Bamana Women’s Pottery

by Barbara Frank
SUNY at Stony Brook

Blackening a large water jar. Kunògò, Mali, 1988. Photograph by Barbara E. Frank.


Toward the end of the firing, the larger vessels are carefully rolled from the burning embers and splashed with the acacia solution giving them the same shiny black surfaces as the smaller cooking vessels. Here, potter Diarasou Traore is treating a large water jar, the last vessel to be pulled from the fire. In the immediate foreground is an aluminum cooking pot, which contains what is left of the solution. Beside her are newly fired and blackened cooking pots.