This 1949 film takes a look at certain Native American people, including tribes of the Navajo and Apache tribes as they make an annual pilgrimage to the so-called “Indian Capital” of Gallup, New Mexico. The film was produced by Phil E. Cantonwine (:19) and narrated by Perry King (:24). It is of the educational series call “Know Your Land” (:32). It opens with swaths of the Native American’s lands with their primitive dwellings erected onto it (:45). The Native Americans had managed to retain a simple and patient way of life that had been preserved over centuries (1:04). A Navajo squaw is seen working with wool pulled from the tribe’s sheep (1:30) which will be weaved into the large rugs that are world renowned (1:48). Riding along a modern highway with automobiles, is a caravan of Native Americans in carriages drawn by horses as they begin the long pilgrimage to Gallup (2:11). Annually, various tribes from the great plains and the entire south west head for Gallup where they worship and will conduct traditional dances (2:31). Native American banners are seen waving in Gallup (2:42) and the parade is to be opened by the American flag (2:51). Native tribes follow (2:57). The ceremonies conducted include dances which the natives do in the same way as their ancestors had centuries ago (3:19). Each movement is to be done according to the ancient law of exactness (3:32). These dances are the oldest form of American folklore that exists and tell tales of the prehistoric race (3:36). Women of the Zuni tribe walk through the center of the parade with decorated pottery balancing on the tops of their heads (3:50). Apache double dancers follow (4:25) who are masters of intricate step dances. Native American wagons are seen riding through the parade procession towards the ceremonial grounds as spectators look on (5:08). Tribal dances will be seen here as well as bronco riders (5:25). While William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, the Native Americans of the south west were in their golden era of pueblo building (5:53). Here they conduct the same buffalo dances they had conducted centuries ago (6:01). The animal ceremonies are among the oldest of their traditions (6:01) as nature is deeply rooted in their spiritual beliefs. Some of the dances are conducted for rain or for banishment of fear in tormented souls (6:37). Scenes of bronco riders attempting to rope cattle follows (7:17). All of the tribes held the belief that animals had the gift of speech and many tribes have legends around specific animals (9:07). The Apache dictate that it was the coyote who brought them fire and they uphold the animal with respect because of this (9:11). The Navajo however, see the coyote as an unfavorable omen and if one of the tribesmen is to cross paths with a coyote on route for a journey, they will turn back and wait three days prior to starting out again (9:15). All of the tribes respect the buffalo (9:28). Most of the dances are spiritual, though some are done specifically for fun such as one with a man from the Pueblo tribe conducting a gymnastic dance through hoops (10:16). This is the final dance of the ceremony and the tribes will begin to make their long voyage home afterwards (10:37). The film begins to wrap up with another shot of the Native American’s land and with a piece of a Native American phrase for goodbye which is ‘forbid that I judge any man until I have walked for two moons in his moccasins” (12:02). The film ends at (12:17) and was presented by Bengal Picture.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com