Dinka Tuich earring

Dinka Tuich earring
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Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Northern Bahr el Ghazal ?Dhangrial ?Wun Rog ?Mayen
Cultural Group:
Dinka Tuich
Date Made:
By 1979
Animal Ivory Tooth
Carved , Perforated , Incised , Inlaid , Decorated
L = 24 mm, W = 25 mm, Th = 3.9 mm, diam hole = 7 mm, diam ring = 4 mm, diam dot = 1 mm [RTS 9/7/2004].
2.3 g
Other Owners:
Collected by Patti Langton between 17th and 26th February 1979, as part of the British Institute in East Africa's expedition to the southern Sudan [RTS 1/6/2004].
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
17 - 26 February 1979
Earring carved from a single piece of pale cream coloured ivory (Pantone 7401C), cut into an irregular shape with flat upper edge with two short squared lugs on either side of this then a further four squared arms angled out from the body; the shape is reminiscent of a human figure with ears, outstretched arms and legs. The body has very slightly convex upper and lower surfaces and flat side edges, and has been pierced near the top with a large circular suspension hole. The upper surface has been decorated with a series of incised ring and dot motifs, all made with a tool of similar size, with a central dot 1 mm in diameter and an outer ring that is 4 mm in diameter. There is a single dotted circle covering each projecting 'ear' at the top of the pendant, then a row of dotted circles on either side of the body, forming arcs that extend from the 'arm' to the base of the 'leg'. These overlap on one side of the object, and have all been inlaid with a black material to make them stand out against the pale colour of the ivory. The earring is complete and intact, and has a weight of 2.3 grams. It is 24 mm long, 25 mm wide and 3.9 mm thick, while the suspension hole has a diameter of 7 mm.

Collected by Patti Langton between 17th and 26th February 1979 as part of the British Institute in East Africa's expedition to the southern Sudan. The place of collection was not specified, but would have been either Dhangrial, Wun Rog or Mayen, all of which like in the modern administrative district of Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
For a map showing the distribution of Dinka Tuich groups, see J. Ryle, 1982, Warriors of the White Nile: The Dinka , p. 25.

For similar earrings, see 1979.20.127, 129; these are in the same style and of comparable size, but not identical in body shape or decoration.

Currently on display in the Upper Gallery, Case 26A.

Rachael Sparks 25/9/2005.

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. [p. 191] 1979.20.43-135 SOUTHERN SUDAN the DINKA TUICH. The Dinka Tuich, a pastoral people, live to the north of Wau, in Bahr el Ghazal province. This collection was made mostly at Dhangrial, the archaeological site at which we camped. Other artifacts were collected either at Wun Rog, a small town about a mile south of Dhangrial, or at Mayen, the new administrative centre 12 miles north. This was a remote area, difficult of access and rarely visited by outsiders. The Dinka are very aware of the potential of money, which is used either to help family members acquire education or entry into commerce and administration in Juba or Khartoum. Once it was known we (the collectors) were offering money, the Dinka in surrounding compounds came daily, increasing prices as often as they could! [p. 203] 1979.20.127 - 129 [1 of] Three ivory earring decorated with [Drawing of circle with dot in center] on one side. Not on list. [1979.20] .128 [Drawing] [Length] 2.4 cm.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number 1979.20.127-129 in red biro] - A5-F33-5.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 9/3/2004].

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, 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].

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