This is the rough cut of the introduction to the Lakota youth ride we were so lucky to have been a part of. This lays the groundwork for future projects in the area and is only a small portion of the footage collected in South Dakota. The future of this project and others lies with Lloyd Bald Eagle and the formation of the Lakota Film Commission.
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Shooting stills and video, Patrick and Sue Cunningham spent six months travelling the length of the Xingu River, in central Brazil. They visited 48 tribal villages, and met people from 17 ethnic groups.
Because the area is home to some of the most belligerent Indians in the Amazon, it has so far suffered less than most from the depredations of modern man.
But the 21st century is bringing intensive threats to the environmental and cultural integrity of the area.
This video, a short extract of a longer documentary, highlights some of the threats, while celebrating the vitality and vibrancy of the diverse traditional tribal cultures found along the length of the river.
The video is a project of the Tribes Alive initiative of Indigenous People's Cultural Support Trust, a non-profit charity registered in England. tribesalive.org or ipcst.org.
These are the tribes who will be affected by the Belo Monte dam. Avatar director James Cameron and actress Sigourney Weaver have now pledged their support to fight the dam.
They live in Pernambuco in Brazil and are reputed healers. I met a group of them giving in the town of Abadiania in Goias in Brazil. They lived in the same street of another healer known as Joao de Deus. There were clashes between them, and I witnessed and interpreted for them. I spent 3 months living with the Fulni-ô. They held healing dances and sold handicraft for mere survival purposes. Back home they hadn't had rain for 4 years.