Anuak basket

Anuak basket
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan]
Cultural Group:
Anywaa [Anuak]
Date Made:
By 1936
Plant Fibre , ?Raffia Leaf Plant , Wood Plant
Ht = 184 mm, Diam rim = 106.4 by 106.6 mm, Diam mouth = 89 mm, Diam base hole = 37 by 30 mm, handle diam = 9.5 mm [RTS 22/6/2004].
111.6 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
Small basket made from a yellow plant fibre strips, possibly raffia (Pantone 7509C), and brown wood (Pantone 462C). The upper part has been built around a frame made out of a single wooden twig with round section, its bark largely in place, bent into a circular loop with the ends overlapping. The overlapping section has been bound with a plant fibre strip with dark brown surface. This twig forms a solid rim support, over which a series of plaited fibre strips has been woven. Each length of fibre is made of two strips plaited together. The plaited strips were then looped over the twig rim, passing through the adjacent loops at the top to form a finished edge, and at the base to link this row up with the rest of the body below. This body is fairly deep and narrow and shape, and is made of a series of horizontal and vertical rows of loops interwoven in this way to form a tightly knitted surface. The body gradually decreases in diameter towards the base, which has been left as an open hole, probably to allow the contents of the basket to drain. The rim of this lower hole has been strengthened, but is less rigid than the rim, suggesting use of a plaited band as its core rather than another twig. A simple loop handle has been added to stretch across the mouth of the basket. This has a central core made of two plaited strands, looped over the basket rim to attach the handle at one side, with the loose ends then woven back around the handle in a spiral to form the handle's outer binding, before fastening over the rim at the other side. The basket is complete, but with a fair amount of surface mud or dung present. It has a weight of 111.6 grams. The rim measures 106.4 by 106.6 mm across its outer edges, and has an internal mouth diameter of 89 mm. The maximum diameter of the basket falls just below the rim, and is 120 mm. The base hole measures 37 by 30 mm, being oval in shape. The handle measures 121.3 across its bases, and has a diameter of 9.5 mm. The basket, including the handle, is 184 mm high.

Collected by E.E. Evans-Pritchard during his fieldwork amongst the Anuak, which took place between early March and May 1935 (E.E. Evans-Pritchard, 1940, The Political System of the Anuak of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, p. 3).

This basket is known as
akoga, and was used for holding mussel-shell spoons, called apäl - see 1936.10.40-43.

Rachael Sparks 25/9/2005.

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] 46 [end insert] - Small basket with loop-handle, used for holding mussel-shell spoons. Akoga . ANUAK.

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

Old Pitt Rivers Museum label - Akoga , basket used for holding mussel-shell spoons. ANUAK, E. SUDAN. Pres. by E. Evans-Pritchard 1936 [rectangular metal-edged tag, tied to object; RTS 18/6/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
Help | About | Bibliography