Lotuko stool

Lotuko stool
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Loronyo
Cultural Group:
Lotuko [Otuho]
Date Made:
By 1933
Wood Plant , Animal Hide Skin
Carved , Perforated , Stained
Ht = 135 mm, seat L = 193, W = 68 to 98, th = 20 mm; pedestal W = 43, Th = 32 mm; foot W = 85.3, Th = 59.3 mm; diam hole = 8 mm; strap W = 8, th = 2 mm; pegs L = 31, diam = 5.2 mm [RTS 12/8/2004].
399.8 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah Powell-Cotton (nee Hannah Brayton Slater) on 13th February 1933 during a shooting expedition [RTS 12/8/2004].
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:
13th April 1933
Stool carved from a single piece of wood and consisting of a narrow seat with an upper surface that is slightly concave along its length, but slightly convex across its width. In plan view the seat has a straight back edge, convex ends and a concave front edge. The sides have been cut flat, and the underside slopes gently down to join with a solid pedestal foot with flat sides and slightly convex front and back faces. This splays out at the bottom to form a base with flat ends and an almost oval plan view. Two deep grooves have been cut across its underside and are visible as deep notches on the front and back faces of the foot. The foot has been pierced with a circular hole at the top and just above the base; the edges of the hole are blackened and were probably done using a heated tool. A narrow hide strip has been passed through each hole, secured at the back of the stool with two short wooden pegs that fit at right angles through holes in either end of the strip. This creates a hide loop on the front, which was probably used for carrying the object. Both pegs are roughly shaped and have their surface bark in place; the lower peg has been whittled to a point at one end. The stool appears to be made of a yellowish brown wood (Pantone 7508C), the original colour of which is visible on the underside of the foot. The rest of the surface has been stained a darker, reddish brown colour (Pantone 469C), that is deepest on the two ends of both foot and seat. The object is complete and intact, and has a weight of 399.8 grams. The stool is 135 mm tall; its seat is 193 mm long and from 68 to 98 mm wide, with a thickness of 20 mm; the pedestal is 43 mm wide and 32 mm thick, the base measures 85.3 by 59.3 mm and the decorative grooves have a maximum width of 8 mm. The carrying strap has a width of 8 mm and is 2 mm thick; the holes through which it passes have diameters of 8 mm, and the fastening pegs are 31 mm long and 5.2 mm wide.

Collected by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton and his wife Hannah at Loronyo on 13th April 1933, during a shooting expedition. According to their records, the stool with this collectors number (576) is called
assagin. There may be a problem, however, as the description given by Powell-Cotton does not match the object received at the Pitt Rivers Museum in a number of important respects, and it is not clear if this was another stool from the same culture, substituted by him without amending the documentation, or another piece entirely.

This object is currently on display in the Lower Gallery, case 63A.

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 LATUKA tribe, NAVERA, TORIT, LARONYO. [p. 254, insert] 59 [end insert] - Wooden stool, assagin , with single pedestal, ib[idem] [LARONYO] (576).

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes catalogue card [RTS 1/6/2004].

Old Pitt Rivers Museum label - Stool, assagin . LATUKA, LARONGYE, E. SUDAN, 4° 38 N., 32° 57' E. d.d. Major Powell-Cotton, 1934 [on a label stuck to surface of object, RTS 12/8/2004].

Related Documents File - Typewritten List of "Curios Presented to Dr. Balfour by Major & Mrs. Powell-Cotton. Latuka Tribe". This object appears as item 576: "Wooden stool, 7 3/4" x 3", 1 side broken, 5" high, single leg, iron chain & ring, 2 wood charms and ring to carry, native name Assagin , 13/4/33 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].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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