DER Documentary

Inagina: The Last House of Iron

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by Eric Huysecom and Bernard Augustoni
color, 52 min, 1997

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Swiss archaeologist Eric Huysecom and cameraman Bernard Augustoni work with 13 master smelters to recreate the building of a traditional furnace for smelting iron in Mali. There has not been any traditional iron smelting in Africa since the 1960's, in part due to the importing of cheaper substitutes. The building of the furnaces and the work involved in the actual production is deeply entwined with ritual, symbolism and gender. This film describes in great detail every aspect of the event, from the selection of the site of the reconstruction - which is the oldest remaining furnace site in the region, last active in 1961 - to the final result. This is an important film for African Studies, Archaeology, Religion, Ritual, Technology and Gender.

Inagina has been screened at the Mostra Festival in Brazil, at the International Congress of the Society of African Archaeologists and won a commendation from the Society for Visual Anthropology at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in 1998.

The filmmakers have created a website for the film at:

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
MAIA — Mostra Audiovisual Internacional em Arqueologia, Brazil, 2012

Related Films
African Carving: A Dogon Kanaga Mask
Tree of Iron
The Blooms of Banjeli: Technology and Gender in African Ironmaking

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