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.
A woman sifts flour in the foreground as two women in the background pound maize (corn, bledju in Nafaanra) in wooden mortars. The women are sheltered from the sun by the thatched roof that covers this entrance to the house compound. View to the street beyond. Makala, July, 1994.
Kitchen area of a household in Dorbour. Several hearths are clustered in the center of the open courtyard surrounded by low wooden stools. Several wooden mortars of varying sizes and a number of pestles are clustered along a porch. Pottery and metal pots used in cooking are near the hearth. A goat forages for food amid the hearths. Large vessels to the far left store liquid (water, or possibly pito, locally made beer). The courtyard is surrounded by thatch- and metal-roofed rooms. Dorbour, 1994.
Hearths in a Dorbour household. One of three visible hearths is in use, a metal cooking pot suspended over a fire fueled by firewood. A wooden mortar and several pestles are at ready in the background. In the foreground (right) a clay cooking pot rests on top of a metal basin that has been re-purposed as a pot stand. A large metal pot, a calabash bowl (chrԑgbͻͻ in Nafaanra) and a plastic cup sit behind the clay pot. Dorbour, 1994.
A view across a compound courtyard toward the courtyard of a neighboring house. Several hearths have clay pots resting on their hearth stones (gbunu in Nafaanra). Two wooden mortars are nearby. The house in the distance is made of sun-dried blocks, with one side of the house roofed with metal and the other side thatch. The ground is clear of plants and clean swept. Adadiem, 1994.
Afua Donkor, a Nafana potter, uses a pestle to pound bark that will be used to make a solution to finish clay pots. In a nearby headpan, more stripped bark awaits pounding. After pounding, the bark will be soaked in water. Hot clay pots just removed from the bonfire will be dipped and turned in the solution. This colors the pots and is said to reduce their porosity. She sits on a stool as she works in the courtyard near a hearth. Nearby is a large metal cooking pot, several wooden mortars and a number of pestles. Finished clay soup cooking pots (chiin sinyjͻlͻ in Nafaanra) sit behind her ready for sale. Dorbour, 1994.
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.
Afua Donkor, a Nafana potter, inspects clay jars of various shapes and sizes that await firing. The liquid red slip (chuma in Nafaanra) has been applied, allowed to dry and then burnished in prepartion for firing. Visible around the courtyard are wooden mortars, a pestle and a metal cooking pot. Thatch-roofed rooms surround the courtyard. Dorbour, 1994.
A potter sits on a stool as she molds the upper body of a clay water jar (chͻkoo in Nafaanra). In her right hand she uses a maize cob (bledjukaan in Nafaanra), pulling it against the exterior surface to smooth and thin the clay. In the foreground are water jars whose leather-hard upper body and rim have been joined to a rounded base, their clay bases still moist and not yet smoothed. Large wooden mortars and a headpan containing moist clay sit nearby as she works in the shade of an open-sided room. Dorbour, 1994.