Acholi fringe apron

Acholi fringe apron
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
Sudan , ?Uganda
[Southern Sudan] [Al Istiwa'iyah] [Equatoria] Eastern Equatoria [?Jebel] Imatong Agoro
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1940
Animal Leather Skin , Grass Fibre Plant , Iron Metal , Bead , Ochre
Tooled , Perforated , Stitched , Strung , Forged (Metal) , Hammered Bent
Total L (including ties) = 1725; tie W = 10, tie th = 2; beads diam = 5.8, L = 3; apron waist band W = 11; fringe and waist band W across top = 180, L down body = 320; fringe strips W = 2.2 to 3.8, th = 1 to 2 mm [RTS 9/3/2005].
366.3 g
Other Owners:
Samuel P. Powell
Field Collector:
Samuel P. Powell
PRM Source:
Samuel P. Powell
Loaned July 1940
Collected Date:
By 1940
Women's apron, consisting of a series of narrow dark brown leather strips (Pantone black 4C), grouped into small bundles doubled over at the top, placed in a row and sewn together near the top with plant fibre thread to form a continuous band, with their long ends hanging down to as a thick fringe. A further leather strip was then overstitched along the width of the sewn area to form a neat lower edge to the waist band. This band is heavily coated with red ochre on the inner face (Pantone 477C), and is somewhat greasy and accreted on the other surface. A narrow leather strip has been sewn onto either side of this band to form waist ties, also using a plant fibre thread, probably made from grass. They have been tooled across both surfaces, to give it them textured appearance, and are also heavily coated with red ochre. One of these ties is twice as long as the other; both have been perforated twice at their attached ends, and once at their free ends, which have a length of plant fibre cord attached that has been strung with a series of iron ring-shaped beads with convex sides, each ending in a single fibre knot at the base. There are 47 beads on the shorter tie, and 50 beads on the longer one. The iron has corroded, and only shows its characteristic metallic gray colour in places (Pantone 420C). The apron is complete, and has a weight of 366.3 grams. Its length, with the ties extended, is 1725 mm; the ties are 10 mm wide and 2 mm thick, while the iron beads have a diameter of 5.8 mm and are 3 mm long. The fringed part of the apron is 180 mm wide across the top and 320 mm long; the waist band is 11 mm wide, while the fringe strips are 2.2 to 3.8 mm wide and 1 to 2 mm thick.

Collected by Samuel P. Powell before 1940 from a settlement called Agoro, in the South Imatong area. It is not completely clear which 'Agoro' is meant, as there are settlements of this name both in the administrative district of Eastern Equatoria, Southern Sudan, and just inside the Uganda border, either of which could be considered to be part of the Jebel Imatong area. It was loaned to the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1940.

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 ACHOLI TRIBE, EQUATORIAL PROVINCE, SUDAN. 1940.7.095 - Woman's sporran: leather fringe on strap, with metal beads. From AGORO, S. IMATONG.

Related Documents File - Appears on undated typed list: "Acholi woman's sporran of leather lace, from Agoro". List is annotated by hand on back: "List of Curios" and "Far from complete" [RTS 16/12/2003].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Woman's sporran of leather fringe. ACHOLI from Agoro. S. Imatong. S.P. Powell [brown luggage label, tied to object; RTS 9/3/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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