object appears as one of the "3 swizzle sticks (Zande)", although it is attributed to the Moru in the accession book entry [RTS 17/5/2004].

Written on object - MORO [pencil, on stirring end] Swizzle-stick, MORO tribe, E. CENT. AFRICA, Evans-Pritchard coll: Pur. 31.12.1930 [black ink, body; RTS 29/6/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - AFRICA, Sudan MORU tribe Wooden stirring stick with crescent-shaped bar at end Purchased E.E. Evans-Pritchard [El.B 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 6/4/2005]

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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