Tree of Life (1973)

Genres - Culture & Society, Dance  |   Run Time - 29 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This program chronicles an ancient rite practiced in Mesoamerica to honor the morning star Quetzacoatl. The festival is held in conjunction with the feast day for San Salvador, the Risen Savior. The documentary follows the preparations by the Totonoc people in the Huasteca region of Mexico. The voladares, or flyers, make ready for the day of celebration, mending their costumes and preparing their minds and bodies for the sacred ritual. They go to the forest to select a tree, which they drag to the square, for their flight. An intricate system of ropes at the olin, or hub, holds the flyers in place as they dance to the sounds of drums and flutes to honor their god. Spectacular film footage captures the colorful pageantry and reverent atmosphere of this celebration, with pagan and Christian elements, that gives homage to the Tree of Life.



anthropology, Mexico, Native-American, poetry, rites, ritual, sacred, tree