We Know How To Do These Things: Birth In a Newar Village

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Cremation rites are the most elaborate rites of passage performed by Balinese householders. Poor families may wait years before accumulating enough resources to cremate their dead, who are buried in the meantime. In 1978 many more cremations than usual were carried out because of the great purification cermony, Eka Dasa…
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The Balinese cremation ceremony, or ngaben, has primarily been known in the West as either a major tourist attraction that dazzles visitors with the splendor, intricacy, and drama of its performance, or as fodder for long-standing anthropological arguments about personhood and emotion on the island that debated whether or not…
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The carved pillars of the matrilineal Amis tribe's famed ancestral house recount tribal legends such as The Great Flood and The Glowing Girl, and are home to the ancestral spirits of the Amis. The pillars, however, were removed from the village for exhibition in Taiwan's Institute of Ethnology Museum after…
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In many ways the heart of indigenous India, mineral-rich Jharkhand is and has been at the core of India's industrial development after independence. There, the indigenous Adivasi people have borne the brunt of what is arguably India's most fundamental developmental conflict, which has pushed them to the verge of extinction…
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Unlike many spirit mediums, Jero Tapakan practices as a masseuse once every three days, when possession is not auspicious. This film focuses on Jero's treatment of Ida Bagus, a member of the nobility from a neighboring town. Jero has been treating her client for sterility and seizures. She begins work…
Fantome Island
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The Akha Way
For over a thousand years, the Akha people have inhabited the hills of Asia -- mainly Southern China, Burma and Northern Thailand. The Akha Way or Akhazaunh, is the code by which they live. This documentary describes their origins and their culture. It contains extraordinary footage of a shaman healing…
The Feast in Dream Village
The eastern Indonesian island of Sumba is the last island in the Malay archipelago where the majority of the people still follow their ancestral religion, called marapu. This film, shot in 1986, focuses on a challenge to the authority of the spirits and ancestors in a village ritual to restore…
Bunong's Birth Practices (Bunong Guu Oh)
On the basis of a social anthropological case study, this film documents the birth practices of the Bunong in Mondulkiri province, located in the northeast of Cambodia. Social, economic, and political changes are transforming the province tremendously and are affecting villagers' beliefs, perceptions and habits regarding pregnancy, delivery and early…
Balinese Requiem
In a Balinese village, families go to great trouble and expense for their extravagant cremation ceremony. They provide special foods to mourners and prepare a bounty of offerings for the deceased, from gifts of money to symbolic baskets. The atmosphere is almost festive as a shadow puppet show is performed…