At the former Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo in Eastern Peru six hundred Indians from North and South America, Canada and Europe have been attending a six-day conference to discuss Indian problems.
GV PAN DOWN TO people walking round former Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo near Cuzco
SV AND GV Indians gathering and greeting each other (3 shots)
GV & SV & CUs Indian speaking and others listening (5 shots)
GV PAN From pile of corn cobs to gaily dressed Indians eating (4 shots)
GVs indians walking through streets to plaza (3 shots)
GV PAN Down from mountain to plaza filled with dancers
SV Cuzeco dancers performing as Indians watch (2 shots)
GV Dancers in plaza as Indians watch from foreground
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Background: At the former Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo in Eastern Peru six hundred Indians from North and South America, Canada and Europe have been attending a six-day conference to discuss Indian problems. the congress opened on Wednesday 27 February).
SYNOPSIS: Ollantaytambo lies 75 kilometres (46 miles) from the famous Inca city of Cuzco. Normally the fortress is a Mecca for tourists who come to marvel at the ancient buildings and to buy craftwork from local Indians. But during the Indian Congress tourists had the change to witness a unique gathering. The Indians came from peru, Chile, Bolivia and Mexico. There were Navajo, Blackfoot, Apache and Shihua Indians from North America. Lapps from Norway and Finland came as representatives of a culture which has possible links with the American Indians.
Participants in the congress were united in a common aim - the desire to hold on to the heritage despite the encroachment of the industrialised world. During their meeting the Indians discussed the formation of a world Indian University and an indian Information Centre. For many it was a first opportunity to meet their cousins from other countries.
Delegates arrived in Cuzco on Wednesday (27 February) and moved on to Ollantaytambo for almost a week of discussion. The gathering is evidence of a renewed indigenous pride of culture and political power, amongst a race group which is gradually disappearing. Indians in North and South America have long been victims of poverty and the lure of the big cities where there is little room for awareness of cultural identity.
The congress sessions produced harsh criticism of government development bodies and policies. One of the gravest problems facing many of the latin American Indians is illiteracy. Without education there is little hope of their establishing the right to benefit from the natural resources of their territory, such as oil and uranium. That same illiteracy also reduces their power to influence government elections and national policy-making.
But before turning their attention to serious problems the Indians gave a display of the musical and dancing skills they are anxious not lose.