Northern Larim dance collar

Northern Larim dance collar
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Lomachada
Cultural Group:
Northern Larim
Date Made:
By March 1979
Animal Skin , Buck Skin Animal , Sinew
Twisted , Tied , Stitched , Burnt
Max L = 546 mm Max W [across top] = 535 mm Max W [across bottom] = 356 mm Max W [across neck opening] = 113 mm [RTS 10/6/2004].
Local Name:
Other Owners:
Purchased by Patti Langton for 50 piastres on 21st March 1979 at the home of the potter at Lomachada, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan [RTS 10/6/2004].
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
21 March 1979
Dance collar made from a small bushbuck skin, with light yellowish brown coloured hide (Pantone 7509C), and patterned fur that is primarily a reddish brown colour (Pantone 724C), with a narrow dark brown stripe down the centre of the back (Pantone black 7C), and a series of light buff coloured stripes across the body, and dots down the flanks of the back legs (Pantone 7506C). The skin has been cut to retain the shape of the animal, with parts of four legs, the tail stump and part of the neck present. There are two oval slits cut into the lower part of the skin, on either side of the tail stump. A large circular hole has also been cut out of the centre of the back; this would fit around the neck of the dancer. The edge of this cut-out area has been folded over and sewn down using a twisted sinew cord in a loose tacking stitch. This cord is a yellowish brown colour (Pantone 7508C). The cord continues beyond the cut-out area as two short lengths; one is knotted at the end to prevent it fraying; the other has been singed. There is also a small row of stitching in a diagonal line from one side edge; this looks like an original repair, also carried out using sinew (but in this case, not twisted). The skin shows signs of possible scar tissue on the upper back. The object is complete, and has a length of 546 mm, a width of 535 mm across the top, 356 across the legs and lower body, and 113 mm across the neck opening; all the preceding measurements have been taken across the surface of the skin, rather than its hair covering.

Purchased by Patti Langton for 50 piastres on 21st March 1979 at the home of the potter at Lomachada, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan. The Larim in this area belong to the Kisawo clan.

This object was worn around the neck by both men and women during dances; its local name is
nyamananyit. A similar collar made of monkey fur was collected from the Southern Larim (1979.20.178); that example could be worn with the long section hanging either behind or in front.

A similar type of skin is worn around the loins by the Acholi during ceremonies and dances - See 1953.6.59 from Palabek, and another object now in Rome (Museo Preistorico ed Etnografico 'Luigi Pigorini' accession number 96031) (R. Boccassino, 1964, "Contributo allo studio dell’ ergologia delle popolazioni Nilotiche e Nilo-camitche. Parte quarta. Il vestito, il tatuaggio, le deformazioni del corpo, gli ornamenti e la circoncisione",
Annali Lateranensi XXVIII, p. 147, fig 61).

Rachael Sparks 23/08/2005.

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. 206] 1979.20.140 - 148 NORTH LARIM/BOYA KISAWO CLAN AREA LOMACHADA VILLAGE 21-3-79 [p. 206] 1979.20.142 Bushbuck skin neck ornament, nyamananyit . Worn by men and women for dancing. Total L. as worn = ca. 40 cm. Coll. no. PL 5. Cost 50 pt.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number in red biro] - A5-F35-28.

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

Written on object - PL 5 (white chalk on inside face of skin; RTS 10/6/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - AFRICA, Sudan, Lomachada NORTHERN LARIM Bushbuck skin, worn around the neck in dances Purch. P. LANGTON, PL 5 1979.20.142 [EC 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 6/10/2005]

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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