Kuku knife

Kuku knife
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Bahr el Jebel Kajo Kaji District
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1940
Iron Metal
Forged , Hammered , Recycled , Decorated , Incised
Total L = 140 (handle = 72, blade = 68), handle end diam = 12 by 10; handle diam = 5; tang W = 9.1, tang th = 1.7; blade shoulder W = 20, th = 0.5 mm [RTS 1/3/2005].
16.1 g
Other Owners:
Samuel P. Powell
Field Collector:
Samuel P. Powell
PRM Source:
Samuel P. Powell
Loaned July 1940
Collected Date:
By 1940
Small knife made from a recycled 6 inch iron nail. The original shape of the nail has been kept at one end, with a conical flat-topped head with circular section on top of a round sectioned shaft, that serves as the knife handle. This head has a stamped or moulded crosshatched design on the top and the sides of the body have 4 rows of short parallel lines running down its upper part; both were part of the original object. 40 mm below the head, the body has been hammered flat and cut out to create a tang with rectangular section, then beyond that, the knife blade. This has straight shoulders and a triangular body that tapers to a point at the other end. It is 2-edged, and thickens almost imperceptibly towards the centre on either side. There appears to be some edge wear. The tang has been decorated on either side with a narrow band of crosshatching just below the blade shoulders; the blade has a row of short dashes running down the centre on both upper and lower faces. The knife is complete and intact, and currently a metallic gray colour (Pantone 877C) with some surface rust; it has a weight of 16.1 grams and a total length of 140 mm, of which the handle and tang make up 72 mm and the blade is 68 mm long. The handle end measures 12 by 10 mm across; the handle has a diameter of 5 mm; the tang has a width of 9.1 mm and thickness of 1.7 mm, and the blade measures 20 mm across the shoulders and is 0.5 mm thick at its centre point.

Collected by Samuel P. Powell from the Kuku, in the Kajo Kaji area of the Bahr el Jebel administrative district, and loaned to the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1940.

Rachael Sparks 14/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [Loans] - Estate of S.P. Powell, c/o N.H. Haslam, Esq Manager, Westminster Bank, Stony Stratford, Bucks. Collected by himself. Data from his labels and notes. From the Kuku tribe, Kajo Kaji District Sudan - Knife made from six inch nail.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 27/4/2004].

Related Documents File - Appears on undated typed list: "Kuku knife made from a six inch nail (Kajo Kaji. Sudan)". List is annotated by hand on back: "List of Curios" and "Far from complete" [RTS 16/12/2003].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Knife made from 6-inch nail. KUKU. From Kajo Kaju [sic], S. Sudan. S.P. Powell [brown luggage tag, tied to object; RTS 1/3/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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