The Pueblo Heritage (1950)

Pueblo Indians historically through contemporary era with emphasis on Taos, Acoma, and Zuni communities. Includes footage of Mesa Verde, Santa Fe Indian School, Gallup Inter-Tribal Gallup Indian Ceremonial, and Tony Reyna Indian Arts and Crafts store.

Over an illustration of a pack of Old Gold cigarettes, opening titles: “The Pueblo Heritage; Edited by Ann Busch, Production Assistant Sandy Goodman, Narrated by George Williams, Technical Consultant Edmund C. Shaw; Photographed by Toge Fujihira; Written and Directed by Alan Shilin; In gratitude to the people who gave tobacco to the world, the P. Lorillard Company presents this film, one in a series on the American Indian as a public service. We wish to acknowledge our debt to the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs and to the U.S. National Park Service for their complete cooperation in the production of this film.” Rock face and then camera pans over to reveal Mesa Verde National Park, then various other views; close ups of a diorama of the pueblo active with little figurines going about daily life; dry desert valley scene with exposed perhaps elk antlers on the ground; a mostly dried up riverbed; view of completely dried agricultural fields; sand dunes; facade of an abandoned adobe building and dusty ground; rock resembling a human figure; various images of water flowing beneath and over rocks, then a rushing river and waterfalls; then camera pans down from a river up towards a person standing near the edge and Taos Pueblo (ȉałopháymųp’ȍhə́othə̀olbo) beyond; then another shot from another angle as a woman passes by some ovens (hornos); a man coming down ladders on adobe dwelling; close up of the man’s face; close up of a man from above; close up of a woman’s face, green cloth on her head; shot of nearby Taos Mountains as a woman walks by; close up of plants on river bank; man shoveling in field next to river; close up of his moving dirt out of an irrigation rivulet; water running over dried ground and plants; water filling in dried river bed; rivulets running through plants then camera pans up to man with his shovel; close up of his face; wide shot of Zuni Pueblo/Halona Idiwan’a; adobe wall in background, close up of plant in foreground; shot through a wagon wheel: two Zuni (A:shiwi) Olla Girls walking and carrying white pots on their heads, then close up as they walk past the camera; woman seated next to a wall rolling coils of clay; then from above the woman coiling it onto a black pot in progress; close ups of other nearby pots she’s made; other shots of the Olla Girls walking; interior where a man and woman are seated and focusing on something they’re doing; close up of his face; close up of his hands soldering silver pieces onto a bracelet; different view of his head and shoulders in frame as he solders; close up of silver bracelets and rings with turquoise stones; back to him soldering and the woman turning the handle of a spinning grinder; close up of the woman’s face as she works; the woman holding a piece of silver against the spinning grinding stone; close up of the woman’s face; close up of a silver inlay concho necklace; then decorative pin; earrings; another pin; twin figurative silver inlay objects; close up of a hand opening a silver inlay covered wagon cigarette box; wide shots of Acoma Pueblo (Haak'u) mesa; different views of San Estévan del Rey Mission Church; view of the pueblo from the church bell tower, bell in foreground; wide shot of church and surrounding adobe dwellings; woman painting a decorative white pot, another pot on the wall behind her; others view of her hands painting; close up of her face as she works; a finished pot on a wall; wide shot of the landscape and pueblo’s mesa in the distance then camera pans down to boulders below where two men walk past carrying baskets; a variety of shots of them passing between rock faces; close up of their bare feet as they walk; the two men pass by a woman walking the other direction, big sky behind; then the woman walking and camera pans down the rock face to another woman cleaning a bit of fabric next to a decorative pot and natural reservoir; back to the other woman walking atop the rock face and then down to the other woman below, she then ladles water from the reservoir into a large decorative jar; closer shot of the other woman smiling and looking back at her; close up of the other woman’s face and then of her ladling water; shot of the two and one woman walks off; then we follow her as she climbs up the valley rock face (as the other woman stands up) and walks along the mesa; close up of the other woman watching; back to the woman walking; wide shot of Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Santa Fe in the distance, with a stone cross in the foreground; cars driving through Santa Fe Plaza; the top of The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi; La Fonda hotel and busy city street; two Native teenagers — a girl and a boy with a letterman’s sweater — walk cross the Santa Fe Indian School yard and camera pans around; interior classroom where male students make jewelry, close up of one soldering; close up of his face as he ignites the soldering torch, then heating something on the table as a white teacher comes over to inspect; close up of another student filing; closer views of another student using a rotary grinder; the teacher watches the student working and admires a bracelet he’s making; students in another art classroom at their desks; close up of the Native teacher’s finger pointing to an drawing a student is working on; close up of her face as she speaks; close up of the drawing of a deer next to cattail grass; back to males students working; closer view of an drawing of a figure in ceremonial dress or a god; close up of the student’s face; illustration of horses feeding in the snow; then shots of another of two deer with rock formations in background; exterior of Tony Reyna Indian Arts and Crafts store as a car pulls up; closer view of the sign (also includes “Indian Owned and Operated”; interior of the gallery where Tony Reyna and another man admire paintings; close up of Reyna talking, then of the other man; Reyna points out parts of a painting featuring several Native men sitting in a circle; closer views including the signature (hard to make out); back to Reyna talking and gesturing in front of another painting and then taking a drag off a cigarette; wide shot of a man driving a tractor through a planted field near Zuni Pueblo/Halona Idiwan’a; closer shot of the tractor tilling the ground; when standing and sitting around in the field; tractor tilling; various shots of men resting and watching the tractor demonstration; close up of the tractor driver and then of him dismounting as another Native man walks up and gets on; close up of the previous driver speaking; Native man drives tractor; cars drive down desert highway, Kachina doll-shaped signs for Gallup, New Mexico, on both sides of road; closer view of one sign; close up of text on the base: “Gallup New Mexico, The Indian Capital”; the two signs from a different angle; close up of the base of the other sign which reads “Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, August 10-13”; ceremonial parade going down Route 66 downtown Gallup; close up of the flag promoting the ceremonial; a long series of shots of the parade performers (as a group and by tribe) and watchers; (at 18:04) men perform hoop dance as others drum nearby — various close ups of each; various shots of an older man shaking a rattle and watching two boys practicing hoop dancing, then camera pans up to the sky; end credits over an illustration of Old Gold cigarettes: “The End, An Alan Shilin Production.”

Tony Reyna