Bari tongs

Bari tongs
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Bahr el Jebel Ngangala
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1933
Iron Metal
Forged (Metal) , Hammered , Wound , Bent
Total L - tongs and ring = 226, L of tongs alone = 204 mm; tongs W = 4, th at top = 4, at collar = 8 mm; W blade body = 11.3, th tips = 0.2 mm; loop L = 27.4, W = 26.3, th = 2.8 mm; binding strip W = 4 mm [RTS 22/9/2004].
33.8 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah Powell-Cotton (nee Hannah Brayton Slater) on 21st April 1933 during a shooting expedition [RTS 22/9/2004].
Field Collector:
Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton & Hannah Powell-Cotton (nee Hannah Brayton Slater)
PRM Source:
Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton
Donated 1934
Collected Date:
21st April 1933
Pair of charcoal tongs, made from a long rectangular strip of iron hammered into shape. This has a narrow body, doubled over with the top opened up to create an oval loop. This has been fitted with a suspension ring, made from a large iron rod bent into a loop with touching ends. Below this area, the two parts of the tong's body have been pressed together and are held in place by a thin strip of iron, wound in a long spiral around the body to create a cylindrical collar that slides up and down. When moved down towards the tips of the tool, it holds the tongs closed; when pushed up towards the top, it allows them to spring open. The body continues below this collar then flattens and widens out into two narrow leaf-shaped blades with rounded shoulders and tips. These have slightly undulating surfaces, and would be used for gripping the charcoal. The object is complete and intact, and currently a metallic grey colour (Pantone 877C). It has a weight of 33.8 grams, and is 226 mm long, including the ring; the body itself has a length of 204 mm, and is 4 mm wide and 4 mm thick at the top; each tip has a maximum width of 11.3 mm and is 0.2 mm thick. The tongs have a diameter of 8 mm across the spiral bound area; the strip used to make the collar is 4 mm wide. The suspension loop at the top is 27.4 mm long, 26.3 mm wide, and 2.8 mm thick.

Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah at Ngangala on 21st April 1933, during a shooting expedition. The Bari name for this type of object is

Rachael Sparks 24/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 248] 1934 [insert] 8 [end insert] - MAJOR P. H. G. POWELL-COTTON , Quex Park, Birchington, E. Kent. Specimens collected by himself & Mrs Cotton, during hunting trips, 1933, viz: [...] [p. 252] - From the BARI tribe, MONGALLA, PERIDI and NGANGALA. [insert] 41 [end insert] - Small charcoal-tongs, wakette , with sliding collar, NGANGALA (791).

Detailed Pipes [Unsorted] Card Catalogue entry - Number: (791) Description: Charcoal tongs. Made of a narrow strip of iron with spear shaped flattened ends doubled over with a running spiral iron collar, the joined ends holds an iron ring. Total length - tongs and ring 22.5 cm, of tongs alone 20.5 cm. People: Bari. Locality: Ngangala E. Sudan 4˚42'N 31˚55'E. Native name: Wakette. Collected by: Major Powell-Cotton. How Acquired: dd Major Powell-Cotton 1934 [Drawing].

Related Documents File - Typewritten List of "Curios Presented to Dr. Balfour by Major & Mrs. Powell-Cotton. Barri Tribe". This object appears as item 791: "Charcoal tongs with iron ring, 8", native name Wakette , 21/4/33 Ngangala, 4.42 N 31.55 E”. Also contains details of a cine film 'some tribes of the Southern Sudan', taken by Powell-Cotton during this 1933 expedition, copies of which are now in the National Film and Television Archive and the Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent [RTS 14/3/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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