Zande magic whistle

Zande magic whistle
104 x 78 mm | Print gelatin silver
Sulphide staining [EE 1989]
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
6 (147) [frame 11]

Accession Number:
A man (identified as Kamanga, one of Evans-Pritchard's servants) posed blowing a magic whistle (kura). Such whistles are mostly worn about the body and are used for a variety of purposes, such as to ward off witchcraft. They are made from plants and horns with magical associations, such as zerengbondo, a type of creeper.
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
1927 - 1930
[Southern Sudan] Western Equatoria Yambio
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Religion , Music
Musical Instrument Wind
Original catalogue lists in Manuscript Collections. Additional material in related documents files. [CM 27/9/2005]
Primary Documentation:
PRM Accession Records - [1966.27.21] G PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD - S. SUDAN, AZANDE TRIBE. Box of negatives in envelopes. Nos. 1 - 400
Added Accession Book Entry - [In pencil in column] Catalogue room.
[1966.27.23] G PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD - S. SUDAN, AZANDE TRIBE. Box of prints in envelopes, nos. 1 - 400 (prints of negatives in 1966.27.21)

Manual Catalogues [typewritten, entitled "Zande Photographs (E-P)"] - 412. Kamanga blowing magic whistle (Posed). 147

Notes on print/mount - "6 147"

Notes on card mount m/s pencil - "ss 6/87"

Other Information:
A similar image taken at the same time is reproduced as Plate XIII (facing page 150) in E. E. Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande (OUP 1937), with the caption "Kamanga blowing a magic whistle (posed)" On page 408 E. E. Evans-Pritchard gives a set of drawings of different types of whistles and their uses. On page 447 he states that 'The wood of certain trees is fashioned in the shape of a whistle. Though the cavity hollowed out at one end is shallow it emits a shrill blast when blown. Magical whistles are used for many purposes.... Before making a whistle a man ought to bserve taboos. Early in the morning he leaves his homestead without washing his face or rinsing his mouth and cuts the wood and fashions it. He utters spells when cutting the wood and when boring the cavity at one end. Whistles are worn around the neck, over the shoulder, at the waist, or on the wrist. Very powerful whistles are hidden away from the owner's hut, often in the fowl-house or in a hole in a tree.'
Christopher Morton 6/11/2003 [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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