Indigenous Film Index: Africa

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The Afar also known as the Danakil, Adali and Odali, are an Cushitic ethnic group inhabiting the Horn of Africa. They primarily live in the Afar Region of Ethiopia and in northern Djibouti, as well as the entire southern coast of Eritrea. The Afar speak the Afar language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. Afars are the only inhabitants of the Horn of Africa whose traditional territories border both the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.



Amazigh (Berbers)

The Amazigh people inhabits a territory spanning most of North Africa, from the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts up to the Sahel. Since the 20th century, it also has had a substantial presence in Europe through the Amazigh diaspora. The traditional territory of the Amazigh people is called “Tamazgha” in the Amazigh language. The Amazigh languages (Tamazight) are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They comprise a group of closely related languages spoken by the Imazighen, who are Indigenous to North Africa.




The Bamileke make up the largest ethnic group in Cameroon and inhabit the country’s western region. The Bamileke are subdivided into several tribes, each under the guidance of a King or fon. They speak a number of related languages from the Eastern Grassfields branch of the Grassfields language family. The Bamileke are organized under several chiefdoms (or fondoms). The Bamileke also share much history and culture with the neighboring fondoms of the Northwest region and notably the Lebialem region of the Southwest region, but the groups have been divided since their territories were split between the French and English in colonial times.


Funeral Season (2011)

Funeral Season
Matthew Lancit


Borana Oromo

The Borana people, also called the Boran, are a subethnic section of the Oromo people who live in southern Ethiopia (Oromia) and northern Kenya. They speak a dialect of the Oromo language that is distinct enough that it is difficult for other Oromo speakers to understand. The Borana people are notable for their historic gadaa political system.


Boran Herdsmen

Boran Herdsmen
Paul Baxter, James Blue, David MacDougall

Boran Women (1974)

Boran Women
James Blue, David MacDougall

Bury the Spear (2004)

Bury the Spear!
Alula Pankhurst, Ivo Strecker

Harambee (1974)

Harambee: Pull Together
James Blue, David MacDougall

Kenya Boran (1974)

Kenya Boran
James Blue, David MacDougall



The Dogon (or Kaador, Kaado) are an ethnic group indigenous to the central plateau region of Mali, in West Africa, south of the Niger bend, near the city of Bandiagara, and in Burkina Faso. They speak the Dogon languages, which are considered to constitute an independent branch of the Niger–Congo language family, meaning that they are not closely related to any other languages.


In the Shadow of the Sun (1998)

In the Shadow of the Sun
Nadine Wanono, Philippe Lourdou

Inagina (1997)

Inagina: The Last House of Iron
Bernard Augustoni, Eric Huysecom




Igbo are believed to have originated as a people several thousand years ago in the area where the Benue flows into the Niger River. Their traditional homeland straddles the Niger River in the south-east and is one of the most densely populated areas of the African continent. Igbo are predominantly Christian. The Igbo language is a part of the Niger-Congo language family and is divided into numerous regional dialects.


Owu: Chidi Joins the Okoroshi Secret Society (1994)

Sabine Jell-Bahlsen


Ju'hoansi (!Kung)

The Ju’hoansi (!Kung) are one of the San peoples who live mostly on the western edge of the Kalahari desert, Ovamboland (northern Namibia and southern Angola), and Botswana. The names ǃKung (ǃXun) and Ju are variants words for ‘people’, preferably used by different ǃKung groups. This band level society used traditional methods of hunting and gathering for subsistence up until the 1970s. Today, the great majority of ǃKung people live in the villages of Bantu pastoralists and European ranchers.


Bitter Melons (1971)

Bitter Melons
John Marshall

A Curing Ceremony (1969)

A Curing Ceremony
John Marshall

Debe's Tantrum (1972)

Debe’s Tantrum
John Marshall

First Film (1951 /1955)

First Film
Lorna Marshall

A Group of Women (1961)

A Group of Women
John Marshall

The Hunters (1957)

The Hunters
John Marshall

A Joking Relationship (1962)

A Joking Relationship
John Marshall

The Meat Fight (1974)

The Meat Fight
John Marshall

Men Bathing (1973)

Men Bathing
John Marshall

n!ai, the story of a !kung woman (1980)

N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman
John Marshall, Adrienne Miesmer

Pull Ourselves Up or Die Out (1985)

Pull Ourselves Up or Die Out
John Marshall, Jonathan Sahula, John Terry

A Rite of Passage (1972)

A Rite of Passage
John Marshall

Tug of War (Bushmen)(1974)

Tug-Of-War (Bushmen)
John Marshall

The Wasp Nest (1972)

The Wasp Nest
John Marshall


Karamajong (Dodoth)

The Karamojong live in the southern part of the region in the north-east of Uganda, occupying an area equivalent to one tenth of the country. Their language is also known as Karamojong or Karimojong and is part of the Nilotic language family. It is said that the Karamojong were originally known as the Jie. The name Karamojong derived from phrase “ekar ngimojong”, meaning “the old men can walk no farther”. According to tradition, the peoples now known as the Karamojong Cluster or Teso Cluster are said to have migrated from Abyssinia between the 1600 and 1700 AD as a single group.


Dodoth Morning (1961)

Dodoth Morning 
Timothy Asch


‡Khomani San

The San peoples, or Bushmen, are members of various Khoe, Tuu, or Kxʼa-speaking indigenous hunter-gatherer cultures that are the first cultures of Southern Africa, and whose territories span Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa. The term “San” is a Khoekhoe exonym with the meaning of “foragers” and was often used in a derogatory manner to describe nomadic, foraging people.


Bushman's Secret (2006)

Bushman’s Secret
Rehad Desai

Tracks Across Sand (2012)

Tracks Across Sand
Hugh Brody, Betsy Carson



The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The Maasai speak the Maa language (ɔl Maa), a member of the Nilotic language family that is related to the Dinka, Kalenjin and Nuer languages. Except for some elders living in rural areas, most Maasai people speak the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili and English. Properly speaking, “Maa” refers to the language and the culture and “Maasai” refers to the people “who speak Maa.”


The Chairman and the Lion (2012)

The Chairman and the Lions
Juma Mriga
Kelly Askew, Peter Biella, Frank Kaipai Ikoyo, Howard Stein

Changa Revisited (2016)

Changa Revisited
Peter Biella, Leonard Kamerling

Maasai Women (1980)

Maasai Women
Michael Ambrosino, Sanford Low, Melanie Wallace

Wandering Warrior (2004)

Wandering Warrior
Clifford Moskow

The Women's Olamal (1985)

The Women’s Olamal
Melissa Llelewyn-Davies



The Mursi reside in the Lower Omo Valley, surrounded by mountains between the Omo River and its tributary the Mago. The home of the Mursi is one of the most isolated regions of the country. The Mursi language as a mother tongue is part of the Surmic language family. Today, the Mursi are confronted with problems of land and water. The water cycle from the seasonal floods they depend on has been greatly altered by the Gibe III hydroelectric dam. The African Parks Foundation and government park officials are accused of coercing Mursi into giving up their land within the boundaries of the Omo National Park without compensation. This is tantamount to making the Mursi squatters on their own land.


Framing the Other (2011)

Framing the Other
Ilja Kok, Willem Timmers



The Wodaabe are a small subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group. The Wodaabe speak the Fula language and don’t use a written language. In the Fula language, woɗa means “taboo”, and Woɗaaɓe means “people of the taboo”. This is sometimes translated as “those who respect taboos”, a reference to the Wodaabe isolation from broader Fulbe culture and their contention that they retain “older” traditions than their Fulbe neighbors.


Deep Hearts (1981)

Deep Hearts
Robert Gardner