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2019LG02-C008-0569.tif (102.55 MB)

Esuruon Lomosia making an emakuk headrest/stool

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posted on 2023-11-30, 18:56 authored by Joseph Ekidor Nami
Referencing the emakuk of Silale Kuom, which was given to the Apprehending Asapan team in order to show other craftsmen, Esuruon attempts to fashion his own emakuk. Having witnessed their construction and use regularly in his youth, he is confident that he will succeed. He first cuts a piece of acacia root that has a sharp bend in it. He then begins the work of chipping it into shape and removing its bark. At the end of the day of work he buries the piece in an ashy loam near to a previous fire.

Funding

Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

History

Session

C008

Rights owner

Samuel Frederick Derbyshire

Cultural group

Turkana

Participants

Esuruon Komolo Lomosia

Country

Kenya

Place

Kayapat, Turkana

Item/object

Headrest/stool (emakuk)

Techniques of production

Cut-chip-cut, Cut-cut

Materials

Wood-acacia wood

Materials alt

Ewoi

Social group setting

Craftsperson at work alone

Location

Home

Temporality

The emakuk form was once fairly common throughout the Turkana region, this is clear from numerous historical photographs in UK collections and the accounts of elders who remember their construction and use. However, at some point in the middle of the 20th century, this form of headrest/stool gradually began to diminish in popularity. It is clear, for example, in photographs taken by Sir Wilfred Thesiger in the early 1960s, that emakuk stools/headrests were very uncommon by that time (although still owned by some). In the present day, the emakuk form has all but disappeared. The predominant style of ekichielong (headrest/stool) is now a single footed, round based and wide seated stool (this form is indeed common across both Pokot and Turkana communities in the north of Kenya). It remains unclear as to why the emakuk went out of use (it was not for lack of materials) and what relationship it had to another much older form of ekichielong often referred to in the present day as ‘aporokocho’ (this was a two legged stool/headrest, whose legs were tightly bound together with hide and whose seat was much smaller than that of contemporary ekichielong stools/headrests). Prior to this occasion, Esuruon Lomosia had never made an emakuk, but he had witnessed their construction on numerous occasions in his youth.

Date of creation

2020-06-09

Unique ID

2019LG02-C008-0569

Usage metrics

    Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

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