Imatong necklet

Imatong necklet
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] [Al Istiwa'iyah] [Equatoria] Eastern Equatoria ?Jebel Imatong
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1940
Wood Plant , Plant Fibre , Ochre , Bead
Carved , Perforated , Strung , Twisted , Tied
L as strung = 298, bead L = 4 to 13, diam = ca. 8.7, diam cord = 2.5 mm [RTS 2/3/2005].
34.9 g
Other Owners:
Samuel P. Powell
Field Collector:
Samuel P. Powell
PRM Source:
Samuel P. Powell
Loaned July 1940
Collected Date:
By 1940
Neck ornament consisting of a twisted plant fibre cord knotted together at the top, onto which have been strung a series of 82 cylindrical beads carved from a soft, porous and lightweight light yellowish orange coloured wood (Pantone 720C), with each bead pierced through its length, and completely coated on every surface with red ochre (Pantone 477C), suggesting that this was done before the beads were strung. This coating has worn off in places where the beads have become chipped, exposing the lighter natural colour of the wood below. The cord has also been smeared with ochre, particularly at the knotted end. The necklet is essentially complete, but some of the beads are chipped to varying extents; sometimes the break was subsequently re-smeared with ochre. It has a weight of 34.9 grams, and is 298 mm long, as strung. The beads themselves vary considerably in length, from 4 to 13 mm, but have similar diameters of around 8.7 mm, while the cord has a diameter of 2.5 mm.

Collected by Samuel P. Powell from the modern administrative district of Eastern Equatoria, and
loaned to the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1940. It came from the 'Imatong tribe', who are presumably a group located somewhere around Jebel Imatong, a mountain peak in Southeastern Sudan, south of Torit.

This necklet was worn by girls. For other neck ornaments made of scented wood beads, see 1884.75.26-28, collected by John Petherick but not attributed to a specific cultural group, and 1942.1.447, also without firm provenance. These are made from strung pieces of
cyperus sp. wood, cut from the woody stem or culm of the plant. These retain the naturally rough surface of the plant, unlike this example, which has a smoother finish.

Rachael Sparks 14/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [Loans II, p. 308] - 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. [p. 313] From the IMATONG TRIBE. EQUATORIAL PROVINCE, ANGLO-EGYPTIAN SUDAN. 1940.7.082 - Girl's scented wood necklace.

Related Documents File - Appears on undated typed list: "Imatong girls scented wood necklace". List is annotated by hand on back: "List of Curios" and "Far from complete" [RTS 16/12/2003].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Girl's scented wood necklace. IMATONG. E.P. A.E. SUDAN. S.P. POWELL [brown luggage label, tied to object; RTS 2/3/2005].

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