Moru Misa basket

Moru Misa basket
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Western Equatoria Lui
Cultural Group:
Moru Misa
?Naomi Tudringwa
Date Made:
By 1979
Plant Stem , Grass Fibre Plant
Basketry , Chequer Woven , Bound , Twisted Tied , Decorated , Dyed
Ht = 315, rim diam = 430 x 400, rim th = 6; base L = 210, W = 200; loop L = 67; fibre strip w = 5 mm [RTS 20/9/2005].
370.3 g
Local Name:
kole chacharo
Other Owners:
Presumably made by Naomi Tudringwa, a woman who also made pottery and whose compound lay directly opposite the expedition camp at Lui; purchased by Patti Langton on 5th February for 50 piasters, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedit
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
5 February 1979
Basket consisting of a circular, everted mouth on a deep body with concave sides flaring in to a square base with slightly convex underside. This has been made from narrow strips of yellow sorghum grass, woven predominantly into a simple checkweave of over-2, under-2 design. At the rim, the warp strips are folded over and obliquely back against the body, where they are fixed by 4 rows of oblique binding that pass over the weft, using darker brown fibre strips (Pantone 730C), that form a neat finish around the mouth. A small suspension loop has been added to the edge of the base, made from a length of twisted 2-ply plant fibre cord with its ends tied in a knot (Pantone 7508C). The exterior is predominantly a glossy yellow (Pantone 7403C), and the interior a slightly deeper version of the same colour with some reddish brown sections. The basket has been decorated with a pattern woven into these base colours using matt cream coloured strips (Pantone 726C), dyed or painted on their outer face a glossy reddish brown colour (Pantone 4695C) . The pattern consists of 4 vertical bands that extend down from each side of the rim and meet at the centre of the base - with each band made of 3 coloured strips woven in and out of the yellow body. There are some additional details near the tops of some of these bands, including a v-shaped chevron, a coloured square, and a single vertical line. The bands are then bisected by 3 horizontal groups, equally spaced around the circumference. There is some variation in the style of weave in the various areas where decorative bands have been incorporated. The basket is complete, with some dirt adhering to the interior, suggesting that it has been used. It has a weight of 370.3 grams, and is 315 mm high, with a rim diameter of 430 by 400 mm, a base that measures 210 by 200 mm, and a rim thickness of 6 mm; the suspension loop is 67 mm in length; the fibre strips have a width of 5 mm.

This basket was made by Naomi Tudringwa from
the stalk of the sorghum plant ( cheche) . She is also known as a potter; her compound lay directly opposite the expedition camp at Lui. This basket was purchased from her for 50 piastres by Patti Langton on 27th January as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan. The place of purchase is not specified, but was probably Lui.

This is a large example of a type of basket called
kole chacharo; it is used for carrying sorghum. The same type of material is used in the construction of Moru Misa baskets 1979.20.8-9, which are small versions of the same type, 1979.20.5, a medium-sized version, and winnowing tray 1979.20.26.

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 187] 1979.20.6 Basket - same information as 1979.20.5 ["Basket, kole chacharo , used for carrying sorghum. Made from the stalk of the sorghum plant, cheche . This basket was made by Naomi Tudringwa"]. Max. rim diam = 44 cm.; H = 31.8 cm. Coll. in Lui; 5.2.79; 50 pt.; Langton coll. no. 14.
Additional Accession Book Entry [in red biro under accession number] - A5-F32-30.

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., no. 14. 1979.20.6 [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 [RTS 12/1/2004]. The entry for this object on Langton's list is annotated 'everted rims, wide mouths' [referring to this and Langton 9; RTS 6/1/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
Help | About | Bibliography