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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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photographic print

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Kenya, full-length profile portrait of Luo adult male standing outdoors. Male holding stick, wearing bead neck-ornament, animal-hide on back, bead neck-ornaments, ear-ornaments, metal [?] wrist-ornaments, head-ornaments pf "hippo teeth". Rural setting. Medium: Gelatin silver print.

  • Producer name

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 1900-1950 (?)
  • Production place

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 12.45 centimetres
    • Width: 9.85 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Content

        "Ja Luo: Lego [?] tribe. Adult [?] male Note string of iron beads round waist, called Yatakka & hippo teeth ornaments on head." [manuscript on back].
  • Curator's comments

    Main themes of album: Kenya - portraits of men, women and children, many in ceremonial costume, including warriors with shields, spears and head-dresses. Album contains 81 photographs. Circumstances: ETH DOC 21 is a list of Hobley's photographs, but unclear whether it relates to this album. Biography: During his career Hobley was Senior Provincial Commissioner of the Kenya Colony; worked for the East Africa Protectorate Service; was Sub Commissioner of the Uganda Protectorate; C.M.G., M.R.ANTHROP.INST., C.M.Z.S, ASSOC.M.INST.C.E..
    'Lego' in inscription almost certainly refers to Alego region in western Kenya, rather than tribe.


  • Subjects

  • Acquisition notes

    Copyright: British Museum

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: EPF5829

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