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 Ax Fight
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
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…
Yanomamo: A Multidisciplinary Study
This film illustrates the field techniques used by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Michigan in collaboration with their Venezuelan colleagues. The expedition shown here included specialists in human genetics, serology, epidemiology, demography, dentistry, physical and cultural…
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…
Owners of the Water: Conflict and Collaboration Over Rivers ("Tede'wa")
A unique collaboration between two indigenous filmmakers and an anthropologist, Owners of the Water is a compelling documentary with groundbreaking ethnographic imagery. A central Brazilian Xavante, a Wayuu from Venezuela, and a US anthropologist explore an indigenous campaign to protect…
4 videos
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
Magical Death
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…
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
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
Blood and Corn: Mayan Civilization
Episode 36 of History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective Course
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…
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…
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),…
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…
Chavín and the Rise of Religious Authority
Episode 5 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
The Peruvian site of Chavin marks the emergence of religion as the focus of public art. Study Chavin's distinctive architecture, with images of its characteristic "fanged deity." Learn about later religious iconography and artifacts at Chavin suggesting that it was…