© 2018 Dr. M. Sheppard

Botswana Kanye Households People Lands Cattle-post Crafts

Firing the pots.

A hole is dug in the ground to form a  “kiln”. This is lined with dried cow dung. The pots are then carefully packed into the pit and covered with more dried cow dung. Then the dung is set alight. Typically it is left  to burn overnight.

A kiln site at the cattle-post. - There were several abandoned pits as the potter related that her pots had cracked during firing. A traditional doctor whom she consulted on the cause, divined with his divination bones that the cracking had been caused by a woman with “hot blood” having walked near the firing pits causing the cracking. He advised her to mark her pots with a cross using a  wild onion and relocate the firing pit.

When unfired pots have been carefully packed in, they are covered with a thick blanket of dried cow dung which is then set alight and left overnight to fire the pots

The next morning the fired pots are carefully removed from the kiln

Packing in the pots, separating them with dried cattle dung