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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
Framing the Other
Part of the Series: Anthropology 101 Collection
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…
!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…
17 videos
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…
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…
!Kung Bushmen Hunting Equipment
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
This film shows in detail all the pieces in the Ju/'hoan hunting kit and how each piece is made and used, from the collection of the raw materials to the final fabrication, including the preparation of poison arrows. !Kung Bushmen…
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…
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 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…
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…
The Joy of Youth
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. The music of the balafon is a source of joy while the young men are doing collective…
Funeral Festivities
A Hugo Zemp Film. Among the Senufo people of northern Cote d'Ivoire, the balafon (xylophone with calabash resonators) is an emblematic musical instrument. This film shows balafon orchestras playing in five villages during the two principal days of funeral festivities,…
2 videos
African Carving: A Dogon Kanaga Mask
The Kanaga mask is used in deeply sacred rituals by the Dogon people of Mali. Carving this mask is as important a ritual as the ceremonies in which the mask is used. The carver, a blacksmith, finds the proper tree…
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 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 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…
Play, Jankun 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,…
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…
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