Lotuko pendant

Lotuko pendant
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] [Al Istiwa'iyah] [Equatoria] Eastern Equatoria ?Lopit Hills
Cultural Group:
Lotuko [Otuho]
Date Made:
By 1940
Copper Metal , Brass Metal , Animal Hide Skin
Plaited , Knotted , Tied , Forged (Metal) , Hammered , Riveted
L = 1227 mm, Pendant L = 223, W = 143, Th edge = 1, midribs = 27 mm; ring diam = 19.5, W = 4, th = 2.5 mm; diam cord = 3 mm [RTS 9/8/2004].
208.9 g
Other Owners:
Collected from the son of a rainmaker by Samuel P. Powell [RTS 9/8/2004].
Field Collector:
Samuel P. Powell
PRM Source:
Samuel P. Powell
Loaned July 1940
Collected Date:
By 1940
Chest ornament consisting of a long cord made from plaited light yellowish brown animal hide with circular section, knotted at either end (Pantone 7509C). This has been doubled over and tied onto a brass ring using a slip knot. The ring itself has been made from a piece of metal with lentoid-shaped section that has been bent into a loop with overlapping ends (Pantone 872C), then passed through a suspension hole near the top of a large chest pendant. The pendant is made from two flat hammered sheets of copper placed together, each cut into a shape that has round tipped wings at the top, with a concave upper edge between, then a broad body with convex sides below tapering to a blunt point at the base (Pantone 876C). Each sheet has been pulled upwards to form a raised, folded ridge that runs down the centre of the body, getting taller towards the bottom; the two sheets have been placed so that a ridge projects from both upper and lower surface. The suspension hole is placed just above these ridges. While a seam is visible along most sides of the ornament, there is none evident along the top, concave edge. The pendant has been perforated with a series of holes running along its long edges, then fastened together through these holes with a series of 13 flat headed rivets - 6 down one side, 7 down the other. Two of these rivets appear to be missing. The object is otherwise nearly complete, but there is damage to one wing on one side, where the metal sheet appears to have split, and there are some surface cracks near this point and leading up to the suspension hole. It has a weight of 208.9 grams, and is 1227 mm long, as hung. The pendant itself is 223 mm long, 143 mm wide and from 1 to 27 mm thick, the latter measurement being across the width of both midribs; the brass ring has a diameter of 19.5 mm, and is 4 mm wide and 2.5 mm thick; the hide cord has a diameter of 3 mm.

This pendant had been worn on the chest by the son of a rain maker in the Lafit Mountains, possibly to be equated with the Lopit Hills, northeast of Torit; this is a region where Loppit, also known as Lafit, is spoken. It was acquired by Samuel P. Powell, and given on loan to the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1940.

The form of this pendant may be imitating a shield, as suggested by shape of the body with raised rib down the centre, although it has clearly been designed to hang with the two points upwards. This differs somewhat from known Lotuko shield types, which have their points facing downwards; these also have a more elongated body type with waisted middle and slit top. Alternatively, it could represent a bladed weapons such as a spearhead, although the body seems rather broad for this and the same objection holds with regard to its orientation.

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. 314] From the LATUKA tribe, EQUATORIAL PROVINCE ANGLO-EGYPTIAN SUDAN. 1940.7.094 - Old copper shield worn on chest by male members of rain-maker's family. LAFIT MOUNTAINS.

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

Related Documents File - Appears on undated typed list: "Latuka, an old copper shield worn on the chest by the son of a rain maker. Lafit Mountains. E.P.". List is annotated by hand on back: "List of Curios" and "Far from complete" [RTS 16/12/2003].

Pre-PRM label - 'Copper Shield worn on chest by male members of rain-maker's family. LATUKA. Lafit Mountains Sudan. S. P. Powell'; '1940.7.094' [JC 28/2/2002; label not kept with object, RTS 9/8/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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