The Blooms of Banjeli🇹🇬 Togo
The Blooms of Banjeli documents research in Banjeli, Togo on iron-smelting technology, its rituals, and the sexual prohibitions surrounding it. Including rare historical footage from the same village in 1914, it provides a unique technological record of the traditional method of preparing a furnace to smelt iron. This documentary offers an interesting approach to our understanding of the relationship between conceptions of gender and technology in traditional African society. The people of Banjeli liken the furnace to a woman's body, which is 'impregnated' by the smelter. The process of smelting is compared to that of giving birth, the furnace being the womb and the iron bloom, the newborn.