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Peoples and Cultures of Africa : Video

An online research guide to support the students in Mirka Prazak's ANT2118.01 class (Spring 2015).

DVDs at Crossett - selected titles

For additional DVDs and videotapes, search the Crossett Library catalog at library.bennington.edu

Witchcraft Among the Azande

P. Leis Evans-Pritchard's book Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande has become a classic of both ethnography and theories of witchcraft. Now, anthropologist John Ryle and film-maker André Singer, who was himself one of Evans-Pritchard's students and has published on the Azande, have teamed together to produce the film Witchcraft among the Azande for Granada Television's Disappearing World series.

Borana of Ethiopia

Bulu sowing rite at Ogol Da, Sangha June 2013

Dogon religion is the expression of a farming society that lives in a hostile environment. Agrarian rites aim to control the climate and protect the harvests. Their non-observance would cause droughts, famines and other calamities. The hogon (the supreme spiritual leader) is in charge of agrarian rituals that punctuate the seasonal calendar. The Bulu is the sowing rite that launches the new agrarian year. It occurs just before the rains begin (month of June). On this occasion, the participants will gather in the privacy of their homes at the ancestor altars and make offerings for the dead. It is also during the Bulu that the façades of the Binou shrines are redecorated with symbolic paintings made with millet gruel.

Bushman's Secret

When South African filmmaker Regad Desai travels to the Kalahari to investigate global interest in ancient Bushmen knowledge, he meets Jan van der Westhuizen, a fascinating Khomani San traditional healer. Jan's struggle to live close to nature is hampered by centuries of colonial exploitation of the San Bushmen and of their land. Unable to hunt and gather, the Khomani now live in a state of poverty that threatens to see the last of this community forever.

Global Struggle for Food Sovereignty

Global Struggle for Food Sovereignty: A Discussion with African Food Leaders & Farmers. October 12, 2014

African farmers are fighting for “food sovereignty,” the right of all people everywhere to control their food systems. You are invited to hear first-hand from African food leaders and farmers about how corporate “philanthropists” like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are working to transform African small-holder agriculture into American-style industrial agri-business, with all its problems.

Smelting Iron in Africa

Smelting iron from ore by a smith family in West Africa. The only complete, high quality video of iron smelting in Africa. Making charcoal, digging ore and flux, building the kiln, firing the kiln, sacrifices, smelting the iron, forging the iron into tools.

Speaking With God: A Mossi Diviner

A Baga, or diviner, among the Mossi people of Burkina FAso plays his ancient iron clappers and dances to communicate with God on behalf of his clients.

Dr. Steven Rubert: "An Environmental History of Zimbabwe's Highveld"

Dr. Steven Rubert is an economic historian with a long-standing interest in colonial era Zimbabwe and is the author of The Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe. He has studied such topics as tobacco farming and wage labor, and, more recently, a comparison of the cultural, socio-political, and economic contexts of health care for indigenous Africans and white settlers. In this talk he explores how colonial policies impacted the environment of the central region of Zimbabwe, as well as events since the late 1990s.

Population, Health, and Environment: Lessons from East Africa