• Short Summary

    During his present tour of Latin America, VISNEWS cameraman Sepp Riff visited Chichicastenango, probably the most interesting Indian village in Guatemala.

  • Description

    During his present tour of Latin America, VISNEWS cameraman Sepp Riff visited Chichicastenango, probably the most interesting Indian village in Guatemala.

    It was market day, and the plaza was a melody swollen of colour and incense. The normal population of 3,000 was swollen to more than 20,000 so Indians from some 60 surrounding districts came to town to trade, gossip, and perform their peculiar religious devotions at the beautiful Spanish colonial Church of Santo Tomas.

    Of pure Maya-Quiche stock, the Indians retain much of their pre-hispanic culture, and combine the worship of both the Christian God and their pagan deities in the most unique fashion.

    Dressed in their colourful regalia, and carrying religious emblems, the Maxenos - Indians of the region - stop on the lower steps of the church to make offerings of copal incense to their non-Christian gods, then climb the steps swinging their censors as the smoke wafts their prayers skywards. Entering the Church, they assume the formalities of their main faith...Roman Catholicism.

    Normally, photography within the church is forbidden, but Riff managed to record these unique scenes. As Catholics, the Indians pray before the Crucifix and the altars of the saints, and burn candles on the floor of the church after scattering offerings of rose petals or pine needles. Their voices mingle in a strange cacophony of sound, for the Maxe????o talks with his God in the most familiar terms.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA8H146IGL16HBVME4T8I3TVPRR
    Media URN:
    VLVA8H146IGL16HBVME4T8I3TVPRR
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/02/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:44:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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