Larim bowl

Larim bowl
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria
Cultural Group:
Date Made:
By 1979
Handbuilt , Fire-Hardened , Burnished , Impressed , Decorated , Coiled Handbuilt ?
Max Ht = 118, rim diam ext. = 198, int. = 187, th rim = 9.5 mm [RTS 24/3/2005].
> 1000 g
Other Owners:
Collected by Patti Langton, probably between 20th and 25th March 1979 [RTS 27/5/2004].
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
20 - 25 March 1979
Circular pottery bowl, hand made from a moderately well levigated fabric mixed with small mica inclusions, soft fired a dark reddish brown colour (Pantone 477C), and covered with a black smoothed and partially burnished slip (Pantone black 6C) except on the base underside, where the surface remains matt and the colour of the underlying fabric is visible. It has an everted rim with bevelled outer edge and walls that flare concavely down and in to a low carinated shoulder below, before becoming convex down to a slightly convex base. The walls are of fairly regular thickness throughout. The interior has been highly burnished, particularly around the upper body and rim, while the burnish is more erratic on the exterior surface. It has been decorated with a rouletted rope-like pattern in a broad band around the shoulder; this has been partially smoothed over and distorted. The bowl is complete, but has a hairline crack running down the interior of the rim. It has a maximum height of 118 mm - the height varies from one side of the rim to the other - an external rim diameter of 198 mm and an internal rim diameter of 187 mm, with a rim thickness of 9.5 mm; the mouth is broader than the shoulder.

Collected by Patti Langton; records do not indicate the exact place or date these were obtained, but Langton appears to have been collecting Larim material from the Eastern Equatoria district between 20th and 25th March 1979. No information was provided on how this type of vessel would be used.

This vessel is described in museum records as having a 'graphite finish'. Amongst the tools of the Zande potter Mbitim was a ball of graphite, used in decorating pots (see 1934.8.132.8); it may be that Larim potters made use of the same technique. For Larim grass roulettes, used in decorating this type of vessel, see 1979.20.149.

A number of South Sudanese clays seem to contain particles of mica, including those used by the Zande and Bongo
(P.M. Larken, 1926, "An Account of the Zande", Sudan Notes and Records IX no. 1, p. 4; G. Schweinfurth, 1873, In the Heart of Africa Volume I, p. 292; Volume II, p. 25).

Rachael Sparks 29/8/2005.

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 alootment of the collection do not appear on her list and have been added here. See Related Documents file as well. [p. 204] 1979.20.136 - 193 SOUTHERN SUDAN the LARIM The Larim live about 50 miles west of Kapoeta in the eastern corner of S. Sudan. They are a non-Nilotic pastoral people, living in permanent mountain villages. They are part of the Didinga-Longarim-Murle language group. They live in the Boya Hills - Boya is the Topasa (neighbouring group) name for the Larim, which is also used by the Administration. Longarim is the Didinga's name for them but they call themselves the Larim, and that is used here. [p. 205] The LARIM The collection was made in two parts. The "PL" labelled material was collected during Pat Langton's stay in a village in the Northern Larim area. The "∆" labelled material was collected by Jill Goudie, one of the archaeologists on the Expedition, from the base camp LARYOK, among the Southern Larim. Money is known among the Larim but it is used only for buying beads for women from Kapoeta, or for the few members of the group who would go to Juba. The women especially were more interested in exchange gifts of salt, cloth & soap. The Larim material is documented in three parts: a) General Larim pieces - no information as to which section of the Larim it comes from b) the "PL" Collection from the Northern Larim, from three of the eight Northern Larim clans c) the Southern Larim material collected by Jill Goudie, numbered "∆". [p. 205] 1979.20.136 - 139 GENERAL LARIM [p. 206] 1979.20.138 Pottery bowl of dark red ware with a graphite-type finish. There is a band of roulette decoration around the shoulder. Smoothly finished inside. H = 11 cm.; Diam. mouth = 19.8 cm. Coll. no. 17.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number in red biro] - A5-F23-3 A5-F35-25.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 24/5/2004].

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. There is also a black and white photograph of this object is enclosed, marked on the back in red 'Larim' then in biro, '1979.20.138, number 17 dark red ware, graphite-type finish', with PRM stamp and reference 'A5 F23'. The file also contains a letter from John Mack (Museum of Mankind) to Lynn Williamson (PRM), dated 1st July 1980, regarding discrepancies in the division of the Langton material; this states that he had 'written on the back of your photographs where in each case the pots appear to come from. I think it is accurate.' This is probably the marking done in red pen; the biro matches Lynn Williamson's handwriting on some accompanying notes, which further describe this object 'roulette decoration in band W 1 1/4" round widest part of body. Small bowl shape, everted rim' [RTS 6/1/2004].

Written on object - 17 [white chalk], S. SUDAN LARIM, P. Langton Coll. 17, 1979.20.138 [white ink; RTS 24/3/2005].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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