National Anthropological Archives and Human Studies Film Archives


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Guide to the Collections
of the Human Studies Film Archives

Central America

CA-81.5.8: TO FIND OUR LIFE: THE PEYOTE HUNT OF THE HUICHOLS OF
MEXICO*
1968-1969; 2,340 ft (65 min) sound color; video
Edited film documenting the ritual activities of a peyote
pilgrimage by a group of Huichol Indians to the north-central
desert of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Creator: Peter T. Hurst, anthropologist

CA-82.10.1: [Zingg's Huichol Footage, 1933-1934]
1933-1934; 1,332 ft (59 min) silent b&w; film/video;
supplementary materials: 1
Footage shot among the Huichol of Tuxpan de Bolanos, northern
Mexico, is the earliest known motion picture documentation of the
Huichol. Footage depicts the distinctively indigenous aspects of
Huichol culture and various acculturated aspects derived from
Christian influence including tatei neixa or wimakwari (a first
fruits ritual) at the ceremonial center of Ratontita, temple
officers returning from a successful deer hunt, a peyote dance,
parched corn ceremony, rain-making rituals, Easter Week
activities (including the stations of the cross and a procession
of the "saints"), and the cambio de las varas, an annual ceremony
performed to sanctify the changing of Huichol government
officials. Footage also documents Huichol subsistence and craft
activities.
Creator: Robert Zingg, anthropologist

CA-82.10.2: [Zingg's Tarahumara Footage, 1933]
1933; 503 ft (20 min) silent b&w; film/video
Footage shot among the Tarahumara (or Raramuri) of Samachique and
other sites of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Chihuahua, northern
Mexico, in association with Wendell Bennett. Documentation
includes a mix of daily year-round activities and rituals held
during Easter week. The former includes: man with children
dancing a pascole, tutuburi (a man with rattle intoning a chant),
various craft activities, making maguay beer, and the pre-
Columbian running game known as rarajipa. Easter week footage
includes the syncretic rituals, dances, and costumes which
reflect the legacy of the Tarahumara mission system as it
developed under the authority of Spanish Jesuits and Franciscans
during the 17th and 18th century. These ritual activities reflect
a cosmological opposition between God and his allies, the
"soldiers," and the Devil and his allies, the "Pharisees."
Tarahumara are seen performing a matachin dance accompanied by
violin players and drummers, young boys are shown having their
bodies painted as part of the process of being taught how to
dance--then performing a Pharisee dance, and communicants are
shown filing into a native church and then following an Easter
week processional route. Included are shots of yoking an ox and
plowing, planting and harvesting corn, making maguey beer,
spinning wool and weaving, and pottery making.
Creator: Robert Zingg, anthropologist

CA-85.8.1: [Yucatec Maya Film Project, 1977]
1977; 150,000 ft sound color; film; supplementary materials: 3
Full film record shot over a one-year period in the Yucatan Maya
village of Chican, Mexico. Footage documents Mayan family life
and agricultural practices with a focus on the relationship
between traditional religion and the cultivation of corn. Social
difficulties which arise from drought, family illness, and a
government mandated "collective" orchard that goes against Maya
cultural traditions are explored as is the pull of urban life
upon a village family. The four-part film series, THE LIVING
MAYA, which addresses issues of social change and modernization
among the Maya, was produced from this project.
Creator: Hubert Smith, ethnographic filmmaker (1938- )

CA-85.10.2: [Wheeler Footage of Guatemala and Mexico, 1940]
1940; 400 ft (15 min) silent color; video
Footage of Mexico and Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Shots of
interest in Mexico include scenes in a major plaza in Mexico City
and of the water taxis, canals, and chinampas floating gardens of
Xochimilco. Shots in Guatemala were taken in the locales of
Chichicastenango and Santiago. These include markets showing
local vendors, market women in colorful dress, and local potters
taking their wares to market; women working backstrap looms and
washing clothes; outside a local church; a bullfight; and the
Guatemalan army near Lake Atitlan, southwestern Guatemala.
Creator: Mrs. John L. Wheeler

CA-86.12.4: [Frank Roberts' Footage of Chichen Itza, Yucatan,
Mexico, c. 1932]
c. 1932; 237 ft silent b&w; film
Footage documenting Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza includes workmen
reconstructing one of the buildings.
Creator: Frank H.H. Roberts, anthropologist (1897-1966)

CA-87.8.1: [Smithsonian Institution-National Geographic 1948-1949
Expedition to Panama]*
1948-1949; 31 min silent color; video
Footage documents the joint archeological expedition led by
anthropologist Matthew Stirling to Barriles and Palo Santo,
Panama.
Creator: Richard H. Stewart, NGS photographer

CA-87.9.7: [Laura Boulton Film Collection: Mexico, 1940]
1940; 795 ft (19 min) silent color; video; supplementary
materials: 1
Footage of urban settlements in Mexico features dances performed
in costumes, use of traditonal and non-traditional instruments,
and panoramic views of Mexican coastline as well as the Laguna de
Xochimilco (Xochimilco Lagoon). Footage also includes pottery
manufacturing.
Creator: Laura Boulton, musicologist (1899-1980)

CA-87.15.1: [KUTV Tarahumara Video Project, 1986]
1986; 7 hrs sound color; video
Full video record by a news team from KUTV, Salt Lake City, Utah,
of a Tarahumara Easter celebration in the villages of San Ignacio
and Basihuare, Chihuahua, Mexico. Edited television broadcast,
THE LAST STAND OF THE TARAHUMARAS, was produced from this
material.

CA-88.4.1: [Robert Treat's Footage of Mexico, 1925]
1925; 200 ft silent b&w
Footage of various archeological and other sites in Mexico shot
while Treat was travelling in Central America.
Creator: Robert Treat

CA-89.3.1: [Huichol Film Project, Summer 1974]
1974; 19,512 ft sound/silent color; supplementary materials:
1,2,4,6
Full film record shot of the Huichol of San Andres Coamiata,
Jalisco, Mexico. Featured are various Huichol ceremonies
including Cambio de Las Varas, Las Pachitas, and a peyote
ceremony; scenes of rural daily life; Huichol costumes; musical
instruments; manufacture and use of face paint; peyote
consumption; sacrifice of animals; use of a loom; and
embroidering techniques. HUICHOLS: PEOPLE OF THE PEYOTE, produced
by Thomas Perry and directed and edited by Steven Dreben, was
created from this project. See also [Huichol Film Projects, 1973,
1975, February-March 1975, and fall 1974]
Creator: Kalmun Muller, documentary filmmaker (1939- )
Creator: Melville See

CA-89.3.2: [Huichol Film Project, 1975]
1975; 6,962 ft sound/silent color
Full film record of the Huichol of San Andres Coamiata, Jalisco,
Mexico. Featured are scenes of religious rituals, peyoteros
preparing to gather peyote, Huichol costumes, making of yarn
drawings, musical instruments, sacrifice of animals, and
manufacture and use of yellow face paint. Footage was shot in
association with the [Huichol Film Project, Summer 1974].
Creator: Nicolas Echevarria

CA-89.3.3: [Huichol Film Project, February-March 1975]
1975; 13,527 ft sound color; film; supplementary materials: 4
Full film record of the Huichol of San Andres Coamiata, Jalisco,
Mexico. Featured are scenes of daily rural life, Las Pachitas
ceremony, makuirra ritual, slash and burn clearing, exchange of
food offerings, manufacture of guitar, and utilization of a corn
threshing machine. Footage was shot in association with [Huichol
Film Project, Summer 1974].
Creator: Eliseo Castro Villa

CA-89.3.4: [Huichol Film Project, 1973]
1973; 1,169 ft sound color; film
Full film record shot of the Huichol of San Andres Coamiata,
Jalisco, Mexico. Featured are scenes of a religious procession,
Huichol men manufacturing and applying yellow face paint,
preparation of offerings, and killing of a bull. Footage was shot
in association with [Huichol Film Project, Summer 1974].
Creator: Kalmun Muller, documentary filmmaker (1939- )

CA-89.3.5: [Huichol Film Project, fall 1974]
1974; 2,420 ft sound color; film; supplementary materials: 4
Full film record of the Huichol of San Andres Coamiata, Jalisco,
Mexico. Featured are scenes of daily rural life, women
embroidering, grinding of corn, Huichol costumes, spinning of
thread, and weaving of fabric. Footage was shot in association
with [Huichol Film Project, Summer 1974].
Creator: Eliseo Castro Villa

CA-89.4.1: [Robert Kaupp's Footage of the Festival of the Battle
of Puebla, 1968]
1968; 506 ft (16 min) silent color; film/video
Footage taken of the annual festival reenactment of the Battle of
Puebla which takes place in Huejotzingo, Mexico. Footage
concentrates on masks and costumes.
Creator: Robert Kaupp, anthropologist

CA-89.22.1: CREATIVE ARTS AND CRAFTS OF MEXICO*
1975; 576 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the Mexican Heritage Film Series is an
introduction to the arts and crafts of Mexico. Included are glass
blowers, weavers, and potters featuring Valente making Oaxacan
black pottery of Dona Rosa's Alfareria.

CA-89.22.2: MONUMENT TO THE SUN: AZTEC CALENDAR STONE*
1975; 576 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the Mexican Heritage Film Series describes the
myths and history of Mexico's Aztec calendar.

CA-89.22.3: THE MANY FACES OF MEXICO*
1975; 658 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the Mexican Heritage Film Series shows the many
facets of the peoples, architecture, costumes, and traditions of
Mexico from the ancient to the modern.

CA-89.22.4: LA HISTORIA DE LOS AZTECAS*
1975; 675 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the Mexican Heritage Film Series recounts the
myth and history of Mexico's Aztecs. Narration is in Spanish.

CA-89.22.5: AMERICA'S FIRST CITY: TEOTIHUACAN*
1975; 690 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the Mexican Heritage Film Series recounts the
history of Teotihuacan. Film includes a re-enactment of the
legend of the fifth sun and scenes from the 1968 Olympics.

CA-89.22.6: DISCOVER VERACRUZ*
1975; 546 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the Mexican Heritage Film Series introduces the
people, places, and history of Veracruz, Mexico.

CA-89.22.7: CHRISTMAS IN OAXACA*
1975; 502 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the Mexican Heritage Film Series documents
Oaxaca's Christmas festivities including pre and post Spanish
history. Scenes include food preparation, pinatas, and folkloric
dancing.

CA-89.22.24: IN SEARCH OF LOST WORLDS*
1972; 1,800 ft sound color; film
Edited film created for M-G-M surveys what is known and unknown
of early American inhabitants. Archeological sites featured are
Chaco Canyon (Pueblo Bonito), New Mexico; Machu Picchu, Peru;
Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico; the Tehuacan
Valley, Mexico; and the earth mounds of central and eastern
United States. Also explored is the discovery of the Olmec
civilization by Smithsonain Institution anthropologist, Matthew
Stirling (one-time director of the Bureau of American Ethnology).
Creator: Nicolas Noxon, documentary film producer
Creator: Irwin Rosten, documentary film producer

CA-89.22.29: MAYALAND*
1975; 1,463 ft sound color; film
Edited film produced by MacMillan Films is a general overview of
Mayan centers Tikal, Copan, and Palenque with primary focus on
architecture.

CA-90.8.1: [Mary Elmendorf's Footage of the Chan Kom Maya,
Yucatan, Mexico, 1970, 1971, and 1976]
1970, 1971, and 1976; 3,794 ft (1 hr 45 min) silent color; video;
supplementary materials: 4
Footage documenting significant features of ritual and daily life
in the settlement of Chan Kom, the Maya village first studied by
anthropologist Robert Redfield. Included are scenes of a "hand
washing" ceremony known in Mayan as tzicil in which parents
welcome and ritually express their gratitude to the godparents of
a young child; a chac-chaac ceremony which is held at some
distance from the village to bring rain; offerings of balche to
the gods; and gremios, akin to trade union fraternities, in which
different families are entitled to carry specially decorated
candles in ceremonial processions.
Creator: Mary Lindsay Elmendorf, anthropologist (1917- )

CA-91.7.4: [Coffee Growing and Processing in Guatemala for the
American Market, c. 1926]
c. 1926; 376 ft (15 min) silent b&w; video
Edited film showing the growing and processing of coffee in
Guatemala. Footage includes shots of the finca (coffee
plantation), planting and transplanting seedlings by children,
transplanting older seedlings to permanent plots, harvesting
coffee called "cherries," weighing a days pick and payment to
workers, washing to remove outer "skins," hulling and polishing
to remove final outer layers, and hand grading of coffee
"berries."

CA-91.16.2: UNCOVERING AN ANCIENT MEXICAN TEMPLE
c. 1940s; 2,614 ft (70 min) silent color; video; supplementary
materials: 4
Edited film shot for a National Geographic Sociey/Smithsonian
Institution expedition to Mexico led by Matthew Stirling,
director of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Film traces the
expedition from Mexico City to an archeological site. Footage
includes: Mexico City; the countryside; establishing camp; local
fruit and berries, flora, and foods; preparation of local foods
for expedition members; local festival with masked dancing;
excavating work and unearthing pottery; making pottery using coil
technique; earthenware figures, vessels, and masks; and preparing
objects for shipping.
Creator: Richard H. Stewart, NGS photographer

CA-91.16.6: EXPLORING PANAMA'S PREHISTORIC PAST
1950; 2,584 ft (71 min) silent color; video; supplementary
materials: 4
Edited film documents a National Geographic Society/Smithsonian
Institution expedition to Panama led by Matthew Stirling,
director of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Film shows aspects
of an expedition to Panama to excavate various sites of pre-
historic peoples. Film includes shipboard activities on the way
to Panama; various city, coastal, village, and countryside
scenes; aerial views; field camps and life in camp including
shower, cooking, and eating meal; excavation work including
clearing land, digging trenches with pick axes, and unearthing
pottery; transporting, cleaning, and packing pottery; examples of
excavated pottery and jewelry; examples of local flora and fauna;
local wedding and other celebrations including music and dancing;
construction of local building with straw and clay mixture; local
bullfight; and cross country travels by horse.
Creator: Richard H. Stewart, NGS photographer

CA-91.16.7: HUNTING PRE-HISTORY ON PANAMA'S UNKNOWN NORTH COAST
c. 1940s; 2,596 ft (64 min) silent color; video; supplementary
materials: 4
Edited film documents a National Geographic Society/Smithsonian
Institution expedition to Panama led by Matthew Stirling,
director of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Film follows the
expedition from Panama City to archeological sites in the
countryside. Footage includes murals depicting pre-Columbian
life; coastal landscape; countryside; making pottery using coil
technique; flora; village women using large mortar and pestle;
carving gourd; outlining petroglyphs in chalk; excavating
archeological sites; unearthing pottery, pottery figurines, large
cache of pottery "ladles," and shards; and sorting and assembling
pottery shards.
Creator: Richard H. Stewart, NGS photographer

CA-91.20.1: RAINBOW LANDS OF CENTRAL AMERICA
1958; 3,288 ft silent color; supplementary materials: 1,2,3
Edited film documents travel through Panama, Costa Rica, El
Salvador, and Guatemala. Locales in Panama include the canal and
Canal Zone, Panama City, and the interior via the Chagres River.
Locales and scenes in Costa Rica include agriculture at Coto
Research Station, sawmill in a forest, San Jose, and handicrafts.
Locales and scenes in El Salvador include educational efforts
including the Santa Cecilia Trade School and new agricultural
programs, cooperative stores, handicrafts, and Crater lakes and
Izalco volcano. Locales in Guatemala include Guatemala City, a
restored Antigua, the Mayan ruin of Tikal, a United Fruit
plantation, mountainside farms on the way to Lake Atitlan, and
the Chichicastenango market.
Creator: Thayer Soule, travel-lecturer

CA-91.20.6: I LOVE MEXICO
1966; 2,893 ft silent color; supplementary materials: 1,2,3
Edited film documents travel in Mexico. Locales shown include
Monterrey (Huasteca Canyon, Chipinque Mesa, and Horsetail Falls);
Zimapan; Hacienda San Miguel Regla; Teotihuacan; Mexico City
(Anthropology Museum, Paseo de la Reforma, zocalo, and National
Cathedral); Popocatepetl; Cuernavaca (Diego Rivera murals and
Borda Gardens); Acapulco; Xochimilco; Taxco; Fortin de las
Flores; San Miguel de Allende; Patzcuaro Lake; and island of
Janitzio. Scenes include silver and other metal work of Taxco,
making serapes, golden lacquer of Patzcuaro, reed baskets of
Huihuatzio, devil carvers of Tocuaro, and copper workers of Santa
Clara del Cobre.
Creator: Thayer Soule, travel-lecturer

CA-91.20.13: MEXICO, WONDERFUL MEXICO
1975; 3,089 ft silent color; supplementary materials: 3
Edited film documents travel in Mexico. Film includes a brief
history of Mexico and scenes of modern day Mexico. Locales shown
include Mexico City and the Museum of Anthropology and numerous
pre-Columbian archeological sites including Olmec ruins in the
state of Tabasco, the pyramid of Tajin, Palenque, Chichen Itza,
Uxmal, Teotihuacan, Monte Alban, and Mitla. Other locales include
Merida, Cozumel, Acapulco, Xochimilco, Puebla, Taxco,
Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Michoacan, Patzcuaro,
Oaxaca, Zinacantan Village, and Chamula. Scenes include a
Volkswagon plant, Puebla tile making, Taxco silver, lacquer ware,
weaving, markets, and making cutlery.
Creator: Thayer Soule, travel-lecturer

CA-91.20.20: MEXICO
1947; 2,932 ft silent color/b&w; video; supplementary materials:
1
Edited film documents travel in Mexico. Locales and scenes shown
include Monterrey; Tampico; Zimapan; markets; San Miguel Regla
Hacienda; Mexico City including the Cathedral and the zocalo, a
bullfight, and Xochimilco; Taxco; Guanajuato; Puebla; Veracruz;
Amecameca including Plume and Childrens' Flower dances; and
Tehuantepec including a procession, sandunga dance, and making
candles.
Creator: Thayer Soule, travel-lecturer

CA-91.20.21: THE ROAD TO PANAMA
1946; 2,813 ft (78 min) silent color/b&w; video; supplementary
materials: 1
Edited film documents travel from southern United States to
Panama. Scenes include: San Antonio, Texas and the Alamo; Mexico
(Teotihuacan, Mexico City, Veracruz, and Puebla); Guatemala
(Quetzaltenango, a market, Chichicastenango, Antigua, Guatemala
City, and Quirigua); El Salvador (College of Saint Cecilia, San
Salvador, Ilobasco, Lake Ilopoango, San Vicente Sisal plantation,
and a village fiesta); Honduras; Managua, Nicaragua; Costa Rica
(San Jose, Calderon Munoz housing project, local school, Irazu
volcano, Turialba, coffee drying, and woodworking); and Panama
(Panama City and the canal).
Creator: Thayer Soule, travel-lecturer

CA-91.21.4: RIDDLE OF THE MAYAN CAVE
1968; 1,872 ft (53 min) sound color; video
Television broadcast produced by ABC News in collaboration with
the Explorer's Club and narrated by Peter Jennings. Film
documents an Explorer's Club expedition to Alta Verapaz,
Guatemala, in search of caves to prove that ancient Mayan Indians
used caves for religious and ceremonial purposes. Russell Guerney
leads an expedition of 10 men and one woman who also collect
specimens of natural history of the area and caves for further
study. Footage includes: contemporary Mayan ritual which takes
place in a cave; Mayan masked dancers; Tikal; market; farming;
tarantula with young being born; bats; birds; campsite
activities; and exploration of several caves including one with
long staircase and terraces leading to several rooms with human
remains and pottery artifacts. Cave is thought to prove the
expedition's hypothesis.

CA-92.8.2: [Scudder Mekeel's Footage of Quirigua, Guatemala and
Locale, c. 1945]
c. 1945; 795 ft (22 min) silent color; film/video
Footage primarily focuses on local Mayan population including
weaving and a celebration and briefly documents Quirigua, a Mayan
archeological site.
Creator: Haviland Scudder Mekeel, anthropologist

CA-93.11.1: HUICHOL: PEOPLE OF THE PEYOTE*
1975; 49 min sound color; video
Edited film focuses on Huichol religious ceremonies as practiced
by the Huichol of San Andres Coamiata, Jalisco, Mexico. Footage
contains Cambio de Las Varas, a festival to celebrate the new
"officials" passing of the sacred rods to the newly inaugurated
who sit at the table of authority to receive gifts from their
predecessors; Las Pachitas (Festival of Flags) where food is
presented to the sacred cow horns; and a pilgrimage to the desert
to collect peyote which is used in Huichol ceremonies. Also
included are scenes of daily life activities including weaving,
burning field, and planting corn. Film is narrated by Ricardo
Montalban.
Creator: Kalmun Muller, documentary filmmaker
Creator: Melville See

CA-93.24.31: MAYA OF ANCIENT AND MODERN YUCATAN*
1966; 725 ft sound color; film
Edited film contrasts the life of Mayans in the ancient cities of
Chichen Itza and Uxmal (Yucatan Penninsula, Mexico) with the life
of contemporary Mayan Indians.

CA-93.24.33: MEXICO Y SUS CONTORNOS*
1958; 690 ft sound color; film
Edited film intended for the teaching of intermediate Spanish
shows the sights of Mexico City and other points of interest
around the capital including Teotihuacan, canal system, markets,
churches, bullfight, and house of Diego Rivera. Cuernavaca and
Acapulco are also visited.

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