Film

The Offering

Length: 7 min.
Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

The Offering documents a pre-celebration ritual associated with Peru's unique Quechua Danza de Tijeras, or “Scissor Dance." The traditional Quechua dance, some believe, was created as an Indigenous form of protest against Spanish imperialism.

The Andean dance was practiced by Indigenous healers and fortune-tellers as a means of communication with pre-Christian divinities. The dancers today wear colorful clothing ornamented with fringe and sequins and wield iron rods that resemble scissors which they clang rhythmically alongside the fiddle and harp. This acrobatic performance, reminiscent of modern break-dancing, is challenging, as the dancer completes it on one foot. The ceremonial invocation that precedes the dance honors Incan deities, including the earth mother Pachamama.

European settlers viewed the trance-like performance as an act of devil worship. Eventually, colonizers managed to incorporate the scissor dance into Christian rituals. The dance is a staple of Quechuan Catholic festivities and villages turn out to cheer on the cuadrillas (teams) in marathon competitions. To this day, the dancers are forbidden to enter a church while in traditional dress.

More to Explore

Film
El Silbo

El silbo is an ancient whistling language that has been used by residents of La Gomera, an island off of Morocco’s Atlantic coast, since before European settlers arrived in the 15th century.

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Film
The Canoe Maker

This film documents master carver Joe Martin, one of the few traditional craftsmen left who make dugout canoes used by his people, the Pacific Northwest Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Film
Awana
In this short film, we meet women weavers in the remote town of Patacancha, a traditional Quechua community in the south of Peru. In South America, weaving is …
Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Watch Anytime, Anywhere

Watch our films on your phone, tablet, or connected TV.