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Summary. In 1982 the author spent six months in Darfur, Sudan, studying a group of itinerant female potters. This paper examines their method of manufacturing and firing, and discusses data observed from 21 pyrometric readings. The use of a bonfire for firing ceramics is described and it is concluded that, despite the apparent simplicity of the technique, the Kebkebiya potters control the appearance of their ware to a surprising degree, since surface colour and quality of vessels to suit a particular function can be regulated by the firing technique. A study of the preparation of raw material shows that these potters never take a single clay but use a mixture from three distinct sources, and petrological analysis and firing tests of the original clays indicate that none of the source clays is workable individually. Different fillers (millet-husk and donkey-dung) are added to clay used to form different sections of the pot (body and neck respectively) and the effect of these is discussed. The extent of the potter's control over the technological process is emphasised.