Moru Misa basket

Moru Misa basket
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Western Equatoria ?Lui ?Lanyi
Cultural Group:
Moru Misa
Date Made:
By 1979
Palm Fibre Plant
Basketry , Chequer Woven
Ht = 255; rim diam = 390, rim th = 7.5, base L = 130, base W = 120, strip W = 18 (warp), 7 mm (weft) [RTS 20/9/2005].
292.9 g
Other Owners:
Collected by Patti Langton between 27th January and 5th February 1979 as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan [RTS 15/6/2004].
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
Between 27 January and 5 February 1979
Basket consisting of a circular, everted mouth on a deep body with slightly convex sides flaring down to a square base with pointed feet at each corner. The rim has been made from a group of narrow fibre strips, bent into a loop, and over bound by the vertical warp of the basketry body. The body consists of broad strips of a yellow palm fibre (Pantone 7403C), woven into a simple checkweave of over-1, under-1 design, with the strips being worked from the rim downwards, with several end pieces visible in the weave on the base underside. The warp strips are much broader than those used in the weft. The basket is complete, but shows signs of wear on the feet, and has an interior that is discoloured from use, particularly around the base, with traces of surface dirt. It has a weight of 292.9 grams, and is 255 mm high, with a rim diameter of 390 mm, a rim thickness of 7.5 mm, and a base that is 130 mm long and 120 mm wide. The palm strips have an average width of 18 (warp) and 7 mm (weft).

Collected by Patti Langton sometime between 27th January and 5th February 1979 as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan. The place of collection was noted, but was probably at either Lui or Lanyi in Western Equatoria.

This basket has been woven using a similar form and technique to that seen on 1979.20.4 (known as
kobiga or korega ), 1979.20.7 (a type known as kole kotokoworo ) and 1979.20.10. Note that this example does not have a suspension loop, which was often added to the base or side.

Rachael Sparks 20/9/2005.

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 alottment of the collection do not appear on her list and have been added here. See Related Documents file as well. [pp 185 - 186] 1979.20.1 - 42 SOUTHERN SUDAN the MORU MISA The Moru Misa live about 100 miles west of Juba, the capital of the Southern Sudan. Part of the collection was made in Lui, a small town which has had extensive church and missionary activity over the past 50 years (excluding the period of civil war) and which now boasts a church, a hospital and a number of schools. The rest of the Moru Misa collection was made at Lanyi, 15 miles away, where the paramount chief of the area, Chief Elinama, arranged for people to bring artifacts for us to buy. Although money is known to the Moru, its use is limited and the concept of selling belongings is foreign to them. Hence the low prices and the relatively small number of artefacts. The Moru Misa are a geographical section of the Moru people. The Moru practice agriculture for subsistence; they do not keep cattle any longer. [p. 189] 1979.20.31 - Basket, plain grass woven, similar to 1979.20.4, 7. H = 24.5 cm.; Diam. mouth = 38.5 cm. Unnumbered.
Additional Accession Book Entry [in red biro under accession number] - A5-F32-29.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the tribes catalogue card [RTS 2/6/2004].

Pitt Rivers Museum label - SOUTHERN SUDAN, Moru Misa tribal area. Basket. Pat Langton coll. 1979.20.31 [plastic coated label, tied to object; RTS 20/9/2005].

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 object appears on Langton's list as a pencilled addition, marked 'unnumb[ered]' [RTS 12/1/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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