Northern Larim roulette

Northern Larim roulette

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Tiringot
Cultural Group:
Northern Larim
Date Made:
By 1979
Grass Fibre Plant
Twisted , Tied
L = 177 mm, W strip = 5 mm, Th = 5.8 mm [RTS 28/5/2004].
0.4 g
Other Owners:
Purchased by Patti Langton as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan on 23rd March 1979.
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
23 March 1979
Roulette for decorating pottery made from a single, long strip of grass fibre, doubled over at the top and then plaited loosely together from the top down to form a concertina-like box chain. This method of production creates several twists down the length of the body. The ends have been roughly knotted together at the bottom. The roulette is complete and in good condition; it is currently a light orangey yellow colour (Pantone 7509C). It is 177 mm long, the strip is 5 mm wide and the roulette is 5.8 mm thick, with a weight of 0.4 grams.

Purchased at Tiringot by Patti Langton as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan on 23rd March 1979. This was part of the Koyok clan area. She does not record its Larim name.

For a similar grass roulette, used by the Moru Misa, see 1979.20.28. Different styles of grass roulette are also found in the collection; plaited grass strings (1979.20.125-6, from the Dinka Tuich), and string wrapped around sticks (1949.20.27, Moru Misa). For a Larim pottery vessel with rouletted decoration, see 1979.20.138.

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. 207] 1979.20.149 - 154 NORTH LARIM/BOYA; KOYOK CLAN AREA, TIRINGOT VILLAGE; 23-3-79. [p. 207] 1979.20.149 Pottery roulette made of two strips of grass twisted together and tied at the end. L = 18 cm. Coll. no. PL 20. Not on PL's list, but appears on packing list.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number in red biro] - A5-F35-23.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 25/5/2004].

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. This item appears in Langton's list under the heading 'Purchased in Koyok clan area, Tiringot village', as a handwritten addition 'PL 20 - pottery roulette'. There is also a letter from Lynn Williamson (PRM) to John Mack (Museum of Mankind), dated 25th June 1980, asking for identification of this object - 'The only other difficulty... is over pot-making tools. The packing list mentions three tools from the Larim ... one of our 'leftover' pieces is a ... roulette. No doubt it is impossible to designate such common tools to a particular cultural area; can you say anything about them?'. Mack replied on 1st July 1980 - 'I can't be sure about the pot-making tools ... the roulette could be from any of the three places' [RTS 12/1/2004].

Written on object - PL 20 [pencil; RTS 1/6/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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