Segments in this Video

Shaman Prayers for a Lost Son (03:36)


A shaman performs a ceremony for a mother whose son disappeared in the Amazon Rain Forest.

Son Lost in the Forest (02:24)

The mother of a 20-year-old Peruvian boy and his best friend talk about what he was like and what happened when he disappeared.

Supernatural Tale of Boy's Disappearance (04:29)

The tale of his disappearance takes on elements of the supernatural. The source of information about the supernatural aspects of the boy's disappearance comes from various shamans.

Amazon Forest Nature Spirit (03:13)

Indigenous Peruvians believe in nature spirits and they have superstitions about the forest. They ask for permission of the Chullachaqui to enter the forest and kill animals for food.

Nature Spirits and Shaman Tales (03:58)

A shaman reveals to the mother of a lost son that he has information about the son. In a tale about the Chullachaqui, the nature spirit, disguised as a beautiful young girl, beguiles a young hunter.

Shamanistic Predictions (02:57)

A strong belief in the spirit world is what comforts a mother after her son disappears. She believes what the shaman tells her about her son's whereabouts.

Peru: Mysteries of the Amazonian Forest (02:59)

Popular belief about the Peruvian rainforest continues to nurture age-old stories and beliefs. Natives believe the trees have spirits and that spirits wander in the forest disguised as beautiful women.

Peru: Mysteries of the Amazon River (04:39)

Native Peruvians believe that pink dolphins live in the Amazon River and change their shapes to human to trick people into the river. There the human turns into a dolphin and does not return.

Tales of the Pink Dolphins (04:01)

Peruvian men tell tales about the mysterious tricks of pink dolphins who live in the Amazon River. The dolphins take the shapes of humans. In another tale, a widow lives with a pink dolphin disguised as a man.

Peruvian Superstitions (03:03)

Preserved dolphin penises and vaginas are said to have magical powers. Both are used in various ways to attract the opposite sex. A man plants a bush by his door to scare his daughter's suitors away.

Natural Healing Medicines (05:50)

In the Iquitos market, many plants and herbs are sold for medicinal purposes. A proprietress explains what her remedies will cure. A proprietor explains how his remedies enhance male sexual performance.

Tales of Dolphin/Human Matings (02:20)

So strong is the belief that Amazon River dolphins and humans interact, that a doctor relates his experiences with helping ladies give birth to dolphin babies. The mother of a lost son saves his clothing for his return.

Tales of the Supernatural (04:15)

Peruvian women tell stories that reveal their belief in the supernatural and their belief in what the shamans tell them. Amazon forest loggers do not ask permission of the trees' spirits prior to cutting down the forest.

Spanish Explorers and Indigenous People (03:04)

Early Spanish explorers dismissed the culture and vision of indigenous people. Thinking that the people were lazy, they gave them tools and put them to work. Multinational corporations strip the forests and lands without paying the native people.

Climate Change and Pollution in the Amazon Basin (04:00)

Climate changes affect the lives and work of the indigenous Peruvians who depend on the forest for food and the river for fish. Their way of live is threatened by changes that they have no control over, such as oil spills and pollution.

Shaman's Sad News to Mother (03:41)

A shaman delivers sad news to the mother of a lost son. After many months, he tells her that her son no longer exists. He found out this information by drinking alcohol with another shaman. The two of them talked to the dead boy's spirit.

Rainforest Tales: Underwater Life (02:00)

The Peruvians of the rainforest believe that dolphins teach mankind many things, such as the art of healing, They believe humans descend into the dolphin world in the Amazon River where they live peaceful lives.

Shaman Rituals (03:42)

Two mothers seek help from shamans who claim they can reconnect a body with its soul, and can connect to the soul of a missing person. Shamans perform their rituals with smoke and brushes and chants.

Shaman's Vision: Mother's Hope (03:59)

A grieved mother seeks information about her lost son from shamans. They tell her he is alive and will return after a stay with a forest spirit. She clings to the hope that he will one day return to the exact spot where he disappeared.

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The Trees Have a Mother: Amazonian Cosmologies, Folktales, and Mystery

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $179.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $269.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $179.95



In spite of mounting ecological damage, the Amazon Basin continues to nurture age-old stories and beliefs. This documentary illustrates the importance of indigenous narratives to those who dwell near the city of Iquitos, Peru, and view their natural surroundings in mythical terms. Concerning a young man who has recently gone missing in the forest, the film depicts his mother’s attempts to find him with the help of local shamans—resulting in various magical explanations for his disappearance and eventually producing a rich tapestry of tales and visions from all over the community. Viewer discretion is advised due to graphic sexual content. (Portions in other languages with English subtitles, 71 minutes)

Length: 71 minutes

Item#: BVL40566

ISBN: 978-1-61616-097-5

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA, Asia and Canada.