Southern Larim spear

Southern Larim spear
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Eastern Equatoria Loryok
Cultural Group:
Southern Larim
Unidentified local blacksmith.
Date Made:
By March 1979
Iron Metal , Wood Plant
Forged (Metal) , Hammered , Socketed , Carved , Stained
Total L = 2642; spear-head L = 296, blade L = 177, max W = 28, th = 6.3, socket base diam = 17.8; shaft diam = 19.3 x 19, spear butt L = 106, diam socket = 16.7 x 15.7 mm [RTS 11/7/2005].
662.3 g
Other Owners:
Purchased by Jill Goudie for 50 piastres, from 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
Spear consisting of an iron spearhead with a narrow leaf-shaped blade, angular raised midrib running down the centre of both sides and slight, rounded shoulders that curve in to a solid, round sectioned shank before expanding into a socketed base with an open seam running up the front. This is currently a metallic gray colour (Pantone 877C). The socket has been fitted onto a long wooden shaft with circular section, stained an orangey brown colour across the surface (Pantone 730C). An short iron spear-butt has been fitted onto the base of this, with socketed top and a slightly open seam running down the back; this tapers to a rounded point at its base. The spear is complete, with some surface rust on the iron and some splits down the length of the shaft. It has a weight of 662.3 grams, and a total length of 2642 mm. The spearhead is 296 mm long, of which the blade part is 177 mm in length, with a maximum width of 28 mm and thickness of 6.3 mm, while the the socket base measures 17.8 mm across. The shaft is 19.3 by 19 mm in diameter, while the spear butt is 106 mm long and has a socket diameter of 16.7 by 15.7 mm.

Purchased by Jill Goudie at Loryok for 50 piastres, sometime between 20th and 25th March 1979, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan, headed by Patti Langton.

This spear was made by a local blacksmith, and was intended to be used as a stabbing, rather than a throwing spear. Langton did not record its Southern Larim name.

Rachael Sparks 8/9/2005.

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 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] 1979.20.182 Long hunting spear, made by local blacksmith. Used by all men in a jabbing way - it's too long to be thrown. Total L = 2.64 M., L. iron blade = 30 cm.; L. iron butt = 10.6 cm. ∆35; cost 50pt.
Additional Accession Book Entry [below accession number in red biro] - A5-F36-14, 15.

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

Pitt Rivers Museum label - S. SUDAN. SOUTHERN LARIM. Hunting spear. P. Langton coll., 35 [in a triangle]. 1979.20.182 [plastic label with metal eyelet, tied to object; RTS 11/7/2005].

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 'Hunting spear used by all men. Made by local blacksmith. Not thrown! Length necessary for jabbing' [RTS 12/1/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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