Traditional Life
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Mammy Water: In Search of the Water Spirits In Nigeria
Mammy Water is a pidgin English name for a local water goddess worshipped by the Ibibio, Ijaw, and Igbo speaking peoples of southeastern Nigeria. The water goddess traditionally gives wealth and children, compensates for hardships, and is sought in times of illness and need, especially by women. Her various cults…
Deep Hearts
Deep Hearts is a film about the Bororo Fulani, a nomadic society located in the central portion of the Niger Republic of Africa. The title is a reference to an important aspect of these people's thought and demeanor. The Bororo are immensely beautiful. They are also extremely envious of each…
Bushman's Secret
When South African filmmaker Rehad Desai travels to the Kalahari to investigate global interest in ancient Bushmen knowledge, he meets Jan van der Westhuizen, a fascinating Khomani San traditional healer. Jan's struggle to live close to nature is hampered by centuries of colonial exploitation of the San Bushmen and of…
Owu: Chidi Joins the Okoroshi Secret Society
Witness an uncompromising portrait of a young man's initiation into a men's secret society. It begins with the elder griot and praise singer talking about the origins of the "Owu" society. Two keepers of tradition, the griot and the town's oldest woman and female griot, Ezenwanyi (Leader of Women), narrate…
The Tree of Iron
This is one of the few films to document archaeological work on ancient civilizations in Africa. It also deals with an important subject, African iron smelting, and presents convincing evidence for early indigenous technologies far more complex than previously expected. The Tree of Iron is set in Tanzania, East Africa,…
Diary of a Maasai Village, Part 5: Nine Cows and an Ox
Part of the Series: Diary of a Maasai Village
This final segment of the Diary depicts the ceremony known as the "ox of ilbaa," from which Miisia emerges, acknowledged as a man. Filmmaker: Melissa Llelewyn-Davies
Diary of a Maasai Village, Part 4: Two Journeys
Part of the Series: Diary of a Maasai Village
Two Journeys contrasts the journey of Miisia's new wife back to his village with that of Tipaia's to sell cattle for Rerenko's legal fees. Filmmaker: Melissa Llelewyn-Davies
Diary of a Maasai Village, Part 3: Two Mothers
Part of the Series: Diary of a Maasai Village
Two Mothers focuses on gender relationships. The principal events for the women are a "coming out ox" ritual and the birth of a child; for the men, the birth of a calf is the central theme. Filmmaker: Melissa Llelewyn-Davies
Diary of a Maasai Village, Part 2: Two Ways of Justice
Part of the Series: Diary of a Maasai Village
Young men are ritually prohibited from eating grain. Several of them steal one of the Laibon's goats and then must make reparations. Filmmaker: Melissa Llelewyn-Davies
Diary of a Maasai Village, Part 1: The Prophet's Village
Part of the Series: Diary of a Maasai Village
The Prophet's Village examines the problem of maintaining enough cattle to supply milk and meat versus selling off cattle to raise money for maize, antibiotics and pesticides; cash is also needed to pay for legal fees for Rerenko, the Laibon's son. Filmmaker: Melissa Llelewyn-Davies
Fishers of Dar
Samaki wa Dar es Salaam/Fishers of Dar is an ethnographic film about the fishermen and women of downtown Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It explores the continuity and integrity of traditional fishing practices in new, contemporary settings. Dar es Salaam is a metropolis of 3 million people yet the city's demand…
Bury The Spear!
Is peace possible? When we look at the history of mankind, questions arise about the inevitability of war and the impossibility of peace. These issues have never been more important to our future than they are in now in our globally-conscious, post-911 world. Made by the anthropologist/filmmaking team of Ivo…