DER Documentary

The Feast

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From the Yanomamö series
by Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon
color, 29 min, 1970

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Yanomamo feasts are ceremonial, social, economic, and political events. They are occasions for men to adorn their bodies with paint and feathers, to display their strength in dance and ritualized aggression; for trading partnerships to be established or affirmed; and for the creation or testing of alliances.

In the feast filmed in 1968, the Patanowa-teri had invited the Mahekodo-teri to their village. The two groups had been allies until a few years before this event, when they had fought over the abduction of a woman. They now hoped to renew their broken alliance, which they did successfully. Soon after the filmed feast, the two villages together raided a common enemy.

A detailed discussion of this feast, and of the significance of feasting among the Yanomamo, is found in chapter 4 of Chagnon's Yanomamo: The Fierce People. The film's graphic representation of reciprocity and exchange may enrich (and be enriched by) a reading of Marcel Mauss' The Gift.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
CINE Golden Eagle
American Film Festival Blue Ribbon
Flaherty Award
Festival dei Popoli, Florence, Italy
Venice International Art Film Festival
International Folklore & Tourism Festival, Grand Prize
Philadelphia International Festival of Short Films, Exceptional Merit

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Other films in the Yanomamö series:
Arrow Game
The Ax Fight
Bride Service
Children's Magical Death
Climbing the Peach Palm
A Father Washes His Children
Jaguar, a Yanomamo Twin Cycle Myth
Magical Death
A Man and His Wife Make a Hammock
A Man Called Bee: Studying the Yanomamo
Moonblood: A Yanomamo Creation Myth
Myth of Naro, as told by Dedeheiwä
Myth of Naro, as told by Kaobawä
New Tribes Mission
Ocamo is My Town
Tapir Distribution
Tug-of-War, Yanomamo
Weeding the Garden
Yanomamö: A Multidisciplinary Study
Yanomamö of the Orinoco

Related Resources
Study Guide

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