Defining TULE: The Cuna Indians of San Blas as an "impressionistic, personal documentary," Velez chronicles the everyday life of the Cuna, who live on the Panamanian archipelago off the Atlantic coast. Recording the Cuna over a period of several months, he finds beauty and meaning in the rhythm and textures of their daily rituals. Reshaping traditional ethnographic documentation, he eschews narration in favor of fluid sequences of images that encapsulate his experience of living among the Cuna. The power of Velez's images lies in their subtle reinforcement of a larger theme — the Cunas' efforts to retain their traditional life, despite the encroachment of Western culture.
Audio: Ethel Velez. CMX Editor: Bob Zieniewicz.