Dried clay jars are carefully placed on top of firewood in preparation for firing. Their surfaces have been textured by rolling a maize cob (bledjukaan in Nafaanra) over the jars' lower surface (maize cob roulette) and decorated with shallow arched grooves made when the pot was in a leather-hard state. Additional fuel will be placed on top of the stacked pottery before the fire is lit. After the fire has burned down the pots will be removed and finished by being dipped while hot in a bark solution. Bondakile, October, 1982.
Iron slag is formed as a byproduct of iron smelting. Here a large slag nodule has broken in half, revealing its interior texture. At the archaeological site of Ngre Kataa, large chunks of 'bubbly' slag like this were occasionally found in household and other contexts, away from areas otherwise associated with metal-working activities. Potters at the time of the site's occupation had begun to use crushed iron slag as a tempering agent in their potting clays, which may explain why large nodules were being carried and cached in areas away from metal-working locations. Ngre Kataa, June, 2008.
An educational poster with pictures and text which describes Banda-area village life during the 18th and 19th centuries based on oral histories, written sources and archaeology. It describes early written references to Banda and briefly summarizes what has been learned about handicrafts like potting and cloth-making based on archaeological excavations at Makala Kataa. It is one of five posters prepared for a Banda community event held in July, 2011. Printed versions of the posters are housed in the Banda Cultural Centre, Ahenkro.
With moistened hands, a standing potter smooths the rim of a partially finished clay jar. As she works, she moves clockwise around the wooden stump that supports the palette (kpankpa in Nafaanra) on which the pot is being molded. Bondakile, October, 1982.
During the 20th century women from the potting villages of Dorbour, Adadiem and other locations west of the Banda hills sold their pots in markets centers to the east and the west. Here women sell clay pots in the market at Bondoukou in Côte d’Ivoire. Visible are varied-sized cooking pots (sro chͻ in Nafaanra), water jars (chͻkoo in Nafaanra) and grinding bowls (pԑԑ in Nafaanra). Only the grinding bowls are blackened which was a fashion that came in sometime in the 20th century. Bondoukou, Côte d’Ivoire, 1994.
Afua Donkor, a Nafana potter burnishes a dried but as-yet unfired clay pot on which she has applied a red slip (chuma in Nafaanra). She uses a strand of Baobab tree seeds (wasawasa in Nafaanra) to rub the slip, helping the color to adhere to the pot's surface and giving it a sheen. The slip is a thin solution made by mixing a red soil found on the Brawhani road with water. Some is contained in a small can sitting on the ground (left). Finished, unfired pots sit in the room behind the potter. Dorbour, 1994.
Finished and dried clay pottery jars are carefully placed on top of firewood in preparation for firing. Previously fired broken or flawed pots are used to bank the fuel, keeping it in place. Additional fuel will be placed on top of the stacked pottery and the fuel set on fire. The resulting bonfire will be allowed to burn down, after which the pots will be removed and finished while hot by being dipped in a bark solution. Mensah Listowell, Research Assistant (blue shirt), stands by as the potters prepare to place more fuel on the stacked pottery. Bondakile, October, 1982.
Adwoa Miwo (right) learns to make clay pots from her experienced potter mother, Peni Ngunu Chͻ (center), as they work together in the interior courtyard of their house. Mosi Nyuu (husband and father) looks on. Partially finished clay jars sit nearby, resting on the palettes (kapankpa in Nafaanra) on which they have been formed. The more experienced mother is making a larger jar than her apprentice daughter. Also placed around the house's interior courtyard are two dark-colored clay soup pots (chiin sinyjͻlͻ in Nafaanra) and a wooden mortar (right). Thatch- and metal-roofed rooms surround the courtyard. Dorbour, 1994.
Yaa Tenabrԑ, a Nafana potter, sits on a wooden stool as she scapes the interior of a large clay pot. A metal bucket containing moist clay covered in plastic sits nearby. A well-worn grinding stone is visible at the top of the photo, on top of which rests a pink plastic cup. A small clay bowl filled with water sits next to it. The blue headpan to the right can no longer be used to carry things, but it remains useful as a support or stand for other things like round-based water storage pots. Dorbour, 1994.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial
University of Victoria Libraries
Forming; Women's work; Potting; Plastic containers; Dorbour; Headpans; Metal buckets; Grinding stone
Fired, blackened clay grinding bowls are stacked (center). While hot from the fire, the bowls have been blackened by rolling them in dry grass or peanut shells. To the right, a bonfire firing is in progress. The outside perimeter of the fire is banked with previously fired but broken jars. To the left, a large clay bowl contains a bark solution into which the pots are dipped while still hot from the fire. Behind that, another bonfire burns. To the right (back, center) pots have been stacked in preparation for another bonfire firing. The fashion of blackening grinding bowls began in the Banda area sometime during the 20th century. Adadiem, 1994.