Moru Misa basket

Moru Misa basket
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] Western Equatoria Lui
Cultural Group:
Moru Misa
Unknown pupil at Lui primary school
Date Made:
By 1979
Plant Stem , Grass Fibre Plant , Plant Fibre
Basketry , Chequer Woven , Bound , Twisted , Tied , Decorated
Ht = 140, rim diam = 200, rim th = 6, base L = 102, W = 100 mm [RTS 20/9/2005].
70.4 g
Local Name:
Other Owners:
This basket was made by a pupil at Lui Primary School, and purchased by Patti Langton on 5th February 1979, for 12 piastres, as part of the British Institute in East Africa's expedition to the Southern Sudan [RTS 20/9/2005].
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 grass, woven into a simple checkweave of predominantly 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 3 rows of oblique binding using darker brown fibre strips (Pantone 7505C), that form a neat finish around the mouth. A small suspension loop has been added to the centre of the base, made from 2-ply twisted plant fibre cord with its ends tied in a knot. The exterior is predominantly a glossy yellow (Pantone 7403C), and the interior a deeper orange colour (Pantone 7509C) flecked with some reddish brown. The basket has been decorated, however, with a pattern woven into these base colours using matt cream coloured strips (Pantone 7401C); this consists of four vertical bands that extend down from each side of the rim and meet at the centre of the base, and which are bisected by a horizontal band around the circumference, one third the way down the body, with a second band just above the base. The body weave changes where it intersects these bands, from an over-2 under-2 design to over or under-3 pattern. The basket is complete, and looks largely unused. It has a weight of 70.4 grams, and is 140 mm high, with a rim diameter of 200 mm, base that measures 100 by 102 mm, and a rim thickness of 6 mm; the suspension loop is 70 mm in length.

This basket was made by a pupil at Lui Primary School, and purchased by Patti Langton on 5th February 1979, for 12 piastres, as part of the British Institute in East Africa's expedition to the Southern Sudan.

It is called korengwa in Moru Misa, and is made from the stalk of the sorghum plant, which is known as cheche. The same type of grass is used in the construction of Moru Misa baskets 1979.20.5, 1979.20.9, which also have similar forms to this example, 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] 1979.20.8 - Basket, korengwa . Made of cheche grass by a pupil of Lui primary school. Max. rim diam. = 20.3 cm.; H = 13.3 cm. Purchased from the school 5.2.79. 12 pt.; Langton Coll. no. 19.
Additional Accession Book Entry [in red biro under accession number] - A5-F32-23.

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. 19. 1979.20.8 [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]

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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