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Film Catalog » Subject Areas » Arts & Humanities » Carnival in Q'eros

Carnival in Q'eros

Carnival in Q'eros - Image Produced by John Cohen.
32 min. Color. 1991.
Available as: VHS and DVD
Captioned: No
Catalog #: 0041
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Sale Price: $295.00 Buy VHS Buy DVD

This groundbreaking documentary shows the remarkable Carnival celebrations -- never before seen by outsiders -- of a remote community of Indians high in the Peruvian Andes. Their culture offers important clues into the Inca past and the roots of Andean cultures.

The Q'eros play flutes and sing to their alpacas in a ritual to promote the animals' fertility. The film shows how the music evolves from individual, to family, to ayllu, to community, a structure of spiritual activity distinct from the structure of kinship. The Q'eros sing and play separately from each other, producing a heterophonic sound without rhythmic beat, harmony, or counterpoint -- a "chaotic" sound texture that exemplifies a key connection between the culture of the Andes and that of the Amazon jungle.

The film also focuses on the protracted negotiations by which the Indians were compensated for their participation in the project.

This classic and widely acclaimed film is essentiall viewing in a range of courses in cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology, folklore, Latin American and Andean studies, and comparative religion. It was produced by renowned filmmaker and musician John Cohen.


"A rare and delightful film that presents wonderful performances in their 20th-century context and guarantees animated class discussions." -- Anthony Seeger, ethnomusicologist and Curator, Smithsonian Institution


  • Latin American Studies Assn. Award of Merit
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival honoree
  • American Anthropological Assn. honoree
  • National Educational Film Festival Award

Additional Material

For additional information on John Cohen and his films, photography, and music, please visit http://www.johncohenworks.com/.



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