Spear, Shilluk?

Spear, Shilluk?

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan?]
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1966
Wood Plant , Iron Metal
Decorated , Incised
L = 2210 mm
Other Owners:
Ipswich Museum
PRM Source:
Ipswich Museum per Patricia M. Butler
Purchased 1966
Collected Date:
By 1966
Spear consisting of a large iron blade with broad ‘wings’ at the base. The blade has been decorated with two parallel lines incised on the left hand sides of each face. It has a socketed base, decorated with incised lines reminiscent of a binding pattern. This fits over a wooden shaft with small incised decoration covering its entire length. The object is 2210 mm long.

This object was purchased from the Ipswich Museum in 1966.

Domville Fife discusses Shilluk weaponry, as he saw it in the 1920's: ""The Shilluk warrior is never seen outside his tukl without a long spear, having a broad, leaf-shaped blade, and an ostrich feather tuft near the butt end. These spears are always kept scrupulously clean… In addition to this long, stabbing weapon, two small throwing spears are usually carried..." (C.W. Domville Fife, 1927, Savage Life in the Black Sudan, p. 69 and sketch on p. 68; the stabbing spear is said to vary in length from 6 to 8 feet.

Rachael Sparks 29/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [XX] [facing p. 1] - Collection 1966.1 is Ipswich ethnography; see special volumes XVA and XVB [JC 27/6/2001].

Accession Book Entry [Ipswich ethnography XVA] [p. 2] 1966.1[1-] P[urchased] Ethnological Collection; IPSWICH MUSEUM per Miss PATRICIA M. BUTLER, M.A. F.M.A. Curator. [p. 25] 1966.1.96 Possibly E. AFRICA, SHILLUK. Spear with large iron blade. Broad wings at base of blade which tapers slightly and then bulges before coming to a point. Blade decorated with two parallel lines incised on left hand sides of each face of blade. Socket decorated with incised lines reminiscent of binding pattern. Wooden shaft with small incised decoration covering whole length. L. 221 cm.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes catalogue card [RTS 23/7/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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