The Eliot Elisofon Archives and Warren M. Robbins Library have an extensive collection of films about the content of Africa and its peoples. We are planning on making some of them freely accessible to the public. Please visit this page in the future for more films.
The Hands of the Potter: Tombo Monyanga, Congo, Central Africa, November 1985.
Production of The National Museum of African Art.
Credits: Cinematography and fieldwork, Raymond Lanfranchi; editing, Philip L. Ravenhill; off-line editing, Office of Telecommunications, Smithsonian Institution; on-line editing, Interface Video Systems, Inc.
Summary: The film documents the making of three pots by hand. It follows the work of the woman potter from the beginning of shaping the clay to the baking and cooling process. The pots are hand spun on a rock and coiled built and then fired in an open stack of twits and logs. The hot pots are plunged into bowls of liquid. The heat of the pot causes the liquid to boil leaving the surface with wavy patterns.