Trinkets And Beads

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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In the film "Trinkets and Beads", the director Christopher Walker exposed the life of two tribes which reside in Ecuador. Many different traditions were discussed that are a great part of the Huaorani and Cofan tribes. Oil companies such as Texaco and Shell began to use the Huaorani territory to drill for oil. The Huaorani tribes fought against it, but were not successful. The lives of this tribe was being altered in so many ways due to American companies as well as people invading their world. The film also showed how many missionaries attempted to help the Ecuadorian tribes through religion. A missionary by the name of Rachel Saint was quite successful in altering their beliefs from witchcraft and demons to a Christian perspective. In the Cofan tribe, the film showed how their territory was taken over by roads built by Americans. In one instance, oil was spread on the roads to keep the dust down, an unnecessary procedure considering the tribe lives in the rainforest.

The film "Trinkets and Beads" was made very well. It portrayed the life of people that I had never learned about therefore I enjoyed it thoroughly. One thing that I wasn't too fond of was the subtitles. I think it would have been easier to understand and take notes on if it had been verbally translated. It was very relevant to our class because it showed the specific cultures and their traditions such as face painting and holes in their ears. The segment about the oil companies was pretty much in the viewpoint of the tribes themselves rather than the oil companies. I would have liked to hear more of Shell and Texaco's side of the story. However, the religion issue was pretty balanced. I especially enjoyed the last segment where the one man showed how his life had been changed because of the roads built. He was forced to move because the loud trucks made it impossible to live there. I cannot imagine how difficult that would be to have lived a certain way for so long and have your whole life turned around by more civilized societies