Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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saffina (straw saddle)
  • Juma El Basha Ahmed
  • saffina (straw saddle), 1983–1984
  • Where object was made: Nyala, Southern Darfur, Sudan
  • grass, wood, rope, braiding
  • Object Height/Width/Length: 54 x 64 x 89 cm
    Object Height/Width/Length: 21 1/4 x 25 3/16 x 35 1/16 in
  • Museum purchase: KUEA Funds
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2789
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Description

The saddle has inverted wooden "V's" at the front and back, both from the branching of a tree. One point is higher and larger than the other. The seat is made from a long length of bundles of grass or straw braided into a thick cord, folded back onto itself repeatedly to create the length and width of the seat, held in place with rope. Rope is knotted on each of the wooden supports.

This saddle would be used for an ox. Large oxen would be used more as pack animals than for riding. Sometimes an angoreb (cot) would be balanced on top and materials loaded on top of that.