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  • Librarian: Luis Gonzalez
  • Location: Herman B Wells Library E660
  • Phone: (812) 855-7416
Libraries & Subjects
last updated: 12/3/2013

Film: Indigenous Peoples

Regions: Latin America (general)Caribbean, Central America, South America, Hispanics in the U.S., Iberia
Special Topics: Authors & Artists, Environment, Indigenous Peoples, Music & Dance, Political Leaders, Women
Download a PDF of the complete bibliography

Quick links: Aztec, Inca, Maya, multiple communities

[Achuar] Flames in the forest. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF NC2123
Examines how the Amazon Indians of eastern Ecuador have resisted the invasion of international oil companies which seek to use the resource-rich region for intensive oil production.

[Ashaninka] Before we knew nothing. VHS, 62 min. B-ALF CC3997
Portrays the life and culture of the Ashaninka (also called the Campa), who inhabit the Amazon rainforest of Eastern Peru and who continue to resist acculturation into the modern world.

[Ashaninka] Roots, thorns: and other movements. VHS, 23 min. F3430.1.A83 R66 1993  
Explores the everyday life of the Ashaninka people of Eastern Peru while contemplating their uncertainties and fears connected with both day-to-day living, and with Peru's current political turmoil.

[Aymara] Andean women. VHS, 18 min. B-ALF GC1390
Shows the paradoxical position of Aymara women who perform many tasks vital to society but who see themselves only as helpers in the male-dominated world. [Bolivia]

[Aymara] The Aymara: a case study in social stratification. VHS, 28 min. B-ALF CC4958
Shows firsthand the inequities of a sharp class division between the Spanish-speaking mestizos and the subordinate Aymara Indians. [Bolivia]

[Aymara] Choqela: only interpretation. VHS, 12 min. B-ALF CC3839
Documents the Choqela ceremony, a ritual of the Aymara Indians of Peru and Bolivia.

[Aymara] Viracocha: the Aymara of the Bolivian Andes. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF GC1387
Explores the relationship between the mestizos and the campesinos, the townspeople and Indians of Bolivia, who are linked in an exploitative economic system which heightens their mutual contempt.

[Aztec] Ancient Aztec empire. DVD + guide, 19 min. B-EDUC F1219.73 .A55 2004
Through colorful historical recreations and vivid graphic illustrations, depicts the Aztec island-city of Tenochtitlan and everyday life of the Aztec people. (Grades 3-7) [Mexico]

[Aztec] Ancient Aztec: the fall of the empire. DVD+ guide, 19 min. B-EDUC F1219.73 .A53 2004
Learn about the fall of the Aztec Empire and explore the culture clashes that ensued when two very different societies merged. [Mexico]

[Aztec] Ancient Aztec Indians of North America. VHS, 7 min. B-ALF GC1471
Traces, with illustrations and narration, the rise of the Aztec Empire from 1100 A.D. to the conquest of Central Mexico by the Spanish. [Mexico]

[Aztec] The Aztec. DVD, 30 min. B-EDUC Videos F1219.73 .A954 2007  
Examines the history, changing fortunes, and current situation of the Aztec Indians. (Grades 5 & up) [Mexico]

[Aztec] The five suns: a sacred history of Mexico. VHS, 55 min. F1219.3.R38 F584 1996 | B-ALF CC5329
Depicts an ancient creation story from Mexico, illustrated with colorful animation in the style of pre-Columbian painting.

[Aztec] Mother’s day in Cuetzalan: Panchita the weaver. VHS, 59 min. B-ALF CC6267
Follows without narration Panchita, an Aztec woman, as she weaves, cooks, and sells her wares at a market. [Mexico]

[Aztec] The Spanish conquest of Mexico. VHS, 28 min. B-ALF CC6146
Investigates the religious and political structure of Aztec culture and discusses other Meso-American cultures that came under Aztec rule.

[Cuiva] The last of the Cuiva. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF CC4341
The last of the Cuiva live in northeast Colombia, surrounded by settlers' ranches.

[Garifuna] The Garifuna journey. VHS, 47 min. F1505.2.C3 G375 1998 | B-ALF CC5559 
Presents the history, the language, food, music, dance and spirituality of the Garifuna culture.

[Huichol] Inventing reality. VHS, 60 min. B-ALF CC4657
Observes a Mexican doctor and a tribal shaman battling an epidemic of a rare strain of deadly measles in Huichol Indian villages of Central Mexico.

[Huichol] Jicuri Neirra: la danza del peyote. DVD-R, 32 min. F1221.H9 J52 2006  
Each year, during the dry season, the Huichol meet and invoke the forces of nature to insure the approaching harvest.

[Inca] Ancient Inca Indians of South America. VHS, 7 min. B-ALF GC1472
Surveys, with illustrations, the empire of the Incas with reference to their cities, road systems, religion, farming, and art.

[Inca] Inca cola—The Incas and their history. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF CC3582
Explores the once wealthy and mighty empire of the Incas and how it was destroyed. [Peru]

[Inca] Inca cola—Lima Peru today. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF CC3583
Focuses on the plight of the Incas today as they struggle to exist in cities such as Lima. [Peru]

[Inca] The Incas. VHS, 58 min. F3429 .I532 1988| B-ALF CC3701
Examines the Incan way of life through anthropological research. [Peru]

[Inca] Legacy of the Incas. VHS, 42 min. B-ALF CC4499
Explores the history, culture, political struggles, religious beliefs, engineering feats, and customs of the Incan empire.

[Kayapo] The Kayapo. VHS, 53 min. B-ALF CC3989
Focuses on the Kayapo Indians of Brazil's Amazonian rain forest, who have fiercely resisted settlers invading their region.

[Kayapo] The Kayapo: out of the forest. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF CC4344
The Kayapo Indians have gained international recognition for their bold political resistance and for the reassertion of their traditional cultural identity. [Brazil]

[Kayapo] Taking aim. VHS, 40 min. F2520.1.C45 T354 1993  
Shows how the Cayapo tribe of the Brazilian rainforest appropriated and adapted modern videotape technology for filming their way of life from their own perspective to preserve for future generations.

[Kikapoo] El eterno retorno: testimonios de los indios kikapú. DVD-R, 92 min. E99.K4 E847 2000
Looks at the way of life of the Kikapoo Indians living in Mexico.

[Kuna] The spirit of Kuna Yala. VHS, 60 min. B-ALF GC1693
Portrays in their own words the Kuna Indians of Panama's San Blas Islands and their deep spiritual, economic and cultural ties to their rainforest homeland, Kuna Yala.

[Makuna] An ecology of mind. VHS, 60 min. B-ALF CC4653
Examines the sophisticated ecological awareness of the Makuna of Colombia and how they transmit it from generation to generation through complex myths and rituals.

[Maya] Ancient Maya Indians of South America. VHS, 9 min. B-ALF CC2592
Examines, with illustrations and narration, the attributes of the Mayan civilization at its height.

[Maya] Appeals to Santiago. VHS, 27 min. B-ALF CC3561
Ethnographic documentary of an eight-day Maya Indian festival in Chiapas, in southern Mexico, where the town's patron saints are honored in celebrations that are the responsibility of individuals.

[Maya] Cakchiquel Maya of San Antonio Palopo. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF CC4688
As civilization encroaches, the Maya must decide whether the loss of their culture is too high a price to pay for incorporation into the world beyond their lakeside village. [Guatemala]

[Maya] Daughters of Ixchel: Maya thread of change. VHS, 29 min. F1435.3.A7 D285 1993  
Looks at Maya women today and their ancient process of weaving while also examining the forces at work which are profoundly affecting both the women and the weaving. [Guatemala]

[Maya] The Highland Maya: a case study in economic anthropology (episode 10). VHS, 28 min. B-ALF CC4951
Examines the complex interweaving of economics and religion known as the "cargo" system, which is found among the Highland Maya of Mexico and Guatemala.

[Maya] Incidents of travel in Chichén Itzá.  DVD-R, 90 min. F1435.1.C5 I52 2006 | VHS F1435.1.C5 I52 1997
New Agers, the Mexican state, tourists and archaeologists all contend to produce their own idealized and unobstructed visions of "Maya" while the local Maya occupy the site as vendors and artisans.  

[Maya] The Lacandon Maya. DVD-R, 47 min. F1221.L2 L23 2007
In 1960 Canadian explorer Collin Hanney discovered a group of Mayan Indians living in the jungle near Chiapas who had escaped the Spanish conquest and preserved a way of life for 400 years. [Mexico]

[Maya] The living Maya. 4 DVD, 232 min. F1435.3.S7 L585 2005 pt.1  
Everyday life of a present-day Mayan family trying to cope with modern society. [Mexico]

[Maya] Lost king of the Maya. VHS, 60 min. B-ALF CC6103
Follows a team of archaeologists and historians in Honduras as they investigate the dynasty of Blood Lords who presided over the Mayan city of Copan from 200 to 900 C.E.

[Maya] Lost world of the Maya. 36 min. VHS: B-ALF CC3908 | DVD: F1435 .L5867 1974
Follows Dr. Eric Thompson, an authority on Mayan civilization, as he embarks on a pilgrimage through Central America.

[Maya] Maya lords of the jungle. VHS, 58 min. F1435 .M348 1999 | B-ALF CC3703  
Visits ancient sites on the Yucatan Peninsula where new findings are forcing a reappraisal of the past of the Mayans. [Mexico]

[Maya] Popol Vuh: sacred book of the Quiché Maya. DVD, 59 min. F1465 .P813 1989
Portrays the creation myth of the Quiché Maya of ancient Guatemala through animation.  

[Maya] Sacred games. VHS, 59 min. B-ALF CC4005
Documents the complex, week-long activities of the Carnival, the most spectacular, popular, and costly festival of the Mayan ritual calendar.

[Maya] Todos Santos Cuchumatan. VHS, 41 min. F1465.1.T63 T63 1982b  | B-ALF CC3549
Illustrates the social changes in the lives of Guatemalan Indians that led to the political upheaval of the 1980's.

[Maya] Todos Santos: the survivors. VHS, 58 min. B-ALF CC4177
Compares life in the rural Guatemalan Indian village of Todos Santos both before and after the guerrilla war of 1981-1982.

[Maya] Winds of memory. VHS, 52 min. F1465.3.G6 W563 1992 | B-ALF CC4741
Testimony of the daily life of the thousands of Indians persecuted by the Guatemalan army, of their social and economic struggle for dignity and the right to live.

[Maya] Ya basta!: le cri des sans-visage = the battle cry of the faceless. VHS, 50 min. F1256 .Y3 1997
The Zapatista movement's cause echoes world-wide but the lives of the Indians today in the mountains and the jungles of Chiapas are no less precarious than before. [Mexico]

[Maya] The Yucatec Maya: a case study in marriage and the family. VHS, 28 min. B-ALF CC4954
Follows a traditional extended-family group as its members companionably share the daily chores, teaching the youngsters in a never-ending cycle. [Mexico]

[Mehinacu] The Mehinacu. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF CC4343
The Mehinacu live in a small village near the Xingu in the central Brazilian rain forest.

[Olmec] Excavation at la Venta. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF GC1224
Views the archaeological excavation at La Venta, Tabasco, Mexico, and exhibits the familiar Mesoamerican pattern of pyramids, stone sculpture, and carved jade.

[Olmec] Kings of the stone age. DVD-R, 50 min. F1219.8.O56 K566 2007  
Explores the achievements of the Olmec people in Mexico.

[Otavalo] Weaving the future. VHS, 24 min. F3722.1.O8 W328 1997  
A contemporary portrait of the Otavalo Indians, an indigenous community living in the Andean Highlands of Northern Ecuador.

[Panare] A clearing in the jungle. VHS, 39 min. B-ALF CC4359
Profiles the Panare tribe in Venezuela, showing how the tribe passively, then actively, rejects newcomers.

[Pankarau] Do São Francisco ao Pinheiros. DVD-R, 51 min. F2520.1.P35 D6 2007  
Traces the continuous migration of the Pankarau Indians from the backlands of Pernambuco to São Paulo. [Brazil]

[Purépecha] Ultimas memorias vivas = Last living memories. DVD-R, Region 5; 27 min. F1306 .U485 2005  
The 1943 eruption of the Paricutín Volcano in Michoacan, Mexico  was a catastrophe for the indigenous Purépecha people of the region.

[Quechua] Ausangate. DVD, 61 min. F2230.2.K4 A937 2006  
Documents the lives of Quechua people who live around Ausangate, a sacred peak in southeastern Peru.

[Quechua] Carnival in Q'eros: where the mountain meet the jungle. VHS, 32 min. F3429.3.R3 C375 1990  
Shows the remarkable carnival celebrations never before seen by outsiders - of a remote community of Quechua Indians high in the Peruvian Andes.

[Quechua] The Quechua. VHS, 51 min. B-ALF CC3987
Unlike many tribes in remote areas, the Quechua desperately want a road to link them with the outside world and its benefits, especially the tourist trade. [Peru]

[Quiché] When the mountains tremble. VHS, 90 min. F1466.5 .W545 1999 |B-ALF CC5304
The struggles of the Indian peasantry in Guatemala against state and foreign oppression, centering on the experiences of a 23-year-old Indian woman, Rigoberta Menchu, now living in exile.

[Tarahumara] The Tarahumara. VHS, 26 min. B-ALF CC3494
Profiles a little known  Indian nation who live in the Sierra Madre mountains of southwestern Chihuahua, Mexico.

[Tarahumara] The Tarahumara Festival of the Easter Moon. DVD-R, 28 min. F1221.T25 T373 2007 | F1221.T25 T373 2005 
Shot in 1976, this film is a rare visual document of the Tarahumara- one of the most remote and isolated tribes of the North American continent. [Mexico]

[Tarahumara] Voices of the Sierra Tarahumara. VHS, 52 min. HN120.T36 V64 2001
In the face of grave political and environmental danger, the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico are surviving the worst of human rights violations

[Tohono O’odham] The Border crossed us. DVD-R, 26 min. E99.P25 B67 2005
Immigration law denies citizenship to many Tohono O'odham people who used to cross the USA-Mexico border freely, disrupting long established community and culture.

[Waiapi] At the edge of conquest: the journey of Chief Wai-Wai. VHS, 28 min. CC4778
Examines the plight of the Waiapi Indians, an indigenous tribe from northern Brazil, who are struggling to protect their lands from government takeover for mining purposes.

[Waiapi] Caxiri, or manioc beer. VHS, 19 min. B-ALF CC3781
Discusses manioc, the most important product of Waiapi agriculture. [Brazil]

[Waiapi] Jungle secrets. DVD-R, 37 min. F2460.1.O9 J864 2007  
Waiãpi stories of ancestors and forest monsters are acted by tribe members who intend the videos to be shown to other Indians to make them beware of threats from outside forces.  [Brazil]

[Waiapi] Music, dance and festival among the Waiapi Indians of Brazil. VHS, 39 min. B-ALF CC3779
Five festivals are examined which expose viewers to several pervasive features of Waiapi culture. [Brazil]

Waiapi body painting and ornaments. VHS, 18 min. B-ALF CC3782
Documents Waiapi body ornamentation.

Waiapi instrumental music. VHS, 58 min. B-ALF CC3783
Examines a variety of wind instruments and the contexts in which they are used.

Waiapi slash and burn cultivation. VHS, 22 min. B-ALF CC3780
The Waiapi, like rain forest dwellers throughout the world, use slash and burn cultivation to grow foods.

[Waorani] Nomads of the rainforest. VHS, 59 min. B-ALF CC3562  
An anthropological study of the Waorani Indians of the Amazon River in Ecuador.

[Xavante] At the threshold. VHS, 60 min. B-ALF CC4659
Visits the Xavante tribe in the jungles of Brazil and the Navajo of the American Southwest to review the primary wisdoms that tribal people offer to our modernized world.

[Xinguana] The Xinguana: aborigines of South America. VHS, 29 min. B-ALF GC1291
Studies the Xinguana, farmer-fishermen of the Upper Xingu River in Brazil.

[Yaghan] The last trace. VHS, 63 min. F2986 .L34 2001
The story of the two remaining members of the indigenous Yahgan (Yagan or Yamana) Indians in Tierra del Fuego, Chile.

[Yanomami] Contact: the Yanomami Indians of Brazil. VHS, 30 min. B-ALF CC4278
Reveals the devastation of the Yanomami, an indigenous Brazilian rain forest Indian tribe, by the influx of gold miners. [Brazil]

[Yanomami] The feast. VHS, 29 min. B-ALF CC2359
Documents how an alliance is formed between hostile Yanomamo Indian villages through feasting, trading, dancing, and chanting.

[Yanomami] How cultures are studied (episode 3). VHS, 28 min. B-ALF CC4944
Anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon describes his ethnographic study of the Yanomamo Indians of Venezuela.

[Yanomami] Yanomami : keepers of the flame. VHS, 58 min. F2520.1.Y3 Y366 1992  
Explorers make contact with the Yanomami Indians of Brazil who are considered to be the last Stone Age tribe in the Amazon.

Yanomamo series. [Venezuela]
The Ax fight
. VHS, 30 min. F2520.1.Y3 A96 1975  
Analysis of a fight in a Yanomamo Indian village between local descent groups.
Bride service. VHS, 8 min. B-ALF CC2780
A Yanomamo man and his son make a bride payment of gathered meat and fruit.
Magical death. VHS, 29 min. B-ALF CC2799
Dedeheiwa, a  shaman, is both a communicant with the spirits and an important political leader.
A man called “Bee”: studying the Yanomamo. VHS, 43 min. B-ALF CC2788
Overview of Napoleon Chagnon's anthropological work with the Yanomamo Indians of Venezuela.
New tribes mission. VHS, 12 min. B-ALF CC2785
Members of the New Tribes Mission attempt to teach Yanomamo children their way of life.
Tapir distribution. VHS, 12 min. B-ALF CC2801
Maowa kills a tapir and presents it to his brothers-in-law for distribution.
The Yanomamo myth of Naro as told by Kaobawa. VHS, 21 min. B-ALF CC2794
Kaobawa, the headman of Bisaasi-teri, relates a version of the myth of Naro, the opossum.

[Yekuna] Watunna. VHS, 24 min. B-ALF CC4247
Depicts, through animation, five stories from the creation myths of the Yekuana Indians who inhabit the Venezuelan rain forest along the Orinoco River basin.

[Zapotec] Mayordomia: ritual, gender, and cultural identity in a Zapotec community. VHS, 21 min. F1221 .Z3 M39 1991 | B-ALF CC4270
Uses the Mayordomia, an annual religious festival, to study the life styles and culture in a southern Mexican Zapotec town. [Mexico]


Multiple communities

Central America: the burden of time. VHS, 60 min. B-ALF CC5018
Isolated from the rest of the world, the Mayans and Aztecs created sophisticated civilizations that in many ways paralleled ancient Mediterranean empires.

Ciudades del México antiguo = The cities of ancient Mexico. 3 VHS, approx. 30 min/each.
[1] Teotihuacan: El caracol alado = The winged sea-snail. F1219.1.T27 T4684 1998
[2] Palenque: the walls of Mayan history. F1435.1.P2 P275 1998
[3] Chichen-Itzá: the fall of the Mayan empire. F1435.1.C5 C475 1998

Columbus didn’t discover us. VHS, 24 min. E58 .C64 1992 | B-ALF CC4543
Highlights from the First Continental Conference of Indigenous Peoples, a gathering of peoples native to the Americas.

Dreamtales. VHS, 32 min. F2319.2.Y4 1993
Two original animated films about Native American myths and beliefs.

Early American civilizations. VHS, 22 min. B0ALF CC3648
History and daily life of the people who shaped the great ancient civilizations in Central and South America- the Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs, Aztecs, and Incas.

Ecuador: The Indian Women. VHS, 57 min. B-ALF CC5537
Uses interviews, narrative, and extensive footage shot on location to examine the situation of indigenous women in Ecuador.

Five centuries later. VHS, 54 min. HD1265.L29 F584 1992 | B-ALF CC4887
Examines the lives of the native peoples of South America today, focusing on their struggles in Guatemala and Bolivia for civil and land rights.

Jorden er vores mor: to indianske folk i Latinamerika = The Earth is our mother: two Indian tribes in Latin America. 55 min. DVD-R: F2319.2.M6 J6 2007 | VHS: B-ALF CC4025
The Motilon Indians of Venezuela have abandoned their traditional ways, becoming dependent on missionaries. In contrast, the Arhuaco Indians of Colombia expelled the missionaries.

The journey back: The Earth is our mother, Part Two. VHS, 50 min. B-ALF CC5622
Documents the return of the filmmakers to visit the Arhuaco Indians of Colombia six years later, and shows reactions of the Arhuaco towards this visit.

The last of the hiding tribes: a record filmed over 30 years, 1967-1998. 3 VHS, 150 min + guide. F2520 .L37 1999
Traces the history of three tribes on the edge of extinction: the Panara, the Uru Eu Wau Wau and the Ava-Canoeiro, all of whom live in the Brazilian Amazon.

Man on the Rim: the peopling of the Pacific, no. 9: Roads without wheels. VHS, 60 min. B-ALF CC4327
Isolated from the rest of the world, the South American Indians invented the wheel but used it only on toys, never for transport.

Origins: a history of North America, no. 2: Lost civilization. VHS, 29 min. B-ALF CC4235
Discusses how the Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas were brilliant in art, architecture, and agriculture.

Teotihuacan: the birthplace of the sun. VHS, 27 min. B-ALF CC6391
Provides an overview of the ancient Mexican city Teotihuacan, which was established around 200 B.C.E. and fell into ruin around 700 C.E.

La tradición Teuchitlán: descubriendo el Antiguo Occidente de México. DVD. F1219.1.J3 T734 2000
Archaeological research discovered a prehispanic civilization based in west Mexico, the discovery of which contradicted the traditional archaeological knowledge about this region.  

The tree of life: three films on Indian Mexico. DVD-R.  F1221.T6 T744 1999  
The tree of life: Recounts the ritual of "Los Voladores" a 2000-year old Totonac Indian ritual (29 min) -- The tree of knowledge: Contrasts two systems of education (25 min) -- Democracia Indigena: Examines the liberating role of Indian Theology, as it covers municipal elections in Huehuetla, Puebla, Mexico(37 min).

War of the gods. VHS, 52 min. B-ALF CC4342
Focuses on the Maku and Barasana Indians, who have lived in the deep forests of northwest Amazonia for thousands of years.

The world: a television history, no. 16: Americas before the Europeans (300-1500). VHS, 26 min. B-ALF CC4056
Presents the achievements of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations that existed in Central and South America, and questions why none survived the Spanish Conquistadors.



last updated: 12/3/2013