Neck ornament, Moru?

Neck ornament, Moru?
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] ?Northern Bahr el Ghazal ?Western Bahr el Ghazal ?Warab ?El Buheyrat ?Western Equatoria Idi
Cultural Group:
[Arohuyas] Moru?
Date Made:
By 1940
Animal Hide Skin , ?Aluminium Metal , ?Tin Metal , Brass Metal , Glass , Ochre , ?Plant Fibre
Hammered , Bent , Perforated , Strung , Beadwork , Incised Decorated
L = 285, W across neck loop = 93 mm, strap tail W = 20, th = 3 mm; neck loop body diam = 12 mm; rings diam = 23.5, W = 3, th = 1.8 mm; beads diam = 2, th = 1 mm [RTS 16/8/2004].
98.1 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 made from a narrow strap of brown animal hide. One end has been doubled over to form a loop, secured with some plant fibre binding. This loop was then slotted over the other end of the strip and pushed up the body, to create a circular ring that could be fitted around a baby's neck, leaving a long rectangular 'tab' that would stick up the back. The end of this tab has been cut to a point, and the body pierced with 13 pairs of holes, running down each side, with an additional hole near the point. These have been fitted with a series of metal rings, each made from a metal rod bent into a loop with open ends, and then punched with a series of semicircular depressions around both sides. The first 7 pairs of rings are made from a lightweight white metal, probably aluminium or tin. 2 of the rings in this group are slightly thinner than the rest, and have been decorated using a smaller tool with a wedge-shaped end. The next 6 pairs and end ring are made from brass, with an additional ring looped between the end and 1 of the side rings. The decoration on these varies in depth; some appear to be worn, while 2 of these brass rings are thinner and undecorated. The necklet was probably fitted first, and the metal rings attached afterwards. They would then act as a stop, preventing the necklet from coming undone and sliding off. Beyond this tail, the hide strap has been compressed, bringing the two sides together to form a thicker body that has then been bound around with string. After the first 10 mm, this string has been threaded with numerous small opaque ring shaped beads. These are predominantly pink (Pantone 692C), although the tone varies (Pantone 7436C), with some white beads of similar shape mixed in. The inside face of the necklet has been left largely unbeaded. The surface of the string and strap appears to be coated with thick red ochre (Pantone 483C). The necklet is complete, and apart from some cracks across the surface of the hide, in good condition. It has a weight of 98.1 grams, with a total length of 285 mm and a width across the loop of 93 mm. The strap tail is 20 mm wide and 3 mm thick; the neck loop has a diameter of 12 mm. The rings vary slightly in size, but a typical example has a diameter of 23.5 mm and is 3 mm wide and 1.8 mm thick, while the beads have diameters of 2 mm and are 1 mm thick.

This object was collected by Samuel P. Powell, and loaned to the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1940. It is attributed to the 'Arokeiyas tribe' at a place called Idi, neither of which have been identified. The ornament was made for an infant, and is very similar to one shown on a Moru tribe in
H.A. Bernatzik, 1929, Zwischen Weissem Nil und Belgisch-Kongo, figure 109. This object also has some similarities to 1940.7.015, a Bari thigh ornament that has a leather strap decorated with a closely packed row of iron rings.

Currently on display in the Lower Gallery, case 45A number 13a.

Rachael Sparks 6/9/2005.

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. 315] 1940.7.098 - Baby's neck ornament, leather strap set with trade beads, end hung with white metal & brass rings. AROKEIYAS TRIBE EDI. BAHR EL GHAZEL. SUDAN.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 2/2/2004].

Related Documents File - Appears as handwritten addition to undated typed list: "Arohuyas babies ornaments, from Idi. Bahr el Ghazal". List is annotated by hand on back: "List of Curios" and "Far from complete" [RTS 16/12/2003].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Baby's ornament worn round neck. ARO KEI YAS (?) [insert] AROHUYAS [end insert] from Edi, Bahr el Ghazel ANGLO-EGYPTIAN SUDAN. S.P. Powell, 1940.7.098 [brown luggage tag, tied to object; RTS 16/8/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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