Department of Anthropology

The Pilikwe Potters - a film presented by Edwin Wilmsen

Mon, December 11, 2017 | SAC 5.118

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Pilikwe pots
Pilikwe pots

THE PILIKWE POTTERS is a film following pottery making in Pilikwe Village in the Tswapong Hills of eastern Botswana.  The film begins with the mining of rotted granite from which clay is produced through a series of transformative operations of pounding, sieving, and wetting.  These operations accelerate the natural processes of weathering by which clay is formed under normal environmental conditions.  The bulk of the film is devoted to the forming of pots by traditional hand-built methods; this is intercut with archival photos of these methods employed in the 1920s.  The final scenes are of the preparation of the firing pit with prayers for a successful outcome and firing of pots.

Professor Edwin Wilmsen is an Honourary Professorial Scholar with the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and a Research Associate with the School of Geography, Archaeology, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand.  In addition, he is a  Research Scholar with the Department of Anthropology at  the University of Texas at Austin.  

This film was made with a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation (USA) to the filmmakers, Professor Ed Wilmsen, Professor Anne Griffiths (University of Edinburgh School of Law), and Phenyo Thebe (University of Botswana)


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