about Africa by Christopher Roy
NEW Men's and Women's Weaving in Africa Weaving is one of the most impoirtant contemporary art forms in modern Africa. Men and women weave, using different looms and different techniques. This DVD is an update of my earlier video "African Weaving" and includes footage of men weaving on narrow, horizontal, double heddle looms in West Africa, as well as Igbo womn from the city of Akwete, in southeast Nigeria, who weave on broad vertical looms with only one heddle. There is substantial new video of a male weaver in Santa Caterina, in the Cape Verde islands, who weaves complex textiles called panos using multiple hedles.
Yaaba Soore: Continuity and Change in Mossi Art This video documents forty years of continuity and change in the art of a West African people. The Mossi are a heterogeneous people in Burkina Faso with a long, complex history. Their art is a mirror of the complex processes that led to the creation of this people in the fifteenth century. The descendants of the conquerors use figures as political art, while the descendants of the conquered farmers use masks as spiritual art. Several mask styles correspond to the areas in which the original inhabitants were conquered by invaders from the south. In the north, the descendants of the Dogon, whom the Mossi call Kibse, use tall plank masks. In the southwest the descendants of the Nuna, Lela, and Winiama, whom the Mossi call Gurunsi, use red, white and black masks that look like animals. In the east the Mossi use tall cylindrical masks with red or black fiber costumes. As is true in every part of the world, some traditions endure, while others change. You will see masks in performance in 1976, and again, in the same villages, in 2010 and 2011.
The Dance of the Spirits: A Funeral in the Winiama Village of Oulo In the spring of 2010 the masks of the village of Ouri, in central Burkina Faso, travelled ten kilometers south along the road to Oulo to attend the funeral of an elder named Illa Karfa. The mother of the deceased had come from Ouri, and had moved to Oulo when she married. When he lay on his deathbed, Illa Karfa asked that the masks of his mother's village travel to Oulo to attend his funeral and to honor him. The video is remarkable for the large number of ancient masks that appear to perform. These are the oldest, most sacred masks that belong to senior men, and only appear for the most important occasions. The characters that the masks represent include the bush buffalo, the very dangerous Winiama horned masks, and several complex plank masks. In one scene all of the masks perform in front of the concial earth shrine of the earthpriest of Ouri.
The Path of the Ancestors: The Funeral of the Diviner of Dablo The video documents the funeral of the chief diviner, or Baga, of the village of Dablo, in northern Burkina Faso, who was featured in my video "Speaking With God." Mr. Sawadog passed away in the fall of 2010 and was buried immediately. His funeral was held in March, 2011, and was attended by five diviners from Dablo and nearby communities. There are numerous scenes of Bagas dancing, of people in the villages, of the joking relatives, and of animal sacrifices to honor the deceased. Warning: This is not suitable for young children.
Nigerian Pottery: Igbo, Yoruba, Gwari, Benin The techniques used by Igbo, Yoruba, Gwari and Benin potters to form jars, fire and decorate them. The video and slides show how the clay is dug, how it is mixed with ground potsherds and kneaded. You can see the potter discuss the qualities of the clay and temper. She then forms the base against the palm of her hand, places it in a support, and continues to build it larger. She then adds the rim and decoration and allows the pot to dry. Next we see the women gathering fuel for the firing out in the "bush" (wilderness) and firing the pots. The sections on Yoruba, Gwari, and Benin are similar, but are slides, not video. The Igbo section is video filmed in 2010, the sections on Yoruba, Gwari, and Benin are slides taken in 1991 in Nigeria by Christopher D. Roy, Professor of African Art at the University of Iowa. The DVD is suitable for any age level, especially for high-school and college students of African art and ceramics. I doubt it is enough "infotainment" for very young students.
Videos about African people:
of Age in Africa: Initiation in the Bwa Village of Dossi Young men and
women of the N'Kambi family of the Bwa village of Dossi celebrate the transition
from the world of the children to the world of adults: the young men fashion
new costumes and paint the masks, while the young women learn the dance steps
Art and Life of a Nomadic People The Fulani are a diverse people who live
across west Africa from Dakar to Lake Chad. They herd cattle, sheep, goats and
camels, and live from the milk from their cows. They create very beautiful art,
including hairstyles, dress, mats, architecture, song, music and dance. This
video features three Fulani peoples: the Gowabe, Jelgobe, and Wodaabe.
Birds of the Wilderness: The Beauty
Competition of the Wodaabe People of Niger The Wodaabe people of southern
Niger, West Africa, hold a beauty competition each fall in which young men paint
their faces red and wear costumes of white beads and cloth, with white ostrich
feathers in their hats. They are judged based on charm and beauty by the young
women of the competing clan.
Year in the Life of an African Family: The Bamogo Family of Burkina Faso
Family life in Burkina Faso. The Bamogo family are smiths
in the towns of Dablo and Pinsa, north of Kaya. We visit them as they harvest
crops, cook a meal, make pottery, visit the chief, and attend an annual ceremony
in the village.
Day in the Life of a Village in Africa Cooking, drawing
water, pounding millet, building a house, spinning cotton thread, playing soccer,
going to school, in the Senufo village of Sayaga, in western Burkina.
Videos about African art:
Sculpture: Carving a Crocodile Mask, Shaping a Mask of Leaves An
artist of the Gnoumou family carves a crocodile mask of wood, and men of
the Bayer family fashion a mask of leaves to represent Do, the God of the
Art as Theater: The Bwa Masks of the Gnoumou Family of Boni The
masks of the Gnoumou family in the Bwa village of Boni act out the historical
ancestors and the spirits of the wilderness.
With God: A Mossi Baga Diviner in Burkina Faso An
elderly diviner, whose ancestor was painted in 1907 by a German explorer,
wears a spectacular costume as he speaks with
Masks of Leaves and Wood: The
Bwa People of Burkina Faso The Bwa people make
masks of leaves that represent the spirit of the springtime and of the
wilderness, and masks of wood that represent nature spirits.
African Art in Performance: The Winiama Masks of the Village of Ouri Dozens
of masks, representing chameleons, bush buffalo, antelope, dangerous one-horned
spirits, monkeys, and others appear in a lengthy performance in a village
in central Burkina Faso.
African Art in Motion: The
Masks of the Nuna People of Burkina Faso The
masks of the Nuna people from the villages of Savara and Tisse, including
the bush pig, butterfly, bush
buffalo, old man, hyena, and many others.
Art as a Verb in Africa: The Masks
of the Bwa Village of Boni This video documents the opening celebration
of the masks of the Bonde family in Boni in late February, 2005. Dozens
of masks and thousands of people appear to dance, sing, and honor the
spirits that watch over them.
Masks: Burkina Faso Three videos of masks
in performance: the first is older footage from the 1970s and 80s of
Mossi, Bwa, Bobo, and Nuna masks. The others are of more recent performances,
filmed with digital video, of masks in the Nuna towns of Savara and
The Death of an African King:
The Funeral of the Omanhene of Techiman The complex
and colorful state funeral for the Chief of the large town of Techiman
(Takyiman) north of Kumasi, in Ghana. Chiefs, royal arts, textiles, music.
about African techniques:
Art Techniques: Wood, Cloth, Metal, Clay Concise but thorough footage of
the techniques weavers use to spin, dye, and weave cloth, that potters use to
form and fire pottery, that smiths use to smelt and forge iron, that casters
use to create sculpture using the lost wax technique, and that carvers use to
create African masks of wood.
African Pottery Techniques: Clay
Preparation, Forming Techniques, Firing There are
at least five different techniques potters use in Africa to make pottery. All
the techniques, as well as firing, are shown in detail.
From Iron Ore to Iron Hoe: Smelting
Iron in Africa The elder men of the Bamogo family
of smiths in the village of Dablo extract iron ore from a nearby deposit and
smelt it into raw iron using a traditional furnace. They then forge it into
a hoe blade.
African Weaving: Spinning, Strip
Weaving in Burkina, Kente in Ghana The strip-woven
kente cloths of the Asante and Ewe peoples of Ghana are well known in Europe
and America, but few people have seen the techniques by which these brilliant
textiles are made. The video also shows indigo dyeing and weaving in Burkina
Arts of Ghana: Brass Casting, Pottery,
Adinkra, Kente, Stool Carving This video documents
the technologies of brass casting, pottery, stool carving, kente weaving, and
drumming among Akan peoples of Ghana.
African Drums:Talking Drums of
Techiman The drum ensemble of the Chief of Techiman
demonstrates a variety of traditional drum rhythms.
Brewing Millet Beer in Africa
Follow all of the steps, from sprouting and grinding the
millet, to boiling the grain, adding the yeast, and drinking the finished product.
This is the way Africans have been brewing beer for thousands of years.
"Blu-Ray" videos of art in Africa
Videos are available on Blu-Ray of "Fulani: Art and Life of a Nomadic People,"
"Birds of the Wilderness: The Beauty Competition of the Wodaabe People
of Niger," "African Art in Performance: The Winiama Masks of the Village
of Ouri." Createspace cannot produce these on-demand yet, so I make them
myself. The packaging is not as fancy, but the images are astonishingly detailed,
large, and vivid. They are $30.00 each and must be purchased directly from me.
Each is individually printed, packaged, and mailed by me. These work ONLY on
a Blu-Ray DVD player. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org