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N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman
This film provides a broad overview of Ju/'hoan life, both past and present, and an intimate portrait of N!ai, a Ju/'hoan woman who in 1978 was in her mid-thirties. N!ai tells her own story, and in so doing, the story…
4 videos
The Hadza: The Last of the First - East Africa's Last Remaining True Hunter-Gatherers
The Hadza, East Africa's last remaining true hunter-gatherers, have lived on their land near the Rift Valley for over 50,000 years. As globalization and technology encroach on their territory, their way of life has been slowly whittled away from them.…
Framing the Other
The Mursi tribe resides in the basin of the Omo River, in the east African state of Ethiopia. Mursi women are known for placing large plates in their lower lips and wearing enormous, richly decorated earrings, which has become a…
The Nuer
"Portrays the Nuer, Nilotic herdsmen of the Nile basin. Shows how their daily lives revolve about their cattle, and depicts the psychological bonds between them. Includes extensive use of Nuer music and poetry." "A poetic film concentrating on evocative images…
A Far Country
Part of the Series: Kalahari Family Collection
In 1951, the Marshall family set out to document the life of the Bushmen of the Kalahari. After a week of hard travel in desert-adapted vehicles, they met Toma Tsamkxao and his Ju/'hoan band in Nyae Nyae. In their own…
!Kung Short Films Series
Between 1950 and 1958, John Marshall made four expeditions to film the Ju/'hoansi (a group of !Kung Bushmen) of the Nyae Nyae region of Namibia (then South West Africa). Marshall and his family, who together undertook an extensive multi-disciplinary study…
16 videos
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…
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.…
Bitter Melons
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
This film, shot in 1955, focuses on a small band of /Gwi San living in the arid landscape of the central Kalahari Desert in present-day Botswana. The hardships of their everyday survival are woven into the songs of a blind…
Traditional Life
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
This video depicts traditional Ju/'hoan life by using vignettes from longer films in the !Kung San series. Footage selected shows tool-making technology, hunting and gathering, social life and children at play, and gives the viewer a feel for the vastness…
The Architecture of Mud
The Hadhramaut region in the south east of Yemen is well known for its mud brick architecture. Throughout the centuries, the population has developed very sophisticated building techniques and created a unique architectural environment. Spectacular structures such as ten-story mud…
Return to Belaye: A Rite of Passage
Return To Belaye: A Rite of Passage is an insider's look at a manhood initiation ritual in the village of Belaye, Senegal, West Africa. The documentary focuses on filmmaker, Amy Flannery and her husband, Papis Goudiaby, as they leave their…
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
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…
First Film
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
First Film was edited and narrated by Lorna Marshall and is comprised of footage shot in 1951 on the second Marshall family expedition to the Kalahari Desert. It is intimate in style, very carefully filmed, with a wealth of practical…
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…
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…
Play, JankunĂș Play - The Garifuna Wanaragua Ritual of Belize
The Garifuna are a Central American people of West African and Native American descent. One of their most popular rituals is wanaragua, a three-fold system of masked Christmas processionals commonly called Jankunu. This ritual is a unique blend of African,…
The Wood and the Calabash
Part of the Series: Masters of the Balafon series
A Hugo Zemp Film. Among the Senufo people of northern Cote d'Ivoire, the balafon (xylophone with calabash resonators) is an emblematic musical instrument. Balafon makers are all musicians, but a balafon player isn't necessarily an instrument maker. The film shows…
Rivers of Sand - The Hamar people of Southwestern Ethiopia
A look into the secluded world of the Hamar people of Southwestern Ethiopia. The people portrayed in this film are called Hamar. They dwell in the thorny scrubland of southwestern Ethiopia. They are isolated by some distant choice that now…