Short Cartoons featuring the
Native Americans south of the U.S.


Los Muiscas; Legendy Peruanskikh Indeytsev; Sayen y el Witral
Machu Picchu Post; ; Pajerama
Takutzi Nakawe


(Grandmother Cricket)
Studio:The Animation Workshop (Denmark)
Director:Denis Chapon
Writers:Alfredo Ovando
Denis Chapon
Israel Hernandez
Pueblo Ayoreo
Animation:Comunidad de Animadores Bolivianos
Music:Proyecto Uma Churita
Year/length:2009. 13 minutes.
Setting:Bolivian countryside; the Andes; La Paz
Language:mostly wordless with occasional Spanish, and singing in Quechua
Culture:Ayoreo, Gran Chaco
Released on:Youtube
Abuela Grillo brings rain to the people when she sings. When people get sick of the rain and abuse her, she goes away, leaving drought behind. One day she is approached by businessmen who bottle their rain so they can sell it to people at outrageous prices. Desparate for water and unable to afford the prices, the people rebel against the corporate forces, who respond with soldiers and tear gas. Abuela Grillo comes to rescue and dispels the tear gas with rain. Plants grow again, and the people learn to appreciate Abuela Grillo's gifts without complaining. Based on a myth of the Ayoreo Indians of southeast Bolivia and Paraguay, this cartoon is a powerful allegory of the evils of the commodification / yuppification of water. Abuela Grillo has almost no dialogue, just a few words in Spanish, and the Abuela's pretty song in Quechua, sung by the famous Bolivian singer Luzmila Carpio. The art is simple, but the message is powerful. (The privatization of water has made its mark on Bolivian history; see the film Tambien la lluvia for more background.)

Available on Youtube: youtube.com/watch?v=AXz4XPuB_BM

Sinopsis en español:
En un principio, La abuela de los Ayoreos era un grillo llamado Direjná. Ella era la dueña del agua, y donde sea que ella estaba, tambien estaba la lluvia. Sus nietos le pidieron que se vaya, eso hizo, fue cuando los dias de calor y sequedad empezaron. La abuela Grillo decidió vivir en el segundo cielo y desde ahí es capaz de enviar lluvia cada vez que alguien cuenta su historia. Abuela Grillo es la adaptación de un mito ayoreo (pueblo indígena del chaco boreal). La versión animada convierte esta historia en una fábula que trata un tema fundamental del mundo contemporáneo: la lucha de los pueblos en contra de la mercantilización del agua. La prestigiosa cantante boliviana y ahora embajadora de Bolivia en Francia, Luzmila Carpio, presta su voz y su canto al personaje de manera magistral.

Director/writer:Felipe Cea Lazo
Animation:Felipe Cea Lazo
Gonzalo Bañados
Music:Leeran Z. Raphaely
Year/length:2014. 8 minutes.
Setting:Antofagasta, Chile
Released on:Vimeo

Anku, a young Chango fisherman in Pre-Colombian Chile, travels across the ocean to find a flower for his beloved Sayri. Upon returning, he finds she has been captured by Khari, an evil shaman who rules the Camanchaca mist. Anku must climb the Illimani mountain to rescue her. Excellent 3D animation and music.

Director:Erwin Gómez Viñales
Writer:Dauno Tótoro
Animation:Erwin Gómez Viñales, etc.
Music:Miguel Lara Riquelme
Year/length:2010, 7 minutes
Setting:Atacama, Chile, 1530
Released on:Youtube

An Inka warrior climbs a mountain to meet an old man who gives him a zampoña (pan pipe). The warrior moves on, and in a higher part of the mountain, he burns some twigs and corn kernels. In the smoke he sees an image of the future: a man riding on a horse. Climbing to the peak of the mountain, the warrior sees in the clouds and mist the image of a giant ship. He jumps off the peak and turns into a condor. This cartoon is completely wordless other than the caption "Atacama Desert 1530" in the beginning. The excellent 3D animation is done in a comic book style, with the warrior's physique and movements like those of a superhero.

There is also a rough draft version of the cartoon in a hand-drawn style. This version a few more captions and explanation than the final version:

Director: Alejandro Trejo Tinoco
Writer:Porscepina Real
Animation:Alejandro Trejo Tinoco
Music:Oscar Hernandez
Year/length:3 minutes.
Native Content:high
Released on:Youtube

Despite the modern blue jeans, this is an ancient Huichol myth which explains the tradition of the pilgrimage to the sacred land of Wirikuta and the origin of peyote. During a time of drought and sickness, the elders decide to send four young men on a mission to find food. The youths represent fire, air, water, and land. They find a blue deer, which runs from them, but also waits for them when they get tired. When they finally catch the sacred deer, it turns into peyote (hikuri). The youths bring the peyote back to the village, which cures their sickness and hunger. Ever since then, the Huicholes (Wixarita) maintain the custom of the pilgrimage to Wirikuta. Beautiful artwork animates this short, simple tale.

Studio:Plano Visual
Director:Felipe Montecinos
Writer:Mariana Contreras
Constanza Wette
Artist:Felipe Montecinos
Music:Felipe Miranda
Cristián López
Length:13 minutes.
Setting:Marga Marga, Chile
Language:Spanish; some Mapudungun
Released on:Youtube

The soul of Saqui, a Mapuche girl who has died, must travel from the mountains to the coast, to the land of the dead. Her little brother Inalef is the only one who can see her, and he accompanies her as they face mythic creatures, the Chon Chon, Piuchen, and the Wekufe, who seeks to turn souls into slaves. Based on Mapuche beliefs. Beautiful watercolor and ink artwork conveys the mystery of the afterlife.

Sinopsis en español:
La historia narra el camino que debe seguir el alma de Saqui, una pequeña niña mapuche, desde la cordillera hasta la costa, a la tierra de los muertos; su hermano menos, Inalef, es capaz de ver el alma de su hermana y decide seguirla, acompañándola hasta la orilla del mar. Esta historia es original, pero está basada en creencias mapuches, donde el alma de alguien que muere, debe emprender un viaje siguiendo el curso del río de las lágrimas, cruzando bosques y montañas, hasta llegar a la orilla del mar, lugar donde cruza a la isla Mocha, ayudada por una ballena. La protagonista debe cuidarse del acecho de criaturas vinculadas a los brujos, como el Chon Chon, y el Piuchen, seres mágicos y malvados que atormentan a los lugareños. Pero sin duda el gran temos es el Wekufe, un brujo que busca almas para convertirlas en sus esclavos.

A Longa Viagem ao Desconhecido
(The Legend of Day and Night,
The long journey to the unknown)
Studio: Animagem
Director: Rui de Oliveira
Writer:Jose Moura
Animation:Humberto Avelar et al.
Music:Espirito Santo, MusikFabrik
Year/length:2000. 16 min.
Setting:Brazilian Amazon
Released on:YouTube

A legend of the Karajás Indians. In the beginning, there was no night. The Indian Aruanã told his mother Tuilá he couldn't sleep. Tuilá went in search of her mother, the Great Serpent Boiúna. She summoned her with a magic maraca guarded by the fish Jaraqui at the bottom of the River Igarapé. When she gave the maraca to her husband, the frog Arutsã appeared and warned him never to open the coconut without his wife's help. Jacuré-arurá, the caiman, told him that Boiúna's house would be beneath the first red macaw he saw in the sky. When he saw the macaw, he shook the maraca, and the Great Serpent appeared. The Serpent told him to look for the tucuma coconut at the bottom of the river, and reminded him not to open it without Tuilá. On his way back to his village, Aruanã heard a noise coming from the coconut, and the bird Anu-Guaçu reminded him not to open it. But, overcome with curiosity, Aruanã built fire to melt the wax of the coconut. The coconut fell open, and the universe was plunged in the deepest darkness and was populated by the terrible dwellers of shadows. He paddled back to the village in shame. He gave his wife the maraca. She forgave him and told him she would create Day and Night, and put the sun in one and the stars and moon in the other. She went to the river and formed a bird out of mud. "You shall be Cajubi, the bird that announces the eternal separation of Day and Night. Finally under the protection Night Aruanã and Tuilá could sleep together and have many sons, who became the Karajás. Although the animation is limited in movement, the drawings are rich and inventive. There is hardly any dialogue; the story is narrated by silent-movie-style intertitles. Rui de Oliveira is also a book illustrator. You can see some of his work at ruideoliveira.blogspot.com/
Available on the artist's YouTube channel: youtu.be/4-qu-88Fx0s
And his other cartoon "Amor Índio" is listed below.

(Leyendas de los Indios Peruanos)
Director: Vladimir Pekar
Writer:Vladimir Valutskiy
Animation:Tatyana Kolysheva
Music:Eduard Artemyev
Year/length:1977. 15 minutes.
Setting:north coast of Peru, 1300 BC
Native Content:very high
Released on:Youtube

Better known in Spanish as "Leyenda Mochica", this Soviet-era classic tells the Moche myth of two demigod brothers, half man and half jaguar, whose names are lost to time. They were raised by a frog, and when they were old enough, they descended to earth and introduced agriculture to humans. The monsters of land and sea grew jealous and attacked the brothers, but were defeated. The only monster to escape, Recuay, plotted revenge by sending a centipede and a witch to persuade the younger brother that humans were ungrateful to them and that he should punish them by introducing weapons to them. But the weapons were magic and turned on their masters. The older brother prayed for help, and the gods descended to restore order to mankind. They destroyed the weapons, banished the witch to the void, and put Recuay in the moon, where he can still be seen in the moon's spots. They punished the younger brother by condemning him to hold up the earth. Neither the gods nor the monsters ever returned to earth, and the humans went to work farming and weaving. They believe that when the older brother returns, peace shall reign.

This little film is a magnificent use of authentic indigenous art to create something new and entertaining. Our knowledge of Moche mythology is based soley on the extant art--pottery, mural art, and textiles, so the story is largely an interpretation. The archaeologist Yuriy Beryozkin was the consultant for the film. Original Moche art generally only used two colors on any given piece, usually red or brown on a cream background. The animation mostly preserves the iconography but expands the palette of colors. Subtitles in Spanish only.

Sinopsis en español:
Animación Soviética, destacada por el uso de iconografía y arte Moche para describir su mitología y cosmovisión. La película narra una leyenda de dos hermanos, que regalaron a la población la agricultura. La gente estaba muy feliz, sin embargo demonios envidiosos provenientes de la tierra los atacaron. El más terrible de ellos, con cola de serpiente, es llamado hasta ahora por los nativos la fiera Recuay. Los dos hermanos libraron estoicas batallas hasta derrotar a estos monstruos, sin embargo Recuay logró fugarse y esconderse en la luna. Ellos también tuvieron que batallar contra las bestias del mar, especialmente un monstruo con cuerpo de cangrejo.

Director:Ariel Adrián Ramos Nina
Writer:Antonio Díaz Villamil
Animation:Ariel Adrián Ramos Nina
Music:Vladimir Castillo
Length:8 minutes
Setting:Isla del Sol, Bolivia, during the Spanish invasion
Released on:Youtube

The elderly Kjana-Chuyma is the guardian of the temple on the Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca. When the Spanish arrive, they torture him to find out where treasure may be hidden. Kjana-Chuyma refuses to tell them, and Spanish leave him to die. For his loyalty, the sun grants him one wish. The dying man asks for some relief from the suffering that will come to his fellow countrymen. The sun then causes coca to grow, which will give strength to the native people of the Andes, but will be a vice to the invaders. Based on a story from the 1922 book Leyendas de mi tierra by the Bolivian writer Antonio Díaz Villamil (1897-1948). The animation is limited, but the art is excellent.

Available on YouTube:

You can find a transcript of the cartoon here:

Director/writer: Jorge Dayas
Animation: Auxiliadora Villafuerte, etc.
Music:Javier Gordillo
Year/length:2003. 11 minutes.
Setting:Precolombian Mayan Kingdom
Native Content:high
Released on:Vimeo

In a Mayan kingdom in pre-Colombian times, a girl narrowly escapes being sacrificied through a series of unpredictable events, and finds refuge with a family living in the forest. Great artwork and humor.

Sinopsis en español:
En la América de los mayas se prepara un ritual para ofrecer en sacrificio a dos niñas. El chamán que va a efectuarlo expulsa a la comitiva, pero tras iniciar el rito y ejecutar a la primera víctima, la segunda escapa.

Los Muiscas

Directors/writers: Alejandro Cabal, Carlos Andres Poggio
Animation: Alejandro Cabal, Carlos Andres Poggio, Julian Mejia
Music:Julio Delgado
Year/length:2007. 7 minutes.
Setting:Boyaca, Colombia
Native Content:high
Released on:Youtube

The creation of the earth and its people according to the Muisca people of Colombia. This has some eye-boggling artwork. Click on the "CC" button to select English or Italian subtitles.
Facebook page: facebook.com/MitosColombianos

Sinopsis en español:
Según la mitología de los Muiscas el universo, su mundo y su pueblo fueron creados por las deidades: Chiminigagua (la luz), Baque (el universo), Bachue (la madre de la humanidad), Chia (el caos), Goranchacha (el primer zaque), Chibchacum (el dios de la tierra) y Bochica (el benefactor, el educador). Esta es su historia.

Director/writer: Leonardo Cadaval
Animation: Leonardo Cadaval, Sérgio Menehira
Music: Ruggero Ruschioni
2007. 9 minutes.
Setting: rainforest
Language: none (no dialogue)
Released on: vimeo.com
A boy out hunting comes across a monolith similar to the one in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Soon after this apparition, he starts having strange encounters with shocking noises and images from the modern industrial world outside the forest. He narrowly escapes these encounters and returns home to his father. Great computer-generated animation brilliantly portrays the culture clash with humor and pathos. pajé means medicine man, so the title suggests something like the visions created by a medicine man. You can watch the entire film at http://vimeo.com/4873626

Resumo em português:
Um índio passa por uma torrente de experiências estranhas, revelando mistérios a respeito do tempo e espaço.

Studio:Chascoso Estudio
Director/writer: Patricia Aramayo Mariscal
Animation: Joaquín Cuevas Tellería, Patricia Aramayo Mariscal
Music:local Jalq'a musicians
Year/length:2013. 4 minutes.
Language:Spanish captions; no dialogue
Released on:Vimeo

As a Jalq'a woman from Bolivia weaves a tapestry, a mysterious mist draws her into her own creation. There she meets Saxra, a being from Ukhu Pacha, the lower world. The Spanish invaders identified Saxra with the Catholic devil and forbade representation of this being. In the weaver's dream or vision, Spanish invaders suddenly appear, and attempt to destroy Saxra's creations, video-game style. But Saxra drives them off, and the weaver awakens to find her tapestry decorated as of old with all the strange creatures that were once forbidden. A marvelously original cartoon. Spanish captions, no dialogue.

Translation of the Spanish introductory caption:
"Jalq'a is a culture from southern Bolivia. The Jalq'a identify strongly with the underworld, or Ukhu Pacha, where food, mineral riches, fertility and creativity come from. This cosmovision is reflected in their complex weavings. The mythic figure representing this world is Saxra, whose image was distorted in the colonial period by the Spanish conquerors, who associated him with the devil of the Catholic religion."
Final caption:
"This work is dedicated to the master weavers of Jalq'a and their art, which, despite the adversities of colonization, have survived to our own day."

(Nightmare Park)
Director:Aly Muritiba
Francisco Gusso
Pedro Giongo
Writer:Aly Muritiba
Music:Mauricio Ramos Marques
Length:13 minutes
Setting:Amazon, Brazil
Culture:Tupi/Guarani (?)
Released on:Vimeo

A horror story/fairy tale based on the Amazonian myths. A cursed child carves in wood the creatures he sees in his nightmares. One day he is kidnapped by Jurupari, god of nightmares, who commands him to keep on carving other deities in wood. There are no indigenous characters other than the mythical creatures (Jurema, Saci, Curupira, Lobisomem, Quibungo), but the animation and imagination in this fascinating cartoon make it well worth inclusion here.

Sinopsis en español:
A saga de um menino em cujas costas brotam flores. Num mundo fantástico onde seres humanos e lendas coabitam, personagens do folclore brasileiro como o Saci, o Curupira e o Lobisomem, travam luta com personagens não tão conhecidos como é o caso do Quibungo, Jurupari e Pisadeira.

(Abuela Lluvia)
Studio:Iyary Developers
Director:Jose Matiella
Writers:Ma'arakame Julio Parra Parra
Aaron Pankowsky
Animation:Enrique Sañudo, etc.
Music:Jose Bautista, etc.
Year/length:2016. 16 minutes.
Released on:Vimeo on Demand

The creation myth of the Wixárika (Huicholes) of Western Mexico. Takutzi Nakawe (Grandmother Rain) visits Watakame, a pious man who understands and appreciates nature, selecting him alone to survive a great flood that covers the earth. After five days the flood recedes, and Grandmother Rain reveals the animal gods who will accompany Watakame and his dog on their quest to find the source of light that will illuminate the land. Based on the narrations of Maarakame Julio Parra Parra, who also narrates the film. A simpler version of this myth is told in the 3D cartoon "Memuti Autsiemieme" (see below).

Available on Youtube:
(Wixarika, with Spanish subtitles)
(Spanish, with English subtitles)

Sinopsis en español:
Narra la creación del mundo, de acuerdo a la cosmovision Wixárika (Huichol). El guión se basa en 13 leyendas que nunca habian sido escritas, gracias a las narraciones de Don Julio Parra, Maarakame (chamán) Wixárika.

Amor Indio

Director/writer:Rui de Oliveira
Animation:Manoel Magalhaes, etc
Music:Fabio Nercessi
Year/length:1998. 16 minutes
Setting:Mexico, ancient times
Released on:Youtube

Based on the Aztec myth of Conyra, a human who fell in love with Cuillac, daughter of the King of the Sky. From the same artist who made "A lenda do dia e da noite" (above).
Available on the artist's Youtube channel:

(La vieja)
Studio:Fundacion Alpasamay
Director, writer, animator:Jhon Arley Agreda Jamioy
Music:Ivancho Agreda Jamioy
Length:5 minutes
Setting:Sibundoy, Putumayo, Colombia
Language:Kamëntsa, Spanish
Released on:Youtube

A stranger comes to Kamëntsa land in Sibundoy, Putumayo, Columbia, and cuts down trees. But this shinyac, sacred land, and is protected by Mother Earth.

Sinopsis en español:
La llegada de un Foráneo al territorio sagrado Tabanok con intensiones malas y ambiciosas, lo que no sabe, es que este territorio esta protegido por la ABUELAJH Espíritu protector de la Madre Tierra.

Director:Daniele Rodrigues
Year/length:2015. 4 min.
Setting:Amazon, Brazil
Released on:Youtube, Vimeo

Tired of her parents' quarreling, the little girl Jamamadi runs away. She follows a strange vine to the village of Apurinã. They welcome her and she lives with them for a while. On the holiday of Xingané they put the fish to sleep with cipo tingui and have a feast. Finally Jamamadi's parents find her and agree not to fight any more.
youtube.com/watch?v=QRgTkpYyXMc (Portuguese subtitles)
https://vimeo.com/116348883 (Spanish subtitles)

Directors: Cathy Edwards, Emily Howells, Sarah Whitehead
Writers: Jose Antonio Flores Faran, Cathy Edwards
Animation: Emily Howells, Sarah Whitehead
Music:Brendan Nelson
Year/length:2008. 5 minutes.
Setting:Mexico at the dawn of creation
Language:Nahuatl, Spanish or English
Released on:Youtube

An amusing account of one of the Aztec creation myths, in which the proud god Tecuciztecatl and the humble god Nanahuatzin sacrificed themselves to become the sun and moon. The story also explains how the wind god Ehecatl transformed the god Xolotl (Quetzalcoatl's twin) into the double-headed corn xolotl, the double-bodied cactus mexolotl, and finally the salamander axolotl, or ajolote. Available in English, Spanish, and Nahuatl.

Director/writer:Edison Fuentes
Animation:Edison Fuentes
Music:Edison Fuentes, Tinku Perugachi
Year/length:2014. 5 minutes.
Language:Kichwa (Spanish subs)
Released on:Vimeo

An old man takes a break from harvesting corn. When he falls asleep, he is visited by the spririts of the dead.

Sinopsis en español:
La historia cuenta sobre el proceso de muerte y encuentro espiritual entre un anciano indígena campesino y el “Aya” (Espíritu), personaje mítico ancestral de la cultura Kichwa. El guión se basa en personajes propios de los pueblos indígenas del norte del Ecuador, inspirado en creencias, leyendas y mitos que contaban los ancianos.

Los Chulpas

LOS CHULPAS, o los hijos de Mamaluna
Director: Alex Moya
2007. 7 minutes.
Setting: Atacama Desert, Chile
Language: Spanish
Released on: Vimeo

In the days before the sun existed, the Chulpas, ancient beings of the Atacama desert of Chile, worshipped the moon.

(My Grandmother's Bark)
Studio:Cururo Producciones
Director:Isidora Torrealba
Writer:Isidora Torrealba
Art:Erika Sanchez
Music:Martin Poblete Lasserre
Year/length:2017. 12 minutes.
Setting:Araucania, Chile
Released on:Vimeo

Ayelén is a very studious and curious girl who likes to read about trees. But when her grandmother Paya comes to stay, she find that Paya's Mapuche knowledge provides a more authentic experience than the facts printed in books. This cartoon's animation is limited, but the style and colors are fantastic.

Sinopsis en español:
Ayelén es una niña muy aplicada y curiosa. Al comenzar el invierno su abuela Paya llega a su casa porque está enferma. Ayelén lee insistentemente su libro de árboles de Chile, mientras su abuela critica los conocimientos que éste le entrega. Por ello, decide introducir a Ayelén en la oralidad mapuche que es fuente de un conocimiento más auténtico que cualquier libro científico. Termina el invierno y Paya se va con él. Ayelén comprende la valiosa enseñanza de su abuela y es testigo de una poderosa transformación.

No credits.
5 minutes.
Setting: Tierra del Fuego, beginning of the world
Language: Mapudungun, with Spanish subtitles
Released on: Youtube

The Mapuche myth of the primordial flood and the epic battle between Kai Kai, the sea serpent, and Ten Ten, the earth serpent.

Directors: Fernando Gonzales Santos, Ramses Benjumea Torres
Year/length:2010. 6 minutes.
Native Content:medium
Released on: vimeo.com/21445301

This cartoon from the non-profit group War Child shows how Sayde, an indigenous (Tairona?) boy, is sent to school, but is quickly lumped together with the troublemakers and thrown out of school. Left on his own, he is picked up by armed men who attempt to recruit him. Sayde eventually escapes and returns to his community. Very crude animation.

En agosto

Directors/Writers: Andrés Barrientos,
Carlos Andrés Reyes
Animation: Javier Caparó, Andrés Barrientos, David Becerra
Music: Sergio A. Trujillo, Sinapsis
Year/length:2008. 14 minutes.
Native Content:low
Released on:Vimeo

A young indigenous woman walks through a flooded Bogota of the future. She has a vision of a prophecy that on the day of the Jainoge, the world would be covered by water and fire. Back in the present, Pedro, an elderly man, awaits the arrival of the end of the world predicted by his dead wife. En Agosto has the epic gravity of a full-length feature film, but it leaves too much unexplained. A Google search finds the word jainoge *only* in connection to this film, and the ethnicity and language of the indigenas in the flashback are not identified. Too much relies on explanation outside the work itself (such as the sinopsis in Spanish below, written by the filmmakers). The outstanding animation is the main appeal of this work.

Sinopsis en español:
En el futuro, Verónica, una joven indígena, camina por un puente en una Bogotá parcialmente inundada y en la que no para de llover. Verónica intuye que algo malo va a ocurrir y acelera su paso. En el presente, Pedro, un anciano, espera la llegada del fin del mundo en un día y una hora que su difunta esposa, profetizó. Nunca falló alguna de sus predicciones. Verónica y Pedro están unidos por una visión y una realidad.

Director:Carlos Salazar
Animation: Jorge Cavajal, Jorge Marin
Length:3 minutes
Setting: Tierra del Fuego, Chile
Native Content:high
Released on: Youtube

This story tells of the time when women governed the Selk'nam of the island of Karukinka in Tierra del Fuego. When boys were ready for their kloketen, their initiation rite, the women put on hain costumes and chased them through the forest. Later the men took over this custom.

Sinopsis en español:
Inspirado en el inédito relato mitológico del "HaAinaA, el secreto kloketen de las mujeres." Este mito informa del periodo milenario en que las mujeres gobernaron durante miles de años al pueblo selknam en Karukinka (isla grande de Tierra del Fuego).

(The Creation of the World)
Director/Writer:Antonio Coello
Animation:Carlos Isaac, Antonio Coello
Music:Manuel Monroy et al.
Year/length:2016. 10 minutes.
Setting:Mexico, beginning of the world
Released on:Vimeo

The creation myths of the Seri (Comcaac), who live in Sonora, Mexico. First there was only darkness, then Hant Caai created the sea. Then he told sea creatures to bring sand up from the bottom to create land. Then he created people (though some say it was Hant Hasooma who created people) from the skin of his groin. Then came Itoj Salca, who had such a powerful gaze he created caves wherever he looked, and Cmaacoj Cmasol, who taught people how to make houses with ocotillo branches, and named all the plants and animals. A fly taught the people how to make fire. Then one day a flood came to destroy the earth, but a woman sacrificed her children to save everyone else. When the tides receded, her children came back to life. When a second flood came, it turned people into plants. Then one day Hant Caai returned and summoned the Seri people with smoke signals. Since they did not heed him, he gave wealth to the people of the U.S. and Mexico, and the Seri had to live modestly.

Available on Vimeo: vimeo.com/146949517

Juan Diego mensajero de Guadalupe

Directors: Jonas Soto, Fernando Uribe
Writer: Fernando Uribe
Music: Scott Brasher
35 minutes.
Setting: Tonantzin, Mexico, 1531
Language: Spanish, English, or French
Released on: DVD
The story of Juan Diego (Cuauhtlatoatzin) and his encounter with the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is presented as the beginning of the reconciliation between Indians and Europeans and the blessing of the Mexican mestizo race. Juan Diego is in favor of getting along with the Spanish because they have introduced Catholicism, while his uncle Bernardino is still distrusting, and his old teacher Tizoc (apocryphal to the Guadalupe legend?) still resents the Spanish bitterly and repudiates Juan Diego. Some viewers may find the reconciliation message too Christian and/or complacent. The animation is uninspired but adequate and some Nahuatl words and names are explained. This is apparently a U.S.-Mexico production, with audio in English, Spanish and French, and subtitles in English. Suitable for ages 5 to 10, perhaps.

Sinopsis en español:
En 1531, Juan Diego se vio atrapado entre dos mundos: el de los conquistadores españoles y el de su propio patrimonio azteca. Debido a su amor por el pueblo mexicano y a su fuerte fe, Juan Diego acudió a Jesús y a María, para que le ayudaran a unir a su pueblo. Y la respuesta vino de forma milagrosa en la Basílica de la Virgen de Guadalupe, en México.

(The Bean Game)
Director/writer:Natacha Valenzuela
Animation:Carlos Céspedes, Lea Valenzuela
Year/length:2018. 7 minutes.
Setting:Chile and Argentina
Culture:Mapuche, Aymara, Guarani, Selknam, Pehuenche

In the pre-Hispanic Southern Cone, children from several different cultures get to know each other.

Sinopsis en español:
Latinoamérica, 600 años atrás: Un niño mapuche encuentra un bolso con habas pintadas y un águila que le señala un camino. Decide seguirla, o que lo llevará a un viaje por distintos lugares del cono sur, generando amigos de diversas etnias.

Studio:Universidad Tecnologia Metropolitana
Directors:Maria Teresa Camus Herrada
Daniel Rojas Menco
Animation:Felipe Silva Montellano
Music:Fabio Nercessian
Year/length:2007. 6 minutes.
Setting:Tierra del Fuego, Chile
Released on:Youtube

Kamshout, a Selk'nam youth, gets lost in the woods. A fox leads him to the land of Autumn, where trees rest in order to be reborn with greater strength. When Kamshout returns home, his friends don't believe him, so he turns into a parrot and brings Autumn to them. Cute. Available on Youtube:

Studio:Arte Taller Kalfu
Director/Writer:Sebastián Soto Alamos
Animation:Sebastián Soto Alamos
Music:Sebastián Soto Alamos
Year/length:2016. 5 minutes.
Setting:Tierra del Fuego, Chile
Released on:Vimeo

Simple claymation recreates the Hain initiation ritual of the Selk'nam.

Studio:ABCR Producciones
Director:Roma Ignacio
Writer:Ayerdi Mariano
Year/length:2016. 4 min.
Released on:Vimeo

In this Argentine cartoon a fisherman finds a treasure trunk floating ashore.

Studio:Creativos Arquitectos
Length:4 minutes
Setting:Mexico at the dawn of creation
Released on:Youtube

The origin of Huitzilopochtli, Mexica god of the sun and war. His mother Cuatlicue, the goddess of life and death, became pregnant from a feather that fell from the sky. Her sons, los Cuatrocientos Surianos (400 southerners) were angered by this dishonor and decided to kill her. But one son, Cuahuitlicac, warned his mother of the attack. She then gave birth to Huitzilopochtli, who instantly became an adult and killed the aunt. He threw her head into the sky and it became the moon. Huitzilopochtli became the sun and the other Surianos became the stars. This story is also told in a live-action cortometraje (see the Mexico page).

Sinopsis en español:
La leyenda de Huitzilopochtli cuenta que él era un dios que nació como todo un guerrero, preparado para la guerra desde el momento de su nacimiento, junto con su armadura y armas.

Producer:Asociacion de Productores Audiovisuales Kichwas
Director:Samia Maldonado
Writer:Nelly Saransig
Animation:Nelly Saransig, Toqui Maldonado
Music:Ali Lema
Length:4 minutes.
Culture:Kichwa, Andean
Released on:YouTube

A woman urges her son to marry a hard-working girl who turns out to be a turtledove. In Kichwa with Spanish subtitles.

Sinopsis en español:
Una madre deseaba tanto que apareciera una hermosa y trabajadora mujer para sus hijos. La vida le concede este deseo convirtiendo a una tortolita en una bella mujer. Esta es una de las varias leyendas que guarda la tradición oral de los pueblos kichwas.

Director: Jorge Alderete
Writer:Florencio Noriega Vilchis
Animation: Jorge Alderete, Luis San Vicente
Music:Gabriel Lopez Flores
Year/length:2014, 13 minutes.
Setting:Tepozteco, Morelos, Mexico
Native Content:high
Released on:Youtube

One day the princess of Tepoztlan captured a bird she liked and became pregnant after holding it to her belly. When she had the illegitimate baby, the people rejected her. She abandoned the baby, hoping ants would devour him, but instead they fed him honey. She then put him in a maguey plant, but the cactus wrapped itself around him and fed him its nectar. Finally she put him in a box and dropped him in the river. An elderly couple found him, raised him, and taught him hunting, astronomy, and farming. One day there came the time for the father to go to the city of Xochicalco to sacrifice himself to the monsters that demanded an elder. But Tepoztécatl, now 15 years old, went instead. The monster devoured the boy, but he cut through the monster's stomach, killing him. Returning triumphantly, he stole a teponaxtli, a drum that symbolizes power, from Cuernavaca. As they chased him, he urinated into a valley, causing a landslide that prevented them from following him. He went to the top of the hill of Tepoztlan where his mother used to walk and beat the drum. He was welcomed as a hero in his native town where he had been rejected as a newborn.

The artistic style of the cartoon looks like a cross between art deco and an 80s video game, an interesting use of modern style and ancient legend, although the colors used for the people--whites, greys, and blues--don't really evoke Mexico.

This page details the many variations of this myth:

Director: Alejandro Bustamente Veloso
Animation:Roberto Roman Vargas
Year/length:2014. 5 minutes.
Setting:Lago Calafquen, Chile
Released on:Youtube

This tells the old folktale of Lican Ray, the beautiful daughter of a Mapuche lonko (cacique), who was beloved by all the men of the tribe, but the father rejected all suitors. When the Spanish came seeking gold, Lican Ray fell in love with one of them. When the father found out, he arranged a marriage to another cacique. But she fled with her white man to one of the islands of Calafquen. The couple hid on each of the seven islands and were never found. This cartoon was made by the same people who made "Ngenko" below.
With Spanish subtitles: youtube.com/watch?v=M3yeBSN303U
With Mapudungun subtitles: youtube.com/watch?v=R9F7Sf6Kaxg

(Los Señores de Sipán)

Director: Erwin Gómez Viñales
3.5 minutes.
Setting: Moche pyramids of Peru, c. 100 BC
Language: none
Released on: Vimeo

Inside the pyramids of the Moche valley, after so many sacrifices for their gods, skeletons enjoy their eternity. Blood is harvested from exhausted prisoners in a gold chalice, to be driven by the moon goddess through the pyramid's extensive corridors to the throne of the god of Darkness. The Moche Dragon is born from the blood.
Available on Vimeo: vimeo.com/32621578

Sinopsis en español:
Cortometraje inspirado en las pinturas sobre vasijas pertenecientes a la cultura Moche. Pueblo que habitó el costo norte de Perú 100 años antes de Cristo.

Machu Picchu Post

Directors/animators: Novali Nicolas, Durand Rival Margaux y Crocq Clement
2008. 5 minutes.
Setting: Machu Picchu
Language: none
Released on: https://youtu.be/dufODjUHzxM

A boy and his llama wait for the postal airplane to arrive in Machu Picchu. When the airplane wanders into a cloud, it comes under the control of the boy's imagination. A French production, but without words. Available on its own website or on Youtube:

Sinopsis en español:
Un niño que vive con su llama en Machu Pichu, recibe la visita del correo aéreo con gran entusiasmo, su imaginación le llevará a poner al piloto en un gran aprieto...

Mayan Reign

Director/animator: José Olmos
2008. 5 minutes.
Setting: Tecomon, Mexico
Language: English
Released on: Blogspot

The farmer Lino worries about the lack of rain, so his son Cuauhltemo goes to the pyramid at Tecomon to pray to the Mayan god Cha'ak for rain. Cha'ak conjures a warrior to play the Mayan soccer game ulama against Cuauhltemo.
Available at hoser396-mayanreign.blogspot.com

(El diluvio)
Studio:Blackout Studios
Director:Armando Vazquez
Writer:America Gutierrez
Animation:Erik Lopez Cuevas
Music:Israel Torres
Year/length:2013. 13 minutes.
Setting:Tee'kata, Mexico (center of world)
Language:Wixárika (Huichol), Spanish
Released on:Vimeo

Watakame, a farmer, is visited by Nakawe, mother of the gods, who warns him of a flood. She tells him to save seeds of corn in five colors. He hides in a log with his dog as the rain comes, and Nakawe guides him in the five cardinal directions (the Huicholes consider the center a direction too). The flood lasts for five years, and when they recede, Watakame settles into his new life. His dog changes into a woman, Tashiwa, who becomes his wife, and they repopulate the world.

Sinopsis en español:
Narra la historia de Watakame, un sembrador a quien Nakawe, madre de todos los dioses, ayuda para resistir el diluvio y asegurar el futuro de la humanidad.

Director: Victor Rene Ramirez Madrigal
Writers:Arturo Tornero Aceves, etc.
Animation:Christian Alain Vazquez Carrasco, etc.
Music:Mario Osuna
Year/length:2011. 8 min.
Setting:Angangueo, Michoacan, Mexico
Released on:Vimeo

A ittle Mexican boy meets a mysterious old man while fishing in the river. When he follows him, the boy discovers that the man is also a magical being who guides de Monarch butterflies in their unflagging life cycle. The lush animation seems like something from a classic Disney production.

Sinopsis en español:
Un pequeño niño se encuentra con un misterioso viejo mientras pesca en el río. Al seguir al anciano el niño descubre en él no sólo a un viejo, sino a un ser mágico, el cual guía a las mariposas monarca en su incansable ciclo de la vida. Un legado se abrirá ante sus ojos y lo llevará a ser guía de su propio destino.

Director/Writer:Jesús Sánchez Fuentes
Animation: Patricia Raths
Andrea Contreras
Juan Pablo Aguirre
Music:Sebastián Lay
Year/length:2015. 23 minutes.
Setting:Araucanía, Chile
Language:Spanish (Mapudungun subtitles)
Released on:Vimeo

Antilef (the name means "Rio del sol") is a young Mapuche who flees from a battle with the Huincas. Lost in unfamiliar territory, he encounters a strange woman who can turn into a jaguel (nahuel). She protects him from a wild bull (Toro Chupei) and guides him safely home. Based on a Mapuche legend. Puppets are used to tell the story.
Available on Vimeo:

Sinopsis en español:
Un joven mapuche escapa por su vida luego de una batalla contra los huincas. Perdido en tierras desconocidas se encuentra con un Nahuel (Jaguar).

Directors/writers/animators: José Márquez, Miguel Alvarado
Music: Marcos Villalobos 2009. 5 minutes.
Setting: Venezuela
Language: Spanish, Wayuunaiki
Released on: vimeo.com/45933595

Zapara, cacique of the Wayuu, refused to give his daughter Maruma in marriage. One day while Zapara is away, Maruma goes out hunting and meets the boy Tamare. When Zapara finds out, he unleashes his wrath upon the earth, which creates Lake Maracaibo. Based on the short story "La Leyenda del Lago de Maracaibo" by Antono Pérez Esclarin. Available on Vimeo: vimeo.com/45933595

Sinopsis en español:
El rey Zapara vivía con su hija Maruma, a quien nunca quiso dar en matrimonio. Un día, mientras el rey estaba de viaje, la hija salió de cacería, conoció a Tamare y se enamoraron. Al volver, el rey desató su ira sobre aquellas tierras, lo que dio origen al lago Maracaibo. Basado en el cuento "La Leyenda del Lago de Maracaibo" de Antono Pérez Esclarin.

(Los dueños del agua)
Director: Alejandro Bustamente Veloso
Animation:Roberto Roman Vargas
Year/length:2014. 3 minutes.
Setting:Putue, Chile
Released on:Youtube

This cartoon tells how the Mapuche of old always asked permission of the ngenko, the spirit of the water, before drawing from it, and how they treated nature with respect. When people forgot the old respectful ways, the water dried up and the animals left. Beautiful art accompanies this important environmental message.
With Spanish subtitles: youtube.com/watch?v=ZyZuCuY8xZc
With Mapudungun subtitles: youtube.com/watch?v=F4a4oPwqFFc

Creators:Sergio Díaz, Claudio Rocco
Music:Pequeñas Partículas
Umbria en Calafate
Length:9 minutes
Setting:Cerro Paidahuén, Chile. 1350.
Released on:Youtube

An Aconcagua boy spends his childhood playing with animals until his parents decide it is time for him to pass a rite of initiation into adulthood. The shaman gives him a halucinogenic drink, and the boy sees the friendly spirits of his ancestors, who help him confront monsters who seek to destroy them. When the boy has become a man, he sculpts statues inspired by his halucinogenic experiences. These are the petroglyphs of Cerro Paidahuén.
Available on Youtube:

Sinopsis en español:
Un niño de la cultura Aconcagua vive su infancia jugando con los animales, hasta que sus padres consideran que ya es hora de someterlo al rito de iniciático para pasar a la etapa adulta. El chamán que dirige el rito le da a beber al niño un líquido alucinógeno. En la experiencia psicotrópica se encuentra con los espíritus amistosos de sus antepasados y juntos deben enfrentar a unos seres monstruosos que quieren destruirlos. El personaje convertido ya en hombre, esculpe en piedras del entorno los signos que vio durante la alucinación. Son los petroglifos del cerro Paidahuén de Los Andes.

Director/writer:Leopoldo Aguilar
Art:Poncho Esquivias, et al.
Music:Lila Downs
Length:7 minutes
Released on:Youtube

A little boy with a foot deformity learns how to fly. No dialogue.

Sinopsis en español:
Marco es un niño que sueña con volar. Pero en el mundo donde vive, la tierra pesa sobre sus pies. Un cuervo engreído le ayudará a encontrar la respuesta de cómo los niños pueden volar.

Director: José Arturo Figueroa
Year/length:2009. 2 minutes.
Released on:Vimeo

A very short cartoon explaining how souls get to the afterlife, traveling across the sea, up the milky way, and to an island where they sink into tunnels.

Sinopsis en español:
Animación para niños que explica el viaje de los espíritus entre el mundo de los vivos y el mundo de los muertos en la cultura mapuche. Muestra cómo algunos entran y salen directamente de y desde estos espacios: son los Ngen Mapu.

Studio:Wapikoni Mobile
Writers/animators:Samuel Pérez Irayigra
María René Urquiza
Tomás Candia
Music:Grupo Los Amigos
Year/length:2011. 5 minutes.
Setting:Bolivian jungle
Language:Spanish, Guarayo
Released on:Youtube
A dialogue with shadow-puppet-style animation shows the Guarayo attitude towards the foreigners who enter and plunder their home in the Bolivian forest. Available on Youtube (in Spanish and Guarayo with French subtitles):

Sinopsis en español:
Este corto muestra la mirada del pueblo indígena Guarayo sobre la presencia de empresas extractoras de los recursos naturales, los impactos y peligros que representa no cuidar la naturaleza, ahora que todavía es tiempo.

Director:Benjamín Alfaro González
Year/length:2015. 5 minutes.
Released on:Vimeo

Ollin lives in a Mexican town suffering from drought. One day the Tlaloques, the four winds, sweep him up into the sky to meet Tláloc, the rain god.

Sinopsis en español:
Narra la historia de un niño preocupado porque en su pueblo escasea el agua. Un día, es atrapado sorpresivamente por los Tlaloques, ayudantes del Dios del agua, Tláloc, quienes necesitan su apoyo para ayudar a la comunidad. En el paraíso de Tláloc, Ollin conoce todo lo que necesita para obtener el vital líquido y gracias a su buen corazón su pueblo tendrá el agua que tanto necesita.

Director/animator:Mayerly Prieto
Writers:Mayerly Prieto, Fredy Chicangana
Music:campesinos de Valle de Cauca
Year/length:2012. 2 minutes.
Setting:Yanacona village in the Amazon
Language:Spanish (no subtitles)
Released on:Youtube

Stop-motion animation with cut paper tells the story of Chakiyuyu, father of fertility, who had a dream that his daughter would be married to a messenger of the sun and would bring strength to their lives. When Chakiyuyu awoke he dressed his daughter Inala in her best clothing and took her to the mountaintop. Inala did her weaving, and Chakiyuyu lay down next to a rock and listened to the celestial music, which put him in a trance. As he slept, the blue kinde bird came to Inala, explaining he was the messenger of the sun and that she would be his wife. He told her to guard the seed he would plant in her body, and that and that the leaves would bring strength to her people. Inala rushed to tell her father but couldn't wake him from the trance, and so another bird sought help from the village below. Four men rushed to the mountaintop and brought Chakiyuyu down. Inala made a fire of coca and passed the leaves over her father's head. She shared the coca with the men, who planted it and honored it as the daughter of Inala, Mama Coca.

Studio:La Fabrica Producciones
Director:Jorge Carmona
Writer:Edgar Quispe Chambi
Animation:Gabriel Rojas y Yul Arriola
Music:Lucho Quequezana, Cabina Libre
Narrator:Gregorio Ordoña
Year/length:2012(?). 4 minutes.
Setting:Lake Titicaca in ancient times
Language:Aymara, Spanish
Released on:Vimeo
In ancient times, when the Aymara people could communicate with the stars, a young man finds three beautiful young women on his chacra, who disappear into the sky. The next day the young man finds a condor to take him to where the stars live. He stays with one of the women, who feeds him quinua. As he returns to earth on the condor, he sows quinua on the land so that all may enjoy this nourishing food. Half live-action, half animation.
Available on Vimeo: vimeo.com/58202298#

Director/writer/artist: Edgar Vivas
2010. 6 minutes.
Setting: Venezuelan forest
Language: none
Released on: Youtube

A spectacled bear and her cub watch men enter their land and build a factory. While fleeing, the cub falls down a hill and has a dream about the time when Indians lived on their land.
Available on Youtube: Youtube

(The Lightning Stone)
Studio:Wawa Cine
Directors:Aldana Loiseau
Soledad Fernández
Writer:Ricardo Dubín
Animation:Fernando Chiro Aguirre, etc.
Music:Jaime Torres
Tukuta Gordillo
Year/length:2013. 18 min.
Setting:Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Language:Spanish (no subtitles)
Culture:Jujuy / Qolla
Released on:Youtube

In Humahuaca, a city in Jujuy in the northwest of Argentina, a boy and girl are herding their sheep when they discover a strange stone struck by lightning. When Diego touches the stone, Sofia instantly faints. Diego takes her to the wise old Doña Ceferina, who recognizes the stone as the work of the lightning god ("el dios del rayo"). Reading her coca leaves, Doña Ceferina discovers that Diego can only save Sofia by entering her dream. She instructs him go to the spring and kiss the surface of the water, then bring the stone to the Cave of the Ancestors. Along the way, Diego meets a living trilobite, the Paleozoic sea creature normally seen only in fossils. The trilobite guides Diego to the Cave of the Ancestors and interprets the ancient drawings on the walls. The drawings reveal how Illapa, the god of lightning, showed the first settlers of the region how to use fire, how to build houses, how to farm and build agricultural terraces. Then strangers came who knew how to wield the power of fire with their weapons. The conquerers brought diseases and imposed slavery on the people of Humahuaca, forcing them to work in mines, and suppressed their customs and ancient knowledge so that they forgot the god of lightning. As Diego is learning all this, the lightning stone suddenly comes alive, attaches itself to the ancient drawings, and reveals a map. Diego and the trilobite follow map's route to a mountain peak where they find a cave. They traverse a field of fire, then fall down a chasm, losing the stone. At the bottom of the chasm they see a mysterious procession of musicians and follow them to an altar where they find the lightning stone, whereupon Sofia awakes from her dream.
Available on Youtube: youtube.com/watch?v=92lLxgWnj5E
Facebook page: facebook.com/lapiedradelrayo/

Sinopsis en español:
En Humahuaca, una ciudad en Jujuy en el noroeste de Argentina, dos niños pastores inician una aventura mágica al encontrar una piedra tocada por un rayo. Descubren que la piedra tiene un poder especial y que pertenece a Illapa, el dios del rayo. Un Trilobites jamás petrificado y una anciana sabia serán los guías de la aventura que transitará por distintos momentos históricos de la Quebrada de Humahuaca.

La Wallata y la Zorra
Director:Joseph Lora
Length:4 min.
Setting:Juliaca, Peru
Released on:Youtube

The traditional Andean folktale of the goose who tricks a fox into burning her cubs. No actual animation, just still drawings--and not good ones at that.

Director/writer:Daniel Jácome
Animation:Fabricio Ulloa, Miguel Velez
Music:Mauricio Vega
Year/length:2011. 4 minutes
Setting:the Amazon in Ecuador
Released on:Youtube

In the jungle of Nunkai, Po Poc, a young Kilik (a kind of primitive chicken) finds himself pursued by two predators: Unup (son of the god Unush) and his pet Urhu (a qumaki, cross between a gorilla and a fox). Manic violence in the tradition of Road Runner.

Sinopsis en español:
En la espesa selva de Nunkai, Po Poc un pequeño kilik (especie de pollo primitivo). Se encontrará con lo que parecerá ser la comida de ese día. Pero su suerte está a punto de cambiar. Así es como inicia una serie de eventos donde deberá huir de sus dos depredadores: Unup (hijo del dios Unush) y su mascota Urhu (un fuerte y no muy listo Qumaki).

A tale of two volcanos
Writer:Duncan Tonatiuh
Illustrator:Duncan Tonatiuh
Animation: Andy T. Jones
Year/length:2016. 10 minutes.
Setting:Tenochtitlan, Pre-Colombian times
Language:English, with some Nahuatl words
Released on:DVD

The Aztec princess Izta is in love with the great warrior Popoca, but her father is reluctant to let his royal daughter to marry a mere warrior. He will only allow it if Popoca can defeat the king's enemy Jaguar Claw. So begins this tale of star-crossed lovers, based on the chidren's book by popular author and illustrator, Duncan Tonatiuh, who combines several variations of the traditional legend and illustrates the tale with his codex-style drawings. This video just barely qualifies as animation since the movement is very limited. It is part of a series produced by Dreamscape that turns children's books into videos. Despite that limitation, this video is very entertaining, since Tonatiuh's illustrations are so charming in the first place. This institutional DVD (marketed to libraries and other institutions rather than the general public) may be available and your library. Bonus material includes an author's note, Nahuatl vocabulary, and English subtitles.

(El sapo valiente / The Brave Toad)
Producer:Consejo Educativo Regional de Ayacucho
Director:Raúl Sánchez Rodríguez
Writer:Haydee Mitma Palomino
Animation:Raúl Sánchez Rodríguez
Music:Serio Molina Gómez
Length:6 minutes
Setting:Ayacucho, Peru
Released on:Facebook

A toad (Hampatu) is enamored of the moon (Mama Killa), and he resents a firefly's (Nina Uru) suggestion that her light is just as good. One night, the moon does not appear, and a snake (Machaqway) emerges. Nina Uru lights up the area so Hampatu can escape. Hampatu then learns to appreciate Nina Uru. A cute story in Ayacuchan Quechua.

Studio:Chaski Comunicación Audiovisual
Creators:Red de Microcines Chaski Apurimac
(collective creation)
Year/length:2015. 4 minutes.
Language:Quechua, Spanish
Released on:Vimeo

An abstract meditation on the imdominatability of the indigenous language, inspired by José María Arguedas' pronouncement that "El Quechua será inmortal."

Writer/director:Fernando Boluarte
Animation:Fernando Boluarte
Music:Grupo Pachacamac
Length:4 minutes
Setting:Moche Kingdom
Released on:Youtube

This cartoon tells the tale of the Moche hero Quismique, who defeated all kinds of monsters and underworld demons to defend mankind, alongside his friends, the iguana Murrup and the dog Fanun. The video is blurry, and the art somehow manages to be both bare and cluttered at the same time. A much better alternative is "Sipán" below.


(Rokunga, the Last Man Bird)

Director: Erwin Gómez Viñales
Writers: Erwin Gómez, Gonzalo Oyarzún,Ignacio Iriarte
Animators: Erwin Gómez, Mauricio Pérez, Marcelo Flores
Music: Miguel Lara
2006. 11 minutes.
Setting: Rapa Nui, 1866
Language: Spanish
Released on: Vimeo

This 3D cartoon shows the annual spring ceremony in the honor of Make Make, Creator God, at the time of the finding of the first bird egg in Rapa Nui. It culminated with the naming of the Tangata Manu, the sacred Birdman. Each year, the representatives of different tribes would climb the Kau volcano to celebrate the election of Tangata Manu, who became the political and military head of the island for a year.

Sinopsis en español:
La mágica recreación de la última ceremonia del hombre pájaro que se celebró en Isla de Pascua. La historia se ambienta en una Rapa Nui sumida en el caos, la enfermedad y la llegada de un nuevo dios. En esas circunstancias, Rokunga es el elegido por el dios Make Make. Los personajes de esta historia animada -la primera en 3d que llega al cine en Chile- son producto de un largo trabajo de diseño inspirado en figuras talladas en madera.

(Somos Hijos de la Selva)
Studio: Taller de Cine Comunitario por la Defensa del Territorio
Created by:Pueblo Sarayaku
Year/length:2018. 4 minutes
Setting:Sarayaku rainforest, Ecuador
Released on:Youtube

In this claymation, the Sarayaku people hear explosions are their land. One of them drinks ayawaska to ask the jungle what is happening. In his visions the jungle says it has to go. Trees dry up, water dries up, strange fires flare. The man warns his people about what is happening and they organize a protest in the city. (The signs referring to Chexaco refer of course to Texaco, the oil company that destroyed their land, and Chevron, the company that bought Texaco and therefore incurred legal responsibility. Instead of paying for damages, Chevron counter-sued the Sarayaku people. See the documentary Crude for more information.)


(Sayen and the Loom)
Director: Carolina Cortes, Alvaro Torres
Writer:Alvaro Torres
Animation: Carolina Cortes, Alvaro Torres
Year/length:2012. 7 minutes.
Native Content:high
Released on:Vimeo

Based on a Mapuche myth, this cartoon explains how the spidery art of weaving is passed on among women. The dialogue is not spoken; it is written in intertitles like a silent movie. Beautiful artwork.

Sinopsis en español:
El cortometraje narra la forma en que las mujeres Mapuche adquieren el conocimiento en el arte del Telar.

Studio:Mansión Bécquer
Animation:Juan Pablo Becerra
Sergio A. Hernández Cerpa
Arturo Tornero Aceves
Year/length:2010. 9 minutes.
Culture:Wixarika / Huichol
Released on:Vimeo

This wordless animation is based on the mural La semilla del mundo (The Seed of the World) by the Huichol / Wixarika artist José Benítez Sánchez (1938 - 2009).

Sinopsis en español:
Esta animación llamada "La Semilla" (The Seed) es una intervención del mural “La Semilla del mundo” realizado por el artista wixarika (huichol) José Benítez Sánchez (1938 - 2009).

Studio:El Directorio
Length:3 minutes.
Setting:Sipán, Peru
Released on:Youtube

The myth of Quismique, who protected the Moches from the wrath of the Milky Way. The Moches worshipped both the Sun and the Milky Way, but the Milky Way became jealous and sent the Moon to capture the Sun. When darkness ensued, the Moches became frightened and asked Quismique for help. Then the monsters of the sea captured and defeated Quismique. Quismique's friend The Fox appealed to the Milky Way, who demanded that the mortals' gifts to him be increased, and in exchange he rescued and healed Quismiquie and released the Sun. Since then, day and night have lived in harmony. This story is based on the anthropologist Jurgen Golte's interpretation of Moche iconography as told in La Rebelión contra el Dios Sol.

La Siera Aalamatzin

(The Mermaid Aalamatzin)

Director: Jaime Cruz
Writers: 1999. 27 minutes.
Setting: Xalitla, Guerrero, Mexico
Language: Náhuatl
Released on: Youtube

A man angers the mermaid Aalamatzin when he fishes in her river to feed his mistress instead of his family. The mermaid demands his son as payment. The boy escapes into the forest and wins the friendship of various animals by feeding them with his own meager resources. A grateful eagle gives the boy wings so he can fly back to his family. The art is a cluttered mix of paper and other textures with digital and drawn animation. In Nahuatl with Spanish subtitles. Adaptation of the bilingual children's book Aalamatsin Wan Tlatlamani / La sirena y el pescador, by José Antonio Flores Farfán and Cleofas Ramírez Celestino, which is in turn based on a Nahuatl myth from Xalitla, Guererro, Mexico.
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Available on Youtube:

Producers:Educarte, Editorial El Antillano
Animators:Edwin Abreu, Manuel Aquino, Jose Gutierrez
Music:Enrique Cardenas
Year/length:2010. 4 minutes.
Setting:Borikén (Pre-Colombian Puerto Rico)
Released on:DVD

On the island of Boriken, before the coming of the Europeans, the Tainos had a Day of Service in which the younger children would help the older children and adults with their chores. Tai, a younger boy, helps collect casava, build a canoe, make ceramics, hand out casava, and unload fish. This cute cartoon is based on the book by Manuel Otero. Originally published in black and white by Talleres Loíza in New York City, now available in color from Editorial el Antillano. You can buy the book and DVD together. The DVD is has both audio and subtitles in Spanish and English.

Sinopsis en español:
En esta historia se narra un día especial en la vida de Tai. Es el día de servicio, y cada niño y niña tiene que cooperar con las tareas de su yucayeque. El Combo DVD incluye el libro en español y el DVD con con audio y subtítulos en inglés y español. El cortometraje fue ganador del primer premio del Festival de Cine para Niños Divercine Puerto Rico 2010.


(Tai Goes Fishing)
Director:Edwin Abreu Ruiz
Writer:Talleres Loíza
Animators:Manuel Aquino Quilichini, Jose A. Gutierrez Rivera, Edwin Abreu Ruiz
Music:Enrique Cardenas
Year/length:2011. 4 minutes.
Setting:Borikén (Pre-Colombian Puerto Rico)
Released on:DVD

Tai arrives at the age when he must go fishing with the men. When a shark gets caught in their nets, Tai is the quick-thinking one who chops the nets off the boat with an ax so that the shark doesn't sink the canoes. For his act of bravery Tai is accepted as a man in the Taíno community. The art is completely different from the first Tai adventure. It is in a beautiful, life-like 3D, but their is almost no movement. Pans and zooms are used to create the illusion of movement. Based on the 1973 book by Talleres Loiza. There are other books in the Tai series, but so far just these two cartoons.

Sinopsis en español:
Para esta aventura, ya Tai es más grande y tiene que empezar a entrar al mundo de los adultos. Para eso, tiene que unirse a otros adultos en una tarea. A Tai le toca ir de pesca. El cuento expone la madurez de Tai y cómo probó estar listo para unirse al mundo adulto. Esta aventura ya está animada en 3D.


(Taina-Kan, The Great Star)

Director/writer: Adriana Figuereido
Animation:Orlando Mirola
Music:Branco Mello
Year/length:2005. 16 minutes.
Setting:Araguaia River Valley, Brazil
Culture:Karajá (Iny)
Native Content:high
Released on:Youtube
Digital retelling of a Karajá myth. The young woman Imaerô wishes upon her favorite star, Tainá-Kan, asking it to come to Earth as a man so she can marry him. But when he arrives, he appears old and weak, and she doesn't want him. Her sister Denakè then asks Tainá-Kan to remain so she can take care of him. One day, Tainá-Kan suddenly appears young and strong. He provides the village with fields full of new food--corn and watermelon--and turns stars into seeds for growing the crops. In the end, Tainá-Kan leaves Earth and returns to the heavens with Denakè and their children, who turn into stars and form a new constellation.
youtube.com/watch?v=JuH5p_4zGFg (no English subtitles)

Sinopsis en español:
Esta leyenda cuenta la historia de los orígenes de la agricultura Karaja, como regalo de Taina Kan, quien baja a la tierra en forma de hombre.

Director/writer/animator: Luis Pérez Reyes
Year/length:2013, 20 minutes
Setting:Tarapacá, Chile, 60 B.C.
Released on: Youtube

Zkayta and his mother live in the Tarapaca Desert, and must travel with a caravan of llamas to the shore 95 km away to get guano from the Chanabaya to fertilize their farm. Zkayta's father is too old to travel, so he instructs the boy to follow the animals of the Milky Way--fox, llama, man, woman, male llama, condor, quail, toad, serpent--to find the sea. Based on the comic book, Arkeokomix #3.

Sinopsis en español:
Situada en tiempos precolombinos en el año 60 d.C. durante el desarrollo de la cultura Alto Ramírez, se recrea la travesía de una madre pastora y su hijito, quienes inician un largo viaje caravanero desde Ramaditas, su hogar (actual yacimiento arqueológico) cerca del pueblo de Huatacondo, ubicado en la precordillera de la región. Desde allí cruzaran la Pampa del Tamarugal en donde se encontraran con la sabiduría ancestral de los habitantes del desierto más árido del mundo, hasta llegar a un lejano lugar denominado el "Tambo de los Huatacondinos", en Bajo Patache, en la costa del Océano Pacífico distante a 95 km., lugar que según la memoria oral en algunas caletas de pescadores, lo indican como el punto de llegada de los caravaneros desde el interior de la región, para aguardar el contacto con las comunidades pescadoras, cazadoras y recolectoras del litoral.

(A Presa/The Prey)
Director/writer: Jackson Abacatu
Animation: Gabriel Brandão, etc.
Music: Gustavo Felix, Jackson Abacatu
Year/length:2011. 11 minutes.
Setting:rainforst in Brazil
Language:Tupi Antiguo, Portuguese
Native Content:medium
Released on:Youtube

A white business man comes to the Amazon with his evil tree-uprooting machine. He brings with him two strange beings, one a man with flaming hair symbolizing violence (morupîara), the other a shapely woman with a gun symbolizing deceit (mo'era). An Indian watches as they shoot an armadillo, find its meat unsavory, and move on. This cartoon is narrated in Tupi, with Portuguese subtitles embedded into the crude drawings, and is summarized at the end in Portuguese. The message of wasteful, heedless destruction, however, is loud and clear. The Tupi is also translated into Portuguese on the film's website:

English translation of the script:
"Three men went to the forest to hunt. There was no stone in their path. There was no armadillo. There was hardly any prey to be had. Was it alone? Their prey fell. The three men ran in its direction. They tried its meat. It was useless. The three men went on in a hurry. They left the cadaver as food for a later time. It was not a bird, it was not a rabbit, it was not a jaguar they were seeking. But what died, I saw, was man himself. Who will weep for him?"

Complete cartoon: youtube.com/watch?v=VptPW_5cwMY

Sinopse en português:
Narrado na língua tupi, 'Tembîara' traz a história de três caçadores, uma caça e um observador, em um lugar onde a ação pode se tornar inútil ante seu objetivo.

Director/Writer:Robin George
Animation:Robin George
Music:Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Year/length:2013. 3 minutes.
Released on:Vimeo

In Toltec and later Mexica (Aztec) mythology, Tezcatlipoca, God of the Night Sky, created the world with his brother Quetzalcoatl. Telzcatlipoca was the ruler and sun of this first world, until Quetzalcoatl knocked him out of the sky with a stone club. Tezcatlipoca then turned himself into a jaguar and destroyed this first world. His name in Náhuatl means "smoking mirror". How this magnificent animated film relates to the myth is not clear; I suppose every viewer must decide for himself. An interpretation by Javier Barros de Villar follows below.

Sinopsis en español:
La inmemorable batalla cósmica entre día y noche, entre luz y oscuridad, es el acto que germina en este fragmento de la mitología mexica. Animada con notable exquisitez, Tezcatlipoca nos muestra a lo largo de tres minutos difusas pinceladas de la cosmovisión de este pueblo mesoamericano, alegoría que desfila como parte de la coreográfica lucha entre estas fuerzas diametralmente opuestas y a la vez dependientes entre sí. Musicalizada con el “Lago de los Cisnes” de Tchaikovsky, una elección poco ortodoxa pero evidentemente atinada, el fabuloso corto animado comparte una narrativa que, de forma hiper simplificada, podría interpretarse más o menos así: Tezcatlipoca, uno de los cuatro hijos de Ometéotl, señor de la noche y una de las deidades más complejas del panteón prehispánico, hila un atado de estrellas y se materializa en su nahual, el jaguar. A continuación, aprovechando la oscuridad derramada por un eclipse, el “espejo humeante” conjura la llegada del inframundo a la superficie, canalizado a través de la erupción de un volcán y su radiante fuerza destructiva. Sin embargo, llegado el momento y antes de que la destrucción se haya consumado, se desvela la fuerza opuesta, la luz--quizá recordando al opositor por excelencia de Tezcatlipoca, es decir Quetzalcóatl (también llamado el Tezcatlipoca blanco). Finalmente la calma regresa, la luz termina por imponerse nuevamente y nosotros nos llevamos en la bolsa una preciosa secuencia de imágenes, listos para continuar nuestros respectivos caminos y luchas internas. --Javier Barros Del Villar.

La tierra es nuestra

(The Land is Ours)

Director: Carlos Álvarez Zambelli
2009. 5 minutes.
Setting: various places in Latin America
Language: none
Released on: Youtube

This experimental animated short was produced with the Association for Cooperation with the South (ACSUD) as part of a campaign to denounce attacks on the indigenous peoples of Latin America and their territories and resources. The illusion of a trouble-free life is presented in cartoon form while the reality is filmed.

Director:Maria Teresa Murer
Animation:Luis Antonio Barcelos
Maria Teresa Murer
Music:Luciano Garofalo Leite
Length:12 minutes
Setting:Brasilian Amazon
Released on:Vimeo

Tamai and Caiuá are the last of their people. Since Caiuá was born among white people, Tamai teaches him how to live in the forest, and also tells him how they lived happily and in abundance before the white people came. When Tamai has taught all he knows, he advises Caiuá to live among brotherly people, before floating down the river for the last time. Very sad. Based on the 1979 children's book Apenas um curumim, by Werner Zotz.
Available on Vimeo: vimeo.com/206645123

Sinopsis em português:

Quando a aldeia acaba, o velho pajé Tamai leva o último índio, o jovem Caiua, para viver com povo índio irmão. Durante o caminho vai ensinando Caiua, que vivia com os homens brancos, a ser índio de novo, mostrando costumes, valores e pensamentos sobre a vida e a integração com a natureza.

Urikuria: La mujer lechuza

Directors: El pueblo Kukama Kukamiria
2014. 6 minutes.
Setting: Northern Amazon, Peru
Language: Kukama-Kukamiria
Released on: Vimeo

Drawings and stop motion tell the tale of a woman in the Kukama-Kukamiria community who transorms the loss of her baby into a mission to announce the arrival of the seeds of life, therby protecting all pregnant women.

Sinopsis en español:
En el pueblo Kukama-Kukamiria de la Amazonía peruana, una mujer transforma la perdida de su bebé en una misión especial, anunciando y cuidando desde entonces la llegada de las semillas de la vida, y protegiendo a toda las mujeres embarazadas.

(El mono y el trueno)
Studio:Blackout Studios
Director:Armando Vazquez
Writer:Abia Castillo
Animation:Thelian Ornelas
Music:Israel Torres, etc.
Year/length:2016. 8 minutes.
Setting:Tabasco, Mexico
Released on:Vimeo

A boastful monkey challenges humans to shout as loud as he can. One man knows how to beat the monkey by capturing thunder with his sword. 3D digital animation made by the Yokot'an-speaking community of Ayapa, a village in Tabasco, Mexico. Yokot'an is a Mayan language. They consider themselves descendants of the Olmecs.

Sinopsis en español:
En el corazón de la selva de Tabasco, en el sureste mexicano, un mono parlante reta a los pobladores de la región a gritar más fuerte que él. Ninguno pasa la prueba, pero le dicen que un hombre podría estar a la altura del desafío. El mono encuentra a un sujeto misterioso sentado debajo de un árbol. Le hace la propuesta y el hombre acepta el reto, pero le pide que lo espere en la punta de un árbol. El mono obedece y espera toda la noche. De repente, el hombre aparece con una espada en la mano. Con ella, es capaz de capturar los rayos y truenos que caen del cielo y provocar un enorme estruendo.

Studio:Mansión Bécquer
Year/Length:2013. 6 min.
Setting:precolumbian Mexico
Language:Spanish (with English subs)
Culture:Nahua / Aztec
Released on:Vimeo

According to legend, the seven Nahuatl tribes left their homeland of Aztlan in search of a promised land, guided by a sacred hummingbird. One day the nini-year-old Chicnahui found himself left behind. He set out to find his people, but found instead a magical realm with strange gods and creatures.

Sinopsis en español:
Cuenta la leyenda que las siete tribus nahuas salieron de Aztlán, guiadas por el colibrí sagrado, en busca de la tierra prometida. Emprendieron el viaje hombres, mujeres, ancianos y niños, entre estos; Chicnahui, un pequeño de nueve años.

Director: Oliver Alejandro Gomez Figueroa
Writer:Claudia Luz;
Fco. Ali Samir Loreto Sanchez
Animation:Manuela Enriquez
Year/length: 8 min. plus 4 min. of credits
Setting:Wirakuta, Real de Catorce
Native Content:high
Released on:Youtube

Not to be confused with the Taino Tai above. In this claymation film, Tai is a Huichol (Wirrarika) boy who grows up in a village that practices their ancestral ways. One day the village stops performing their ceremonies, and people begin to get sick and there is a drought. Tai's grandfather decides that Tai must travel to Real de Catorce and make an offering to the gods. After eating peyote, Tai realizes that the spirit is as powerful as nature, and that hearts beating together can accomplish anything. This is Tai's initiation as a maracame (spiritual leader). In Huichol with Spanish subtitles.

Sinopsis en español:
El viaje de Tai cuenta la historia de un Maracame (líder espiritual) de la cultura Wirrarika (Huichola). Este trabajo fué realizado por jovenes indigenas que estudian el la escuela de CREES en Estipac, Jalisco.

Amucha (Jesús Sánchez Fuentes, 2018)
El abuelo Llufkén y su nieta Ayün, tienen una amistosa relación y complicidad. En un día de sus vidas, vemos como un presagio anuncia un nuevo camino para Llufkén . Año 1300. Zona Lafkenche-Wallmapu.
Los Andes (Cristobal Leon, Joaquin Cociña, 2012)
A restless primal spirit takes possession of an office.
El árbol de agua de Millpún en el valle de Yanamarca (Hilda Misari Fabián, 2020, 3 minutes)
A woman remembers how clean the Millpún River was in her youth in Jauja, Peru.
Aymara Marka, Milena (Mariana Carvallo, 2010, 17 minutes)
Milena and her brother climb the Andean plateau to visit her Aymara grandmother. The girl doesn't want want to go, but once there, the magic of the desert – and of grandmothers – will change her mind. Based on a story from Kimsaqallqu: leyendas aymaras para niños del mundo, an anthology of folktales collected in Putre, an Aymara town near the border with Peru.
Aztec Legend (Eduardo Cisneros, 2004)
Barrio lindo (Pedro Vivas Francia, Bolivia, 8 min)
[Narra las aventuras y vicisitudes de dos niños que se conocen en un barrio marginal de La Paz y surge una amistad entre ellos.]
El bosque aun vive (Jesús Pérez, 1995. 12 minutes)
Muestra la cotidianidad de una familia chiman, a través de un niño que nace y crece en el bosque junto a sus amigos: un mono y un tucán. Aprende los oficios de este medio. En su primer día de caza se encuentra y conoce los espíritus del bosque, sigue su tarea con valentía, recorre todo el bosque y llega hasta sus márgenes encontrando la carretera que le muestra el límite de su mundo y el paso más próximo hacia la ciudad, ambos espacios completamente diferentes y contrapuestos.
Brincando na aldeia [Hopping in the Village] (Animazul, Brazil, 1997, 4 min.)
Cute cartoon about children playing in the rainforest. In Portuguese with no subtitles. Based on the book Antologia da floresta.
Bunkueiji y la coca (Giuliano Cavalli)
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/48176704
La caceria (Margarita Cid, 2013, 8 min.)
La cacería es una aventura épica en un tiempo del Chile prehistórico, donde un grupo de cazadores, liderados por Taruk y Tigmanen, van tras una manada de mastodontes. La tarea se vuelve imposible, pero sus esfuerzos son premiados con un enorme milodón. De regreso a su aldea, descubren la presencia de unos extraños y evolucionados visitantes que los hace huir con su familia. Se refugian en una caverna donde, en medio de la oscuridad, encuentran algo que cambiará el sentido de la historia para siempre.
So far I can only find the animatic rough draft version:
Caminho dos Gigantes (Alois Di Leo, 2016, 12 min.)
In a forest of gigantic trees, Oquirá a six year old indigenous girl, will challenge her destiny and learn to understand the cycle of life in the Brazilian Amazon.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers (Series, 1990-1992)
The New Adventures of Captain Planet (Series, 1993-1996)
This Saturday-morning cartoon about a team of environmentalist superheroes included Ma-Ti, a Kayapo from the Brazilian Amazon whose parents were killed in a forest fire. Ma-Ti was the kid of the group, and his powers of telepathy and compassion were less effective than the other heroes' powers. The character was voiced by Scott Menville.
Changing World (Jaqui Pope, 1988, 4 min.)
Shows how tractors and trucks are opening up the forest and changing the lives of the Indians.
Columbus: Adventures to the Edge of the World (2006, 30 min.)
Cómo aprendí a trabajar (La Asociación Civil Melel XojobalMarcela Moreno, 2014)
A Tzotzil family moves from the country to the city and must adjust to their new life.
El Corazón de los hombres (CEFREC-CAIB, 2011, 11 min. Bolivia)
Es la historia personal de una joven aymara, quien nos enseña el valor y la importancia de la medicina indígena, por medio de su testimonio de vida.
Creation of the Moon (Arturo Grande, 4 min, Mexico)
Aztec myth. In Spanish with no subtitles.
Cuando el bosque habla (Edwar Noronha Pinedo, 2011, 6 min, Peru)
Un pescador en Iquitos encuentra un pez que habla y le pide enseñar al pueblo que es malo tirar las basuras al río.
Cuentos de la serpiente emplumada (1989)
Emunho (José Pedersen, Augusto Netto, Rafael Kohan, 2004, 5 min)
The origin of the world narrated by a shaman from the Tomoraho community, one of the Ishir/Chamacoco peoples of Alto Paraguay, and features the drawings of the artist Ogwa
En camino, una historia boliviana (Jésus Pérez, Bolivia, 1996, 10 min.)
[A family travels from Potosi to the big city (apparently La Paz) and then to the rainforest in search of a better life.]
[Una familia del norte de Potosí (en el altiplano) se ve obligada a migrar a la ciudad y posteriormente al trópico.]
Essáuna (Jackson Abacatu, 2006, Brazil, 2 min.)
A poem in Nheengatu (a language in the Tupi-Guarani family which was once the lingua franca of the Amazon) expressing fear of the dark, and perhaps more. Thought-provoking. With Portuguese subtitles, which I translate as:
"Black eyes during the night/ Devourer of silence/ Shadows run down the path/ Fear is great/ I am alone/ I have no shelter/ Where to hide?/ I want to go/ Who will catch me?/ I know you walk here/ Who will catch me?/ Show your face/ The emptiness is near me/ The true voice hides/ A walker, yes, I am/ Dawn will not arrive/ Who will catch me?/ I know you walk here/ Who will catch me?/ Show your face/ Then I saw his face/ Without mouth, without nose/ Two eyes without ears/ His name was clear/ Like the day:/ Falsehood."
Fantasma de la milpa (Ghost of the Corn Field) (2 min.)
A claymation by Triqui children, whose families come from communities in the Sierra Alta of Oaxaca. When children playing ball close to a milpa (field) lose the ball, what happens to the player who goes in to get it?
En la comunidad Triqui de la Sierra Alta de Oaxaca, los niños juegan a la pelota muy cerca de una milpa. De pronto, la pelota escapa de sus manos y se introduce en la milpa, uno de los jugadores de pelota corre y se adentra en la milpa para rescatar la pelota y continuar el juego. Hecho por niñas y niños Triquis.
Five Suns: A Sacred History of Mexico (Patricia Amlin, Mexico, 1996, 55 min.)
A Festa dos encantados (Masanori Ohashy, 2016, 13 min.)
A história de como um índio Guajajara, que procurava pelo irmão perdido, encontrou um mundo subterrâneo, habitado por seres encantados e ali permaneceu até aprender todos os rituais e cânticos de várias celebrações, sendo a Festa do Mel a mais importante delas. Com saudade da família, voltou para seu povo e passou a contar as histórias e a ensinar, na sua aldeia de origem, tudo o que havia aprendido como encantados. Antes disso, de acordo com a lenda, os Guajajara não realizavam festas.
A fundaçao do Brasil (Mô Toledo, Brazil, 1980, 7 min.)
Historia de las relaciones de trabajo entre los blancos, indios y negros durante la colonización del Brasil.
Gargoyles (Series, 1994-1996)
Gargoyles are dragon-like creatures who protect various parts of the earth. The series focused on the New York Clan, but there was also a Mayan Clan in Chac Ixchel, Guatemala. Their members were Zafiro, Turquesa, Obsidiana, and Jade.
Guarani M'bya (Daniele Rodrigues and students, 4 min.)
Animación realizada por los alumnos de CIEP Poeta Cruz e Sousa, Brasil, a partir de la experiencia de la visita de un grupo de estudiantes a la aldea del pueblo Guarani M'byá. In Portuguese; no subtitles.
El jaguar de la selva / Baáhjú oótórrohgo (René Rodríguez, Peru, 3 min. In Bora.)
Miguelito vive en una comunidad Bora. Es un niño muy curioso que va a jugar al bosque y se encuentra con un jaguar que lo persigue por la tierra y el río. Miguel se encuentra con un secreto familiar.
Kaa Iya: Dueño de la naturaleza (Comunidad Ava Guaraní Cuape Yayembuate, 2012, 8 min.)
Benito tranquilo y sereno con su morral, se aleja al amanecer mientras pasa por el monumento del indio calilegua. Relato acerca de un artesano guaraní, su vinculo con la naturaleza y con Yanderu Tumpa. Animado cuadro a cuadro, sobre decorados naturales y maquetas realizadas por jóvenes indígenas, el corto permite aproximarnos a la cosmovisión del pueblo guaraní, a partir del quehacer de un artesano.
Kiñe Rupa (Lucía Pérez, 2018, 60 min.)
Segundito y su kuku/abuela Paskuala comparten sus días entre los valles de Wallmapu. Junto a su inseparable gato irá conociendo qué son los nütram y las distintas formas que tienen las familias mapuche de contar sus historias. Capítulo 1: Treng Treng Kay Kay engu. Una gran pelea puede cambiar todo. Capítulo 2: Ti Sumpall. ¡La Millaray es la Sumpall! Capítulo 3: Kalku ñi trawün. Capítulo 4: Ti aling kutran. Segundito está con fiebre. Un inolvidable encuentro de brujos.
Konãgxeka: o Dilúvio Maxakali (Isael Maxakali and Charles Bicalho, 2016, 13 min.)
Konãgxeka in the maxakali indigenous language means "great water". As a punishment for the selfishness and greed of men, the yãmîy spirits send the great water.
La lección de Gerónimo (Comunidad Qom Qadhuoqte, 2012, 6 min.)
Historia de iniciación acerca de un cazador que entra al monte buscando comida y una vez allí, debe hacer frente a las fuerzas de la naturaleza. Utilizando la técnica de stop motion (cuadro por cuadro), sobre fondos y decorados realizados con stencil, los/as participantes animaron al cazador Gerónimo en su travesía a través del monte.
La Machi y el arbol sagrado (Niños Escuela San Martín de Porres y Vivienne Barry, Chile, 2017, 8 min.)
In this crude claymation, El Trafentu (evil spirit) sets the forest on fire and La Machi (shaman) puts it out.
Manhatitlan Chronicles (Felipe Galindo, 1999, 7 min.)
An animated flight of fancy that transposes elements of Mexican culture onto the cityscape of Manhattan. A humorous view on how Mexican and American cultures playfully intertwine. The film consist of 5 humorous segments that underscore ethnic tradition in this era of multiculturalism and globalization.
Artist's website: www.felipegalindo.com
Manhatitlan Codex (Felipe Galindo, 2008, 5 min.)
Narrates an imaginary migration of a group of Mexican people to the US, inspired by Aztec mythology and American history. This animation explores the concepts of homeland, migration and globalization.
Mari Mari (2008, 13 minutes)
Nicholas is an adventurous boy who likes to climb a hill in Chile. In one of his outings he meets Ayelén, the ghost of an Indian girl who lives with her family in the woods. This place is threatened by the construction of a large apartment complex, and Nicholas will try to stop it. Stop motion film.
Mãtãnãg, a Encantada (2018)
Based on a traditional tale of the Maxakali of Brazil.
El milagro del Kantu (Luis Carlos Aliaga ñunez del Prado, 2012)
El Mito de Peribo (Félix Nakamura, 1988, Venezuela, 8 min.)
[A Yanomami myth. After a great flood there was only one house left, but the man and woman who lived there didn't get along.]
Animación de figuras de plastilina que recrea un mito yanomami. Después del Diluvio había una sola casa en la tierra, y ahí vivían los yanomami. Uno de ellos era Peribo, quien tenía como esposa a una muchacha de nombre Xidikariyoma. Esta mujer no quería a su esposo, trataba continuamente de huir y ocultarse.
Moon, Jungle, Fire and Earth (Pier Brinkman, Brazil, 20 min)
[Usando la técnica de animación fotográfica, son recreadas cientos de diapositivas de varios grupos indígenas de las selvas tropicales de Brasil. Su vida, sus ritos y juegos aparecen junto a la advertencia de la amenaza que representa para su supervivencia la explotación indiscriminada de sus tierras y recursos.]
La Mora y el Cocuyo (Isaias Perez, Venezuela, 2017, 10 min.)
A Pemong tale tells the journey of a Fire Beetle that finds an old Blackberry, she falls in love with him, but he rejects her. Time passes, the blackberry is reborn and the Fire Beetle receives a lesson.
Motelomama (Escuela de Cine Amazónico, 2017, 5 min.)
A turtle becomes a giant and carries the jungle on his back. Based on Amazon myths of Motelo Mama, el Nishobo and el Achiquinvieja.
Muñeca de maiz (Corn Doll) (Marisol Barragán, Bolivia, 1989)
Muu Payaa, la abuela mar (Luzbeidy Monterrosa Antencio, Olowaili Green Santacruz, Colombia, 2021, 12 min.)
Ina y Siruma, dos niñas pertenecientes a las culturas ancestrales Gunadule (Urabá antioqueño) y Wayuu (Guajira) acompañan a sus abuelas Nana Dummad y Manna, en sus actividades cotidianas mientras aprenden de sus saberes. Curiosas por la presencia y los cantos de Werwel y Ulepala (aves representativas en las leyes de origen de sus culturas), Ina y Siruma se pierden mientras son guiadas a un espacio desconocido para ellas, en el cual se encuentran en un viaje onírico con Muu (dulegaya) Palaa (wayuunaiki), la abuela Mar.
El origen del fuego (Cooperativo Proceso Creativo, Venezuela, 1995, 8 min.)
Wayuu myth taken from Cuentos indigenas venezolanos. No animation; just still drawings.
Pactos con el diablo (Alex Moya Ibacache, Chile, 25 min)
Ficción, entremezclada con entrevistas con uno de los bisnietos de Claudio Vicuña, de quien se dice, hizo un pacto con el Diablo. "Si me das lo que te pido, mi alma será tuya", lo que le otorgó el poder, pagándolo con su vida. Asimismo, muestra historias similares de otros célebres personajes de Valparaíso, como el poeta Vicente Huidobro.
Pakatnamú: la promesa de Shi (Reynaldo Peña, 2014)
Narra las peripecias del Guerrero Chimo, y su afán por devolver el orden al valle de Jequetepeque en el Peru precolombino.
Paulina y el Condor (Marisol Barragán, Bolivia, 1995, 10 min.)
[An Aymara girl journeys from the altiplano to La Paz.]
El Pequeño Héroe (Marco Silva, 2010)
A series about the boyhood of Bernardo O'Higgins, future leader of Chilean independence, and his Mapuche friends Antu y Maylén.
La piedra del rayo (Aldana Loiseau, Soledad Fernández, Argentina, 2013, 18 min.)
Pisaca Pankaritampi Tayca Tiwulampi (La wallata y la zorra) (Joseph Lora, 2008, 4 min.)
Very primitive cartoon in Aymara, with Spanish subtitles.
Piurek, hijos del agua (Misak community, 2020, 7 min.)
Esta historia camina adelante con el futuro detrás, entre el agua que nos va contando de dónde vino el primer niño misak. ¿Has escuchado de esta comunidad? Desde el territorio de Guambía, los hijos del agua llegaron con sus mochilas y saberes a Nu Køsrak (Bogotá), queriéndonos contar cómo fue que vinieron a este mundo para cuidar la tierra. Una bella historia donde habla la niebla, el corazón de las lagunas y el lenguaje de la tierra.
In Misak with Spanish subtitles.
Quetzacoatl viaja a Mictlan (no credits)
Resuscita, Rey Orelie (Vivienne Barry, 2005, 20 min.)
The fantasies of Orelie Antoine I de Tounens, a Frenchman who came to Chile in the 19th century and declared himself King of Patagonia and Araucania. He attempted to unite the native peoples of the region to resist Spanish power.
Retablo (Susana del Rio Kuroiwa, 2011, 3 min.)
Stop motion makes an Ayacucho retablo come to life.
Rimanakuna (Samay Acentales Cajas, 3 min.)
La vergüenza de no saber hablar Kichwa se vuelve más real que nunca. A través de pruebas y errores, diferentes mujeres intentan aprender, pero se frustran. De repente, los alimentos que consumen se comunican con ellas. Estos alimentos tradicionales dan palabras de reproche y fracaso. Pero mientras estas mujeres se hacen más fuertes, estas palabras se vuelven alentadoras y de esperanza.
Starlore (Faith Hubley, 1984, 9 min., English, US/Guatemala production)
El film narra varios mitos de creación relacionados con el sol, la luna y otros elementos del firmamento. Un mito maya narra un juego de pelota cósmico, siguen un mito campa, uno yahgan, tupi, pawnee, finalizando con uno inuit.
El sacrificio de la ñusta (Gian Marcos Montes, 11 min. Peru)
Cuenta la historia de resistencia incaica ambientada durante el cruento periodo de la conquista espanola.
El sueño de los hombres (Armando Arce, 1986, 10 min.)
Inspirada en un antiguo mito indígena makiritare, narra la creación de la mujer y el hombre.
Tabey (Juan Padrón, Cuba, 1974, 8 min)
Se trata de una historia sobre indígenas y conquistadores. Tabey escapa de los caribes y es rescatado por los españoles a caballo. Estos simulan amistad para finalmente emplear a los indios en la búsqueda de oro. Los guerreros taino se organizan, atacan y ponen en fuga a los españoles.
Tango (Francisco Gusso e Pedro Giongo, 2016, 13 min.)
Após anos de seca, uma batata mística brota nas distantes nascentes do Rio Aiatak. Em breve, tudo estará preparado para o grande ritual de Tango. Para o povo, este é o início de uma nova era. Inspirado no conto “Um Artista da Fome”, de Franz Kafka, “Tango” é um mergulho na natureza humana e em suas contradições.
Teco, el niño mojeño (Rubén Machado Navia, Bolivia, 2004, 18 min.)
Teco, un pequeño niño, conoce la historia de su pueblo de una manera misteriosa después de conversar con el Espíritu del Bosque, El Sol y La Luna.
El tiempo en el bosque (Juan Paulín, 2018, 6 min.)
In this heartbreaking story inspired by the Aztec legend of the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl volcanoes, a ghost from the past lingers in the forest.
Tierra adentro (Patricio Plaza, Mexico, 2015)
The Argentine illustrator brings to life the Mazatec healing rituals of Oaxaca.
La tierra está enferma (Jesús Pérez)
Tierra y territorio (Esteban Espejo, Oscar Sejas, 2005, 31 min.)
Desde diferentes ópticas y aportes se analiza la realidad de la tierra y territorio. En las regiones altas y bajas de Bolivia, se denuncian situaciones injustas y se manifiestan propuestas desde las organizaciones y comunidades desde la perspectiva de convocatoria a una asamblea nacional constituyente.
Titiri We: El canto de la noche (Viveca Baiz, 10 min.)
Recreating a Yanomami myth, this film tells the story of the creation of the night. An indigenous family, tired of the heat and light of the sun, fatally wound a black Paují bird in flight. With every drop of blood that falls from the bird a new Paují is born which takes flight and blocks the sun from view. Before the astonished eyes of the humans, night has begun.
El mito de la creación de la noche recogido entre los Parimi-Theri del río Uraricoera en Brasil. Una pareja de indígenas, extenuados por la luz y el calor hieren mortalmente a un paují en vuelo y de cada gota de sangre que derrama el ave por su herida, nace un nuevo paují. Se forma una bandada que al alzar el vuelo, cubre el sol, surgiendo la noche, ante la mirada asombrada de los humanos.
Tukano (Daniele Rodrigues, 2014, 2 min.)
A village, its people and spirits, enters a snake who takes them to Brazil and turns into the Rio Negro.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LQnNC0QpX8 (Portuguese subtitles)
vimeo.com/117019520 (Spanish subtitles)
Ultimo elote (The last corn stalk) (2 min.)
A claymation by Triqui children, whose families come from communities in the Sierra Alta of Oaxaca. two farmers harvesting their corn find that all the ears have dried up but one. Who will get to eat it?
Dos campesinos triques comparte el maíz de la cosecha de su milpa. Un buen día el calor es tan intenso que provoca una severa sequía que acaba con casi toda la cosecha al grado que tan sólo queda una mazorca con un elote. Los campesinos al desesperarse por no tener que comer pelean entre ellos el último elote que queda de su cosecha. Hecho por niñas y niños Triquis.
Upa en apuros (Tito Davison, 1942, 12 min.)
O Voo do Beija-Flor (Ana Claudia Melo, Brazil)
Way of Giants (Caminho os Gigantes) (Alois de Leo, 2016, 12 min.)
Wirandé (Tomorrow) (Wilson Lazaretti & Mauricio Squarisi, Brazil, 1992, 5 min.)
[Drawings by native and urban children from Amazonias show their daily life.]
Yaku Wiki (Lágrima del agua) (Segundo Fuérez, 2009, 11 min.)
Narra la historia de una gotita de agua que nace de la nube y desciende hacia la Tierra en donde no encuentra un hogar y es absorbida por la sequedad del suelo. La mamá nube lleno de rencor brota sus lágrimas por la muerte de su amado hijo. Los ríos y lagunas vuelven a llenarse de agua, los campos se cubren de verdor y belleza de las flores. Empieza a resurgir la vida. El mundo está repleto de arbustos y flores, y sobre esto vuelan mariposas y ave. Del pueblo Otavalo.
Yawar Karanki (Kuyllur Saywa Escola Chachalo, 2018, 5 min.)
Explores the meaning of earth, wind, water, and fire in the Kichwa Karanki culture.
Yo Soy Taíno (Dak' Toká Taíno) (Alba Enid García, 2019, 13 min.)
In post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico, a grandmother and granddaughter talk about their Taíno heritage.
Yumakwaxa (La Celebración del Tambor) (Karin Gunn, 2008, 8 min.)
Claymation brings to life the annual drum celebration, a rite of passage ceremony for the children of the community guided by the Mara’acame (spiritual leader), that involves sharing food and hearing stories about sacred places. Made and spoken by Huichol high school students.

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Animated Musicals

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