Ethnographic Films/Videos Authored
Mammy Water: In Search of the Water Spirits in Nigeria (60 min.) www.der.org
Mammy Water is a pidgin English name for a local water goddess worshipped by the Ibibio, Ijaw, and Igbo speaking peoples of southeastern Nigeria. The water goddess traditionally gives wealth and children, compensates for hardships, and is sought in times of illness and need, especially by women. Her various cults are led, predominantly, by priestesses.
This acclaimed documentary shows numerous rituals and ceremonies associated with Mammy Water, while devotees provide commentary. This is an important depiction of the strength of traditional religion in contemporary Nigeria and one of the few academically sound investigations of the role of women in an African spiritual movement.
Testimonials and Reviews – MammyWater
Owu: Chidi Joins the Okoroshi Secret Society (60 min.) www.der.org
Witness an uncompromising portrait of a young man’s initiation into a men’s secret society. It begins with the elder griot and praise singer talking about the origins of the “Owu” society. Two keepers of tradition, the griot and the town’s oldest woman and female griot, Ezenwanyi (Leader of Women), narrate this film continuing their role as commentators in the life of the village. Owu explores the pluralistic lives of Africans as they come up against westernized Christian influence. Many significant rituals are filmed for the first time. The program shows respect for the subject’s traditions.
Testimonials and Reviews – Owu
Tubali: Hausa Architecture of Northern Nigeria. (45 min.) www.der.org
The beautiful architecture of Hausa cities in Northern Nigeria is examined in this film. Local builders, architects, and a museum curator explain the development of the Hausa style and traditional methods of construction. Master craftsmen and their apprentices show how traditional architectural forms influence contemporary design. Hausa building technology, as well as the social, religious and aesthetics of Hausa architecture are also discussed.
Testimonials and Review – Tubali
Skull Art in Papua New Guinea(30 min.) www.der.org
This video documents the over-modeling in clay of a real human skull in Lae, Papua New Guinea, in the spring of 1997. A painted skull had been purchased from a trader. When Adam Kone visited, he found the skull poorly decorated and set out to mold a more elaborate skull-portrait, adding modern materials, in his friend’s house. Asked to sculpt in the garden, he refused. Adam had nothing to do with the dead person, but was weary of head hunting suspicions, and feared arrest.
Film Reviews – Skull Art
1983 Eze Nwata -The Small King (with Georg Jell. 27 min. col. 16mm film & video) Ogbuide Films, NY
1982 Divine Earth Divine Water (A film trilogy, 82 min., 16mm) Ogbuide Films, NY.