South American Indigenous

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When Two Worlds Collide - A Battle for Indigenous Amazonian Land
In this tense and immersive tour de force, audiences are taken directly into the line of fire between powerful, opposing Peruvian leaders who will stop at nothing to keep their respective goals intact. On the one side is President Alan…
Genoveva - Challenging Stereotypes Associated with Indigenous Peoples of Chile
This is a story that links family memories with prejudices behind contemporary images of indigenous people. A picture of an elderly Mapuche great-grandmother is the starting point for this documentary essay. Through the analysis of that image, interviews with family…
The Grammar of Happiness - Discovering the Unique Communication Style of an Amazonian Tribe
Daniel Everett is an American linguist and author best known for his study of the Amazon Basin's Piraha people and their language. THE GRAMMAR OF HAPPINESS is a documentary that explores whether Daniel's journey into the heart of the Amazon…
The Ax Fight
Part of the Series: Anthropology 101 Collection
The Ax Fight was restored by the National Film Preservation Foundation. A fight broke out in Mishimishimabowei-teri on the second day of Chagnon and Asch's stay in this village in 1971. The conflict developed between the villagers of Mishimishimabowei-teri and…
Yvy Maraey, Land Without Evil - Yvy Maraey, Tierra Sin Mal
A Bolivian filmmaker and a Guarani Indian travel together through the forests of southeastern Bolivia to make a film about the Guarani people. The starting point is a 1911 film by Swedish explorer Erland Nordenskiold. But today's reality turns out…
Secrets of the Tribe
Part of the Series: Anthropology 101 Collection
The field of anthropology goes under the magnifying glass in this fiery investigation of the seminal research on Yanomamo Indians. In the 1960s and '70s, a steady stream of anthropologists filed into the Amazon Basin to observe this "virgin" society…
Mayan Renaissance - The Untold Story of the Maya
'Mayan Renaissance' is a feature length film which documents the glory of the ancient Mayan civilization, the Spanish conquest in 1519, five hundred years of oppression, and the courageous fight of the Maya to reclaim their voice and determine their…
2 videos
Damiana Kryygi - The Story of an Aché Girl
In the dense Paraguayan jungle of 1896, a three year-old girl survives the massacre of her Ache family by white settlers. The captive girl is baptized Damiana and becomes an object of scientific interest. Her body is photographed and measured…
A Man Called "Bee": Studying The Yanomamo
Part of the Series: Yanomamo Collection
This is one of the few ethnographic films in which the anthropologist appears as one of the subjects, and as such it is a lively introduction to the nature of fieldwork. Napoleon Chagnon, who lived among the Yanomamo for 36…
Magical Death
Part of the Series: Yanomamo Collection
The shaman plays a vital role in Yanomamo society, for it is he who calls, commands, and often is possessed by spirits, or hekura. "Like myriad glowing butterflies dancing in the sky," the hekura come down invisible trails from the…
Empire Of The Incas
For nearly 100 years, the Incas ruled the largest empire in South American history. The Incas had a society based on community and co-operation, with power controlled firmly by the Sapa Inca and the royal family. They were brilliant engineers,…
South America's Lost Cradle of Civilization
Episode 1 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
Consider the remarkable evidence for South America as one of the true wellsprings of human civilization. Grasp the diversity of early South American cultures, from the Andean civilizations to the desert and Amazon regions; what these cultures shared; and their…
Cimarrón Spirit: Afro-Dominican Maroon Culture
In the Dominican Republic, as early as 1512, African slaves escaped from Spanish plantations and lived with the island's Taino Indians or on their own in mountainous jungles in the remote frontier land of Hispaniola. These people who were known…
The Inca Origins—Mythology v. Archaeology
Episode 17 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
Begin your study of the great Inca civilization by tracing the culture's origin myth, featuring a creator deity who made the cosmos and charged the Inca to found a kingdom in a fertile valley. Compare the mythology with archaeological evidence…
The Feast
Part of the Series: Yanomamo Collection
Yanomamo feasts are ceremonial, social, economic, and political events. They are occasions for men to adorn their bodies with paint and feathers, to display their strength in dance and ritualized aggression; for trading partnerships to be established or affirmed; and…
Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley
Episode 22 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
The mountainside complex of Machu Picchu was a royal estate of Pachacuti, the 9th Inca. Walk the site, entering at the Sun Gate, and explore the causeways, terraces, and many rooms of undetermined function. Study the solar-aligned Torreon and other…
Popol Vuh
This animated short from Chile tells the tale of creation based on "Popol Vuh: the Ancient Stories of the Quiche," written by the indigenous Maya Quiche people after the Spanish Conquest. The vibrant illustrations are taken from Mayan codices, paintings…
The Moche—Drugs, Sex, Music, and Puppies
Episode 11 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
This episode investigates the dramatic iconography seen on Moche ceramics. First, learn about the complex rituals and practices of modern South American shamanism. Then study images on Moche pottery usually interpreted as depicting victory in war, and indications that they…
Renacimiento de los Mayas (Spanish version of Mayan Renaissance)
'Mayan Renaissance' is a feature length film which documents the glory of the ancient Mayan civilization, the Spanish conquest in 1519, five hundred years of oppression, and the courageous fight of the Maya to reclaim their voice and determine their…
Dirty Paradise - Pollution in French Guyana
One last piece of South America belongs to Europe: French Guyana; where the native Wayna Indians live in an almost paradisiacal world. But criminal gold diggers occupy and pollute the land with mercury, through their primitive extraction techniques.