South American Indigenous

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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…
The Aztecs
This two-part collection documents the rise and fall of one of the most remarkable civilizations. From the ancient Olmec and their giant carved stone heads to the magnificent pyramids of the moon and sun at Teotihuacan, the Aztecs were inheritors…
2 videos
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 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…
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…
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…
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,…
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
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…
Mbyá Reko Pyguá - Education in a Guarani Tribe
The sensibility of the Guarani people in educating its children can still be seen despite urban influences on the tribe. The film was shot entirely in Guarani language at a native tribe in Santa Catarina. It shows how their 'light'…
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…
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…
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 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…
The Maya and the Popol Vuh
Episode 10 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 5 - The Americas
Travel down to South and Central America to learn about the Maya, the Aztecs, and the Incas. While there are many shared stories and common origins, these people maintain cultures and myths that are significantly different from those of their…
Blood and Corn: Mayan Civilization
Episode 36 of History of the Ancient World
Delve into the achievements of the Maya, who were among the longest-lasting, most geographically extensive, and most culturally sophisticated of all Mesoamerican cultures. Grasp how we can know these things only because the Maya left behind what those other peoples…
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…
Moonblood - A Yanomamo Creation Myth as Told by Dedeheiwa
Part of the Series: Yanomamo Collection
In this myth, the Yanomamo account for the creation of human beings and for their ferocity. The myth is told by the shaman Dedeheiwa. Long ago, when people "like us" lived in a village "over there," Moon lived there too,…
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…
Early Americas: Resources and Olmecs
Episode 34 of History of the Ancient World
Shift your attention to North and South America. These were among the last regions humans would settle, and you follow their progress from nomadic hunter-gatherers to the civilizations that would be defined by geography and available resources, beginning with the…