Anuak spoon

Anuak spoon
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan]
Cultural Group:
Anywaa [Anuak]
Date Made:
By 1936
Gourd Plant
Polished , Burnt
L = 187 mm, W bowl = 124 mm, Ht bowl 63 mm, depth bowl = 58.5 mm, Th bowl = 4 mm, W handle top = 13 mm, W handle base = 35 mm, depth handle = 12 mm.
34.7 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Presumably collected by Evans-Pritchard during his period of fieldwork amongst the Anuak between early March and May 1935 [RTS 18/6/2004].
Field Collector:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1936
Collected Date:
March - May 1935
Spoon made by cutting a gourd longitudinally in half, to leave the long neck as the handle and the hemispherical body as the bowl. The underside of both handle and bowl are therefore convex, following the shape of the natural gourd. This has been polished, and is a strong orange colour (Pantone 154C). The edges have been cut flat, to leave a narrow flat topped rim running around both handle and bowl, which has been blackened for decorative effect. The interior of the gourd is concave, and a light yellow colour (Pantone 7509C), with the natural fibres of the plant running like shallow ribs down its length. There are four further decorative burnt areas here, two on the base, and two on the opposite walls, on either side of the neck opening. There are some minor surface scratches, but the object is complete and intact. It has a length of 187 mm; the bowl is 124 mm wide, 63 mm high and 58.5 mm deep, with walls 4 mm thick at the top; the handle is 35 mm wide at its base and 13 mm wide at its top, and 12 mm deep. The spoon weighs 34.7 grams.

Collected by Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard during his period of fieldwork amongst the Anuak between early March and May 1935 (see E.E. Evans-Pritchard, 1940,
The Political System of the Anuak of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, p. 3). This type of object was used as a ladle for drinking beer, and is known locally as nyathodi.

Rachael Sparks 17/8/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 410] - 1936 [insert] 10 [end insert] E. EVANS-PRITCHARD, M.A., Exeter College, Oxford. - Specimens collected by himself in the EASTERN SUDAN, while travelling with a Grant from the Rockefeller Leverhulme Trustees, viz: [p. 412] [insert] 38 [end insert] - Nyathodi , beer-drinking ladle made from half a gourd, ANUAK.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 30/1/2004].

Written on object - Nyathodi . Beer-drinking ladle. ANUAK, E. SUDAN. d.d. E.E. Evans-Pritchard, 1936.10.38 [RTS 18/6/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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