Moru Misa spoon

Moru Misa spoon
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Western Equatoria Lanyi
Cultural Group:
Moru Misa
Date Made:
By 1979
Gourd Plant
Polished , Decorated , Burnt , Perforated
L = 241 mm, W bowl = 131 mm, Ht bowl = 75 mm, depth bowl = 60 mm; th walls = 2 mm; W handle base = 35 mm, W handle top = 20 mm, depth handle = 12.8 mm [RTS 28/6/2004].
41.0 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Purchased by Patti Langton at Lanyi on 5th February 1979 for 15 piastres, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan [RTS 14/5/2004].
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
5 February 1979
Deep spoon made by cutting a gourd longitudinally in half, leaving the long neck to serve as a handle and the hemispherical gourd body as the bowl. The underside of both handle and bowl are therefore convex, following the natural shape of the gourd. This has been slightly polished and is an opaque light orange colour (Pantone 7510C). The edges of the gourd have been cut flat, to leave a narrow flat topped rim running around both handle and bowl; the end of the handle is also flat. The interior of the gourd is concave, and a light yellow colour (Pantone 7403C), with the natural fibres of the plant running down the length of the object like shallow ribs. A small hole has been burnt through the end of the handle from the inside surface; this is blackened around the edges. The interior of the bowl has been decorated with a simple cross in black; this has been drawn on the surface rather than burnt into it. A short additional line parallel to one of the cross bars probably represents an error made when first applying the decoration. The outer surface of the gourd has some surface discolouration, but the object is complete and intact. It has a length of 241 mm; the bowl is 131 mm wide, 75 mm high and 60 mm deep, with its walls being 2 mm thick at the top; the handle is 35 mm wide at its base and 20 mm wide at its top, and has a depth of 12.8 mm. It weighs 41 grams.

Purchased by Patti Langton at Lanyi on 5th February 1979 for 15 piastres, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan.

The local name for this object is
dujyi. For a similar ladle belonging to the Anuak, and used for drinking beer, see 1936.10.38.

Rachael Sparks 17/8/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 185] - 1979.20 (.1 - 206) P[urchase] MISS PATTI LANGTON, DEPT. of ETHNOLOGY & PREHISTORY, OXFORD. Collection made by Patti Langton during the British Institute in East Africa's expedition to the Southern Sudan; Jan. - April 1979. The collection was made in three culture areas during the dry season. The amount paid for each object is listed if the information is known. In Jan. 1979 £1 is equivalent to 95 piastres (pt.) Sudanese. This documentation is based largely upon Patti's own list of objects and her notes on these. Sometimes objects included in the Pitt Rivers alottment of the collection do not appear on her list and have been added here. See Related Documents file as well. [pp 185 - 186] 1979.20.1 - 42 SOUTHERN SUDAN the MORU MISA The Moru Misa live about 100 miles west of Juba, the capital of the Southern Sudan. Part of the collection was made in Lui, a small town which has had extensive church and missionary activity over the past 50 years (excluding the period of civil war) and which now boasts a church, a hospital and a number of schools. The rest of the Moru Misa collection was made at Lanyi, 15 miles away, where the paramount chief of the area, Chief Elinama, arranged for people to bring artifacts for us to buy. Although money is known to the Moru, its use is limited and the concept of selling belongings is foreign to them. Hence the low prices and the relatively small number of artefacts. The Moru Misa are a geographical section of the Moru people. The Moru practice agriculture for subsistence; they do not keep cattle any longer. [p. 188] 1979.20.12 - Gourd spoon or ladle, dujyi . L = 24 cm. Coll. in Lanyi, 5.2.79; Langton Coll. no. 32.
Additional Accession Book Entry [in red biro under accession number] - A5-F32-16.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes catalogue card [RTS 2/6/2004].

Related Documents File - 1979.20 contains a typed packing list, which has been annotated; a typed list of objects arranged by Langton collection numbers and with pencil and biro annotations (this list gives the purchase price as 15 pt), and a handwritten list of objects by museum number, essentially repeating this information and annotated with PRM photo numbers in red. This handwritten list seems to be the direct source for the accession book entry [RTS 12/1/2004].

Written on object - S. SUDAN MORU MISA Pat Langton coll. 32, 1979.20.12 [RTS 28/6/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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