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 , Decorated , Dyed
Ht = 210, rim diam = 350 x 342, rim th = 8.5; base L = 160, base W = 153, strip W warp = 17, weft W = 10 mm [RTS 20/9/2005].
240 g
Local Name:
kole kotokoworo
Other Owners:
Purchased by Patti Langton on 5th February 1979 for either 12 or 18 piastres, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan [RTS 14/5/2004].
Field Collector:
Patti Langton
PRM Source:
Patti Langton
Purchased 1979
Collected Date:
5 February 1979
Basket consisting of an everted mouth on a deep body with straight sides flaring down to a square base with slightly pointed feet at each corner. The rim has been made from a bundle of narrow fibre strips, bent into a loop, and over bound by the vertical warp of the basketry body; it is slightly triangular in plan view. The body consists of broad strips of a yellow palm fibre (Pantone 7403C), woven vertically 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 and on the interior below the rim. The horizontal weft strips are narrower than those used in the warp, and have been made from a more pinkish material (Pantone 726C). In addition, a series of short pinkish brown dyed strips (Pantone 4715C) have been worked into the design to add a pattern that consists of a large zigzag running around the walls, then 2 short vertical lines running down below to the edge of the base on opposite corners of the vessel, and finally an intermittent border running around the edge of the base underside. The basket is complete, with slight wear to the underside of the feet. It has a weight of 240 grams, and is 210 mm high, with a rim diameter of 350 by 342 mm, a rim thickness of 8.5 mm, and a base that is 160 mm long and 153 mm wide. The palm strips have an average width of 17 (warp) and 10 mm (weft).

Purchased by Patti Langton on 5th February 1979 for either 12 or 18 piastres, as part of the British Institute in Eastern Africa's Expedition to the Southern Sudan. The place of purchase is not indicated, but was probably Lui or Lanyi.

This type of basket is known as kole kotokoworo . It was woven using a similar form and technique to that seen on 1979.20.4 (known as kobiga or korega ), 1979.20.10 (a smaller version of the form seen in this example) and 1979.20.31 (a larger variant).

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] 1979.20.7 - Basket, kole kotokoworo ; made from palm. Max. rim diam. = 36.5 cm.; H = ca. 20 cm. Coll. 5.2.79; 18 or 12 pt.; Langton Coll. no. 18.
Additional Accession Book Entry [in red biro under accession number] - A5-F32-27.

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. 18. 1979.20.7 [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 (this has the purchase price '12 pt' annotated in biro 'label says 18'), 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].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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