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Identifier: Film Collection no. 5

Scope and Contents

In 1960-1961, anthropologists Robert Carneiro (AMNH curator) and Gertrude Dole filmed the Amahuaca Indians, who inhabit a remote area of Peru, as documentation for their field work. The film documents the daily life of the inhabitants of Chumichinia, an island in the Ucayali River, whose way of life has not been significantly changed by outside contact except for the addition of modern clothing to their traditional costume. The planting and tending of maize, pottery making, baking of corn bread, spinning, weaving and dying of cloth, construction of a thatch dwelling, and the collection of fish roe from the river are shown. A variety of domesticated animals appear: a peccary, an ocelot, dogs, fowl, and a puppy nursed by an Indian woman. The second part, set in Varadero on the upper Inuya River (a tributary of the Urubamba River), opens with men and boys fishing with bows and arrows, but the main portion deals with the maize harvest celebration: particularly displayed is the traditional attire, including body painting, tooth staining, and as part of the festivities the men play a spear-throwing game. Scenes of bead making, basket weaving, throwing of pottery, and weapon making, as well as a demonstration of how the traditional woven skirt is worn, are interspersed.


  • 1960-1961



1 Film Reel (116 minutes) : silent, color ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (116 minutes)) : silent, color ; 3/4 in.

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

For a full description of this film, see Root, Nina J. Catalog of the American Museum of Natural History Film Archives. New York : Garland, 1987.


Credits: Gertrude Dole, photographer.

Original format: 16 mm. print; incomplete.

Amahuaca, 1960-1961
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420