Large, shallow blackened clay bowls with interior striations are used in cooking and for eating. They are used together with a small double-sided wooden pestle to grind pepper and vegetables like "garden eggs" (small eggplants) when making soups. These bowls may also be used as men's eating bowls (pԑԑ in Nafaanra). Though archaeological sites occasionally have potsherds with striated interiors, this particular blackened bowl form was not common until the 20th century when it was introduced from areas to the south. Potters in the region began to produce the bowls for sale both locally and at regional markets. By the 1980s and 1990s, this was one of the most popular pots made for market sale. Ahenkro, 1986.
Large, shallow blackened clay bowls with interior striations are used in cooking and for eating. Cooks use them together with a small double-sided wooden pestle to grind pepper and cooked vegetables like "garden eggs" (small eggplants) for soups. They are also used as men's eating bowls (pԑԑ in Nafaanra). Bowls with striated interiors are occasionally found on archaeological sites in the Banda area, but this particular blackened form was not common until the 20th century when it was introduced from areas to the south. Potters in the region began to produce the bowls for sale both locally and at regional markets and by the 1980s and 1990s, this one of the most popular pots made for market sale. Ahenkro, 1986.
A calabash bowl (chrԑgbͻͻ in Nafaanra) containing water rests on top of a small pedestaled clay bowl (kontoŋdԑԑ in Nafaanra) used in funeral celebrations. The clay bowl is used by women to present food to the ancestors (sro waa in Nafaanra). Calabash rattles used in funeral celebrations sit nearby, some next to a basket. Dorbour, 1994.
Fired clay stands like these were made by potters for use in the kitchen area of houses. Grouped together in threes like hearthstones, the stands supported pots over an open fire during cooking. Some of these fired clay stands had an opening, allowing pieces of meat to be placed inside where it slow-cooked and dried as other parts of the meal were cooking. Dorbour, 1994.
Women of Kafͻnͻ Katoo gather around multiple hearths in the compound's courtyard preparing the day's main meal. Kitchen equipment ranging from locally made pottery, metal pots, sieving baskets and headpans are visible. The women sit on low stools, some carved and others made from sawn boards. Posts surrounding several hearths create a rack for storing items. Thatch - and metal-roofed rooms surround the courtyard. Ahenkro, July-August, 1986.
The interior of a courtyard house surrounded by thatch-roofed rooms. Houses like this were often built over time, with rooms added as needed, gradually enclosing the interior courtyard. The compound in this photo is fully enclosed, with a doorway to the exterior visible in the center, back. Four hearths are visible in the courtyard, surrounded by a variety of metal vessels used in food preparation and other daily activities. Left, a pestle lies on the ground surrounded by groundnut (peanut, boŋgrɛ in Nafaanra) shells. Makala, July, 1994.
The New Yam Festival (Finjie Lie in Nafaanra) marks the day when people can begin to eat the new crop of yams (finyjie in Nafaanra). Here women gather round a wooden mortar to pound cooked yam tubers to make fufu. Women pound with heavy, round-ended pestles. Working together, they use their pestles to pound and turn the fufu. Pestles hit the mortar's edge as they pound, creating a rhythmic accompaniment to their work. The musical sound of women and their helpers pounding fufu or grain was an integral part of the soundscape of village life in the earlier times. To the rear (right) calabashes (gourds, chrԑ in Nafaanra) wrapped in netting are ready to be sent to market. To the front sits a pottery grinding bowl (left), a calabash (center) and metal cooking pots (right). Ahenkro, 30 August, 1982.
Women in the central courtyard of a house compound in Ahenkro prepare the evening meal. A woman seated in the foreground readies dishes while women in the background cook over clustered hearths. A number of low stools are placed amidst a variety of metal, plastic and fired clay containers including buckets and pots. Calabash bowls (chrԑgbͻͻ in Nafaanra) are among the containers being used. A repurposed metal drum (center, back) holds water for household purposes. A raised platform is stacked with firewood brought by the women from farm and stored until needed. Thatch- and metal-roofed rooms surround the courtyard. Ahenkro, July-August, 1986.
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Metal pots; Plastic containers; Water barrels; Women's work
Adjua Anane (seated left) and Akosua, her young relative, prepare fufu by pounding cooked yams in a wooden mortar. Sister Yaa Yable Wo looks on. In the foreground is a metal grinding bowl styled after the locally made pottery grinding bowls that are found at archaeological sites dating back to the 1800s and earlier. Ahenkro, July-August, 1986.