Bamana Women’s Pottery

by Barbara Frank
SUNY at Stony Brook

Firing. Banamba, Mali, 1988. Photograph by Barbara E. Frank.


Wood is the principal source of fuel for Bamana potters. The increasing deforestation of the sudannic region forces the potters to walk greater distances and to settle for less effective types of wood for their firings. With careful attention paid to the direction of the wind to ensure an even firing, the stack is lit. Here, potter Assa Coulibaly is doing a small firing on the morning of the weekly market.