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DVD / video DVD / video Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Vessels of the spirits: pots and people in North Cameroon
Editor:David, NicISNI
City of publisher:Calgary
Publisher:University of Calgary
Geographic term:Cameroon
social life
ancestor worship
religious festivals
anthropological films (form)
videos (form)
External link:https://youtu.be/--RDGuDNw20
Abstract:This documentary film explores the role of pottery in daily, social and religious life. Pots are people and people are pots to the inhabitants of the Mandara highlands of North Cameroon. The film documents unusual techniques of manufacture of utilitarian and figurated sacred pottery among the Mafa, Sirak, and Hide, and shows how pots are assimilated to people by their decoration and in their capacity to contain spirits, including those of God and the ancestors. Pots are shown being used in economic, social, and ritual contexts, in the latter as tools for communication with the spirit world. Opening and closing sequences of a festival that involves the release, wild run, and recapture of bulls make the point that the bulls symbolize the spirits and their control by humans. The ceremony is the central religious rite precisely because it offers a general formula for human action. This is the second, after 'Dokwaza' and before 'Black Hephaistos', of three films on the relationship of material things to culture in general that form part of the ethnoarchaeological research products of the Mandara Archaeological Project.