Yanomami Healing One

1977, 51:27 min, b&w, sound

Yanomami Healing One is an unconventional ethnographic document of the Yanomami of the Upper Orinoco River in southern Venezuela, one of the last indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest to live virtually undisturbed by the imposition of Western culture. Made in 1976, when contact between the Yanomami and Westerners was still rare, this is a fascinating document of one of the Yanomami's most important healing rituals. The elaborate, extended process of ceremony and exorcism is recorded up close, in real time. Downey's unmediated documentation of the healing ritual is intimate and experiential, rather than analytical.


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