Spindle whorls (gԑndԑ kaan in Nafaanra) are made by Muslim men in Kokua, a village on the Sampa-Asri road. Here a man decorates fired clay whorls, applying bands of colors (white, red, yellow) to their dark surface. He applies the color using a stylus, twisting the whorl to create horizontal bands around the whorl's circumference. In the foreground a finished spindle whorl sits on top of unpainted whorls in a metal pot. A bundle of thin wooden spindles sits at the man's foot, next to a calabash that holds white pigment. Yellow pigment is held by another container, possibly a turtle shell (carapace). Next to it, a red pigment stone (ochre) rests on a heavily worn grinding stone. The beauty of such a painted spindle whorl inspired the Nafaanra proverb "Chlͻ were nyu na gԑndԑ yi" (The woman is as beautiful as the spindle whorl.") Archaeological examples of whorls found on late 18th- and 19th-century sites in the Banda area are often shaped like these from Kokua, but few show signs of paint, perhaps because it has worn off during use. Kokua, 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.
In some of the area's potting villages, women make hearths using clay pots rather than stones (gbunu in Nafaanra). Three pots are placed close to one another, with their rims turned down. A clay jar tipped on its side sits to the right and metal pots are stacked to the left. 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.
Akua Donkor, a Nafana potter, uses a rounded-edged tool to make shallow grooves on the upper body of a soup pot (chiin sinyjͻlͻ in Nafaanra). The clay pot has been allowed to dry to a leather-hard state before the decorations are applied. She has used a maize cob (bledjukaan in Nafaanra) as a roulette (roller) to surface treat the base of the clay pot. A single grooved line sets the maize cob rouletted zone from the smoothed surface above it. The woman wears bracelets that can double as tools for decorating pots. Dorbour, 1994.
Akua Donkor, a Nafana potter, etches grooves onto the leather-hard surface of a clay cooking pot (sro chͻ in Nafaanra) before it is fired. The lower part of the jar has been surface treated using a maize cob (bledjukaan in Nafaanra) as a roulette. This gives the pot surface texture, over which the grooved design is made. She wears bracelets that sometimes double as tools to decorate pots. Dorbour, 1994.
A potter completes decorations on a clay cooking pot (sro chͻ in Nafaanra). Another pot sits nearby, turned upside down. The lower bodies of the pots have been surface treated by rolling a maize cob (bledjukaan in Nafaanra) across the leather-dry surface of the clay jar. Shallow grooved lines have been etched over top. The clay jars are now ready to be fired. Dorbour, 1994.