Iron bladed knife

Iron bladed knife
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Accession Number:
[Southern Sudan] [Al Istiwa'iyah] [Equatoria] Bahr el Jebel ?Western Equatoria Yei River District
Date Made:
By 1984
Iron Metal , Wood Plant
Hammered , Carved , Pyroengraved Pokerwork , Stained
Total L = 265 mm, W handle 29 mm, th handle = 15.4 mm, max W blade = 20 mm, th cutting edge = 0.1 mm [RTS 15/3/2004]
Field Collector:
Lutaya Expedition
PRM Source:
Lutaya Expedition via B.E. Harrell-Bond
Purchased 1985
Collected Date:
July to September 1984
Knife consisting of a wooden handle with slightly convex top and concave sides flaring in then out again to the other end, which has a lozenge-shaped slot cut into it to receive the knife tang. The handle is rectangular in section throughout, with flat sides and ends. The wood is a light yellowish brown (Pantone 7411C). This has been stained a dark brown to reddish brown colour on sides and ends (Pantone 476C); the flat upper and lower surfaces have been left the original colour of the wood, framed by narrow bands at either end that have been recessed slightly. This main handle area has been decorated with a series of pyroengraved motifs, that appear black against the light coloured wood; these consist of two groups of four oblique parallel lines intersecting to form an x-shaped cross; six horizontal parallel lines; a 16 point star made up of lines radiating out from a central point; six horizontal parallel lines and another x-shaped cross. These lines sometimes cut across adjacent motifs. An iron blade is fitted into this handle, its tang not visible (but not extending through to be visible at the handle top). The blade itself is narrow, with rounded slight shoulders as it widens above the tang, before tapering towards the other end; this is now flat ended, but may have originally had a point that has broken off. There is a raised ridge running along the centre of the length on both sides, with the blade thinning to a cutting edge on either side; this creates a lozenge-shaped section. Filing marks are visible along the cutting edges, and also along the top of this ridge. Complete (unless the original point has broken off). Total length 265 mm, length of handle 115 mm, width of handle end 29 mm, thickness of handle end 15.4 mm, maximum width of blade 20 mm, maximum thickness of blade 2.5 mm, blade thickness at cutting edge 0.1 mm.

Collected in the Yei River district by the Lutaya Expedition, a seven-member research and support expedition from the Third World Society of Oxford University, to settlements for Ugandan refugees from West Nile Province, Uganda.

Rachael Sparks 17/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 68] - 1985.24 (.1 - 14) P[urchase] LUTAYA EXPEDITION, c/o B. E. HARRELL-BOND, ... OXFORD. A collection of items made by the Lutaya Expedition to YEI RIVER DISTRICT, EQUATORIA, SUDAN, 1984. This was a seven-member research and support expedition from the Third World Society of Oxford University, to settlements for Ugandan refugees from West Nile Province, Uganda. See Related Documents File for notes and field photographs. [p. 71, 1985.24].9 SUDAN - EQUATORIA - YEI RIVER DISTRICT Knife with iron blade and decoratively carved wooden handle. The designs on the handle have been blackened by burning. L blade = 150 mm; max W = 31 mm; total L = 266 mm.
Additional Accession Book Entry [p. 71, under accession number, in red biro] - A11.F16.13.

Card Catalogue Entry - There is no further information on the catalogue card [RTS 28/1/2004].

Written on object - 1750 [on handle top], Cat. 7 [on underside of handle]; 1985.24.9 [white ink on handle end; RTS 15/3/2004].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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