Southern Larim waist ornament

Southern Larim waist ornament
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Loryok
Cultural Group:
Southern Larim
Made by the former owner.
Date Made:
By March 1979
Goat Skin Animal , Animal Hair , Plant Fibre , Glass
Beadwork , Tied , Stitched
L = 330 mm, W = 245 mm, inside L = 310 mm, inside W = 223 mm; inside Circum. = 830 mm; W band = 25 mm to 6 mm, th band = 1 mm; diam beads = 2 mm, th beads = 1 mm [RTS 16/6/2004].
32.2 g
Other Owners:
Made by the owner, then sold to Jill Goudie for 1.25, at the base camp at Loryok for the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan, headed by Patti Langton, between 20th and 25th March 1979 [RTS 12/5/2004].
Field Collector:
Jill Goudie
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
20 - 25 March 1979
Waist ornament made from a narrow, rectangular strip of goat hide, with the hair still intact on the outer face. This has been cut so that it tapers to either end, and then bent into an oval loop to fit around the owner's waist, with the two ends knotted together. The hair ranges from pale cream (Pantone 7401C), to gold (Pantone 7402C), with patches of dark brown at the front of the belt and on one side (Pantone 440C), and has a maximum length of around 130 mm. The upper edge of the belt has been turned outwards and rolled over slightly, then decorated with a single row of 267 opaque glass ring or seed beads, stitched in place with twisted plant fibre thread. This border stops around 100 mm from the knotted ends. In order, this consists of 9 sky blue beads (Pantone 3105), 1 red (Pantone 1797C), 1 black (Pantone black 6C), 1 green (Pantone 352C), 1 black, 26 red (with 1 further red bead missing), 1 black, 1 green, 1 black, 1 red; 22 sky blue, 1 red, 1 black, 1 green, 1 black, 1 red; 15 green; 1 red, 1 black, 1 green, 1 black; 20 red; 1 black, 1 green, 1 black, 1 red; 13 sky blue; 1 red, 1 black, 1 green, 1 black, 1 red; 15 yellow (Pantone 106C); 1 red, 1 black, 1 green, 1 black; 21 red; 1 black, 1 green, 1 black, 1 red; 10 yellow; 1 red, 1 black, 1 green, 1 black, 1 red; 15 sky blue; 1 red, 1 black, 1 green, 1 black; 19 red; 1 black, 1 green, 1 black; several missing beads; 11 green; 1 red, 1 black, 1 green, 1 black, 1 red; and 20 sky blue beads. Although not completely symmetrical regarding the number of beads of each colour in these groups, the pattern is largely a repeating one of large blocks of colour, with smaller groups of repeating patterns (mostly red-black-green-black-red) between. The beads that have been chosen are all very similar in shape and size (convex sided with small holes), as well as in colour within each type - there appears to be no substitution of 'similar' beads in different tones or opacities, for example, as seen in other Sudanese beadwork. The belt is in one piece, but the thread stitching is broken in places and some beads are missing. It measures 330 by 245 mm across the outside edges, and 310 by 223 mm across its inside edges; the inside circumference is 830 mm. The hide band is 25 mm wide at its broadest point, 6 mm wide at its narrowest point, and 1 mm thick. The beads have diameters of 2 mm and thicknesses of 1 mm, and the belt weighs 32.2 grams in total.

Made by the owner, then sold to Jill Goudie at Loryok for £1.25, sometime between 20th and 25th March 1979, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan, directed by Patti Langton.

This object was worn around the waist. The local name for this object was not recorded, but it should be noted that it incorporates a range of green, black and red beads of the same type and colours as seen on elephant ear skin waist ornament, 1979.20.143, which is attributed to the Northern Larim and was worn by men on special occasions such as dances or to impress a potential in-law. On that example, known by the Larim term
nyekedengo the beads are said to have come from nearby Kapoeta.

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. 210] 1979.20.163 - 193 SOUTHERN LARIM: Collected by Jill Goudie between 20.3 and 25.3.79 [p. 212] 1979.20.179 Goatskin and bead dance belt made by owner. Circumference = 88 cm. ∆31; cost £1.25.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number in red biro] - A5-F36-9.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 26/5/2004].

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 'Southern Larim. These were all collected between 20.3.79 and 25.3.79' as 'goatskin dance belt made by owner' [RTS 12/1/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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