DER Documentary

Moonblood: A Yanomamo Creation Myth as Told by Dedeheiwä

From the Yanomamö series
by Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon
color, 14 min, 1976

NEW! Institutional Streaming Options:

I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
See pricing information and conditions

In this myth, the Yanomamo account for the creation of human beings and for their ferocity. The myth is told by the shaman Dedeheiwä.

Long ago, when people "like us" lived in a village "over there," Moon lived there too, and ate the souls of children. The villagers became very angry, especially because when Moon descended to consume the ashes of children, hanging from the roof in gourds, he crunched and chanted as he gloated over his evil tricks. So the ancestor Suhirina, who was very beautiful and tall, shot the moon with a bamboo-tipped arrow, and Moon's blood spilled all over the earth. Human beings came from this blood: strong and fierce people from the center where the most blood spilled, and weaker people from the Moon's droplets. You are from true blood, Dedeheiwä tells Chagnon, because there are many of you; my own village is weak, as we are descended from the droplets. It is because of Moon's blood, explains the shaman, that men fight and kill each other.

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
The Feast
Jaguar, a Yanomamo Twin Cycle Myth
Magical Death
A Man and His Wife Make a Hammock
A Man Called Bee: Studying the Yanomamo
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

Catalog of New Films DER new films catalog cover
Join Our Mailing List
Suport DER
Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts