Lotuko stirrer

Lotuko stirrer
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Loronyo
Cultural Group:
Lotuko [Otuho]
Date Made:
By 1933
?Bamboo Plant
Carved , Perforated
L = 686 mm, W handle top = 14, Th handle top = 13.6 mm; W body = 17.5 mm, Th body = 14 mm; L peg = 80.5 mm, W peg = 6.3 mm, Th peg = 5.5 mm [RTS 29/6/2004].
110.6 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah on 17th April 1933 during a shooting expedition.
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:
17th April 1933
Stirring stick carved from a piece of jointed wood, probably bamboo, with a yellowish brown surface (Pantone 7509C). This has been cut flat at the head, and has a long, slightly oval sectioned body with two joints at regular intervals along it. Towards the base, the front and back sides of the body have been shaved flat, and five circular holes have been bored through the sides at this point. The lowest hole appears to be slightly damaged, and has been filled with an unknown material, with a smaller, irregular perforation running through this filling substance. Each of the remaining four holes has a short wooden peg running through it at right angles to the body; this would have been used as the stirring end of the tool. The ends of each peg have been cut at an angle. The stirrer bars have some kind of residue adhering to their surfaces, similar to the material found in the lower hole. This is probably the remains of whatever foodstuff the stick was last used in conjunction with. The bottom of the stick is convex, probably to avoid scratching the base of the container in which the stirrer was used. The object is nearly complete, although it would appear that there may have originally been a fifth peg for the lowest hole; it is otherwise in good condition. It has a weight of 110.6 grams, and is 686 mm long; the handle measures 14 by 13.6 mm near its top end, and 17.5 by 14 mm just above the stirring end; the longest peg measures 80.5 mm long, 6.3 mm wide and 5.5 mm thick.

Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah at Loronyo on 17th April 1933, during a shooting expedition. The Powell-Cotton's also shot film footage during their visit to the region (see the description in Mrs Powell Cotton, "Village Handicrafts in the Sudan",
Man 34 (112), pp 90-91).

The local name for this type of object is
nabera. Food stirrers of this type, with a spiked end cut from a natural branch or made, as here, of a series of spikes fixed into a separate stick, are found amongst groups such as the Acholi, Lango, and Kakwa of Uganda (see M. Howell & K.P. Wachsmann, 1953, Tribal Crafts of Uganda, p. 164, pl. 39F).

Rachael Sparks 20/08/2005.

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 LATUKA tribe, NAVERA, TORIT, LARONYO. [p. 254, insert] 58 [end insert] - Swizzle-stick, nabera , with 4 transverse bars for head, ib[idem] [LARONYO] (709).

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribal catalogue card [RTS 26/5/2004].

Related Documents File - Typewritten List of "Curios Presented to Dr. Balfour by Major & Mrs. Powell-Cotton. Latuka Tribe". This object appears as item 709: "Swizzle stick, cane, 2'3", 5 sticks, native name Nabera , 17/4/33 Laronyo, 4.38 N 32.37 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].

?Pre-PRM label - D. 709 [reused brown cardboard tag, tied to object RTS 29/6/2004].

Written on object -
709 [in pencil, near head] Swizzle-stick, nabera . LATUKA, LARONYO, 4° 38' N., 32° 37' E. d.d. Major Powell-Cotton, 1934 (709) [black ink, on body; RTS 29/6/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - AFRICA, Sudan, Loronyo LOTUKO Wooden stirring stick, nabera Donated P.H.G. Powell-Cotton (709) [El.B 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 6/4/2005]

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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