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…
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…
Martirio - Indigenous Brazilians Struggle to Survive
Filmed over the course of 40 years, indigenous expert and filmmaker Vincent Carelli seeks out the origins of Guarani Kaiowa genocide: the peaceful and obstinate insurgency of the dispossessed Guarani Kaiowa against the powerful The archival historical images, new footage,…
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…
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…
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…
The Ax Fight
Part of the Series: Yanomamo 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…
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…
Secrets of the Tribe
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
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…
Discovering Peru’s Earliest Cities
Episode 2 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
The first cities in the Americas date to 3000 B.C. Investigate the means of subsistence of coastal and inland valley cities, and evidence for trade in marine and agricultural products. Learn about the sites of Kotosh, El Paraiso, and Caral…
The Shock of the Other
Episode 1 of Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
Host David Maybury-Lewis revisits the Xavante of Brazil to see how they have changed since 1959, and then journeys into the Peruvian Amazon to unravel the mystery of the Mashco-Piro, a tribe that has chosen to remain hidden from the…
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…
Brujo (Shaman)
Brujo is an exploration of shamanism and curing among the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico, and among two groups of Maya Indians in southern Mexico and Guatemala. The film is divided into three sequences. The first, filmed in Chichicastenango (Guatemala),…
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.
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…
South America’s First People
Episode 3 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
The earliest evidence of humans in the Americas comes not from North America, but from Chile. Investigate the important Monte Verde site and its view into everyday life 15,000 years ago. Learn also about "Quilcas" cave art, the astonishing Chinchorro…
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…
Ausangate
This film documents the lives of Quechua people who live around Ausangate, a sacred peak in southeastern Peru. It is based on anthropological research conducted over twenty years and reveals how the weavers make textiles encoded with symbolic images that…