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…
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…
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…
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
The Inca—From Raiders to Empire
Episode 19 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
In charting the rise of Inca civilization, follow the pivotal reign of Pachacuti, the 9th Inca, whose vision to unify the Andes led to large-scale conquest. Learn how his heir, Tupac, doubled the imperial territories, and how the empire was…
Mi Chacra (My Land)
The film tells the story of a young indigenous Peruvian man who has lived his entire life, but for a few brief months, in a small farming village in the mountains above the Sacred Valley. Like everyone in his community,…
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…
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…
Estradeiros - Wanderers - Modern Nomads in South America
Comparable to "traveling hippies" dressed in worn-out, garish clothes, often filthy with disheveled hair, Estradeiros (wanderers) are diverse nomadic groups in Brazil and other Latin American countries. They consider themselves borderless and travel on foot from place-to-place selling handmade crafts…
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…
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…
The Nazca Lines and Underground Channels
Episode 8 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
The Nazca are yet another South American people of striking accomplishments. Learn about their remarkable irrigation system of underground aquifers, aqueducts, and wells, and their fine polychrome pottery and textiles. Penetrate the mystery of the "Nazca Lines," massive geoglyphs scratched…
The Khipu—Language Hidden in Knots
Episode 21 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
The Inca used a complex system of records encoded on knotted strings. Study what is known of the khipu, starting with Spanish accounts of their use and the "khipucamayuq" who recorded and read them. Learn how numbers were encoded, and…
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…
Spanish Contact—Pizarro Conquers the Inca
Episode 23 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
In one of history's most unusual incidents, the Inca empire was defeated by a Spanish force of 168 men. Study the events surrounding the capture and demise of Atahualpa--the last true Inca ruler--the destructive conquest by Francisco Pizarro, and the…
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…
Enigmatic Tiwanaku by Lake Titicaca
Episode 12 of Lost Worlds of South America Course
Lake Titicaca is the site of one of South America's most impressive civilizations. Discover the huge urban complex of Tiwanaku and its cultural connections to Chavin de Huantar. Explore Tiwanaku's mysterious architecture and its "raised field" agriculture, an engineering feat…
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…