RA65 Col. 30 mins.
Director: Boris Cook

This film shows the preparation and making of a wide variety of beautiful clay pots by the women of Aibom, a village near Chambri Lake, Sepik District, New Guinea. Aibom is an Iatmul?speaking village and is not far from the Iatmul communities discussed by Gregory Bateson in Naven (Stanford University Press, 1956) and the Chambri (Tchambuli) villages discussed by Margaret Mead in Sex and Temper­ament in Three Primitive Societies (Routledge, London, 1935).

The process of pot?making is shown in some detail, women carefully rolling clay into sausage?shape pieces which are skilfully placed one above another until a finished shape emerges. Although men are also shown making a pot for ritual purposes, making pots is predominantly women's work. The village relies on the trade from these clay pots for much of its subsistence and they are found all over the Sepik area. The commentary uses legend in order to explain the significance and mythical history of the clay pots. There is also a short sequence on the preparation of sago and its exchange for pots.

Since there are so few ethnographic films that take 'women' as subject matter, it is unfortunate that Women of Aibom has the feeling of travelogue rather than anthropological account. However, it must be acknowledged that it was made by the Department of Information and Extension Services, Papua New Guinea, with a limited education usage in mind. The film is primarily about 'clay pots of Aibom', and no indications are given of the effects on women's social status of their obvious economic importance as pot?makers. Despite its ethnographic limitations, visually the film contains some beautiful sequences.

M. Schuster, 1967. Vorläufiger Berichttiberdie Sepik?Expedition 1965?1967 des Museums für Völkerkunde zu Basel. Verhandlungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Basel, Vol.78, pp 268-82.

M. & G. Schuster, 1961, onwards. A series of short ethnographic films made in Aibom village about pottery?making and other techniques. (Encylopaedia Cinematographica (G. Wolf, ed.), Institut für den Wissenschaftlichen Film, Göttingen, 1974.)

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RA64 col. 30 mins.
Directors: Francis Speed and Raymond Prince

This is described as an ethnopsychiatric film. It was released in 1963 and shows the management of psychiatric disorders by the Yoruba of Nigeria. There are two basic types of institutions to deal with psychiatric disorder. First, there are treatment centres managed by herbalists and diviners with specialist knowledge of traditional psychiatric therapy. Second, there are cult groups that provide a setting for the expression of otherwise socially unacceptable behaviour through 'possession, and 'masquerade, dances.

The film shows a number of aspects of both types of institution, including sequences of male Gelede masqueraders and women of the Egun possession cult. In spite of the diversity of ethno?medical practices which are portrayed, the film has been criticised for not drawing sufficient distinction between major and minor forms of healing.

R.G. Armstrong, 1967. Review of the film. American Anthropologist, Vol.69, p.426.

P.C. Lloyd, 1965. 'The Yoruba of Nigeria'. In J.L. Gibbs (ed.), Peoples of Africa. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York. (General ethnographic material on the Yoruba.)

R. Prince (ed.), 1968. Trance and Possession States. Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference, R.M. Bucke Memorial Society, Montreal.

A. Seronde, 1975. Review of the film. American Anthropologist, Vol?77, pp.181-182.

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(To be acquired) col. 108 mins.
Directed and edited by Judith and David MacDougall
Camera: David MacDougall
Sound: Judith MacDougall

This important and innovatory film has been awarded the first Royal Anthropolog­ical Institute Film Prize.

The Turkana are a group of semi?nomadic pastoralists who inhabit a harsh environ­ment of dry thorn country in north?western Kenya. The film chronicles a series of events which surround the marriage of Lorang's daughter Akai to Kongu, his age?mate. A large section of the film is concerned with a dispute which arises over the number and size of large and small animals ? goats and camels ? to be given as bridewealth to Lorang and his kin. Kongu proclaims his poverty, whilst Lorang seeks unsuccessfully to obtain sufficient animals to meet what he sees as the just claims of himself and his relatives. This dispute is not confined to the two men and by the end of the film there are two parties composed of relatives and other interested persons putting forward their own accounts of the dispute.

By concentrating on a single theme, the film is able to show the views of the participants in their full richness and detail. The MacDougalls deploy a technique of filming which has been termed 'participatory camera' (Hockings, 1975, pp.109?124) which depends for its success on skilful sound and camera work and on an intimate knowledge of the people themselves. The Wedding Camels explores the values, attitudes and expectations of the people. One says 'We Turkana are not farmers and so children are our gardens'. Remarks such as this are shown in context and fully subtitled as are interviews and asides, allowing the Turkana to speak for themselves about their own lives. A beautiful and fascinating picture of these pastoralists is presented which cannot fail to appeal to a wide audience and to prompt discussions in any teaching situation in which a film of this length is acceptable.

The MacDougalls have also made a second film ? Lorang's Way (see entry) ? about these same individuals.

References are given under the entry for Lorang's Way.

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RA6,i Col. 50 mins.
Director: Hugh Gibb
Consultant: Marjorie Topley
BBC Television

The elaborate preparation of the participants, using blood drawn from their arms as an adhesive for the decoration of their bodies, is shown in detail together with the construction of emblems used in each of the dances which follow.

In the dances there is a division of ritual labour between 'managers, and ?workers'. The first dance invokes the dreamtime and the dancer who performs it is, for the duration of the performance, outside time, requiring the touch of a 'manager, to be released. The second dance celebrates Ngama woman, a legendary figure associated with the site, whose sexual parts are represented by clefts in the rock. The next day snake emblems are made and dancers, decorated in red and white patterns, perform an imitative dance representing the python painted on the rock.

N. Munn, 1970. Review of the film. American Anthropologist, Vol.72, pp.1201-1202.

For other references see list under Emu Ritual at Ruguri.

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