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Latin American perspectives a program of comment and analysis about current Latin American problems and their historical setting. The commentator for these programs is Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Here now is Dr. Gardner If in the word game I say Peru you quite likely will counter with INCA. Why INCA. Well that was a beginning as far as the European invaders bizzaro and company were concerned and Western Europeans of the 16th century were just arrogant enough to assume that a beginning for them was synonymous with the beginning. But on second thought anyone aware of the level of achievement of the Incas can readily agree that their culture was more end than beginning. Which leads to a search for earlier beginnings beginnings in prehistory. There has recently been published a volume entitled
Peru before the Incas by Edward p lanning an anthropologist of Columbia University. This volume published by Prentice Hall is indeed a sum ation of the archaeological work in Peru since World War Two days. In 1906 the Institute for Andean research sent a number of archaeologists to Peru. This time to concentrate their efforts in the veru valley on the north coast. This project had many important results. It led to the discovery and excavation of the first pre ceramic sites identified in Peru. It was the first time that an entire valley had been systematically surveyed with the intention of working out its total culture history. It led a few years later to the determination of the first radiocarbon dates for Peru probably its most important result however with the publication of Gordon Willy's history of
settlement patterns in the Rue Valley. That book changed the course of investigation of Peruvian prehistory before the root Valley Project. Peruvian archaeology had consisted largely of the working of ceramic chronologies and the excavation of a few selected ruins. Willy traced the history of the human settlements in the Rue Valley relating them to their geographical environment. Population growth warfare relationship with neighboring valleys agricultural needs and the development of irrigation systems as well as other historical and environmental phenomena. In other words he attempted a study of the total culture history of the valley within its total environmental setting. This approach has characterized much of subsequent research in Peru and has given us many insights into the Nature and
Causes of the growth of ancient Peruvian civilization. The present volume proved before the Incas is in consequence some ation of the numerous reports oft times published if indeed published at all as yet in esoteric professional journals this pulling together which might seem at first glance to be simply a professional offering is so written so illustrated so indeed laid on the line for the layman's comprehension that it becomes a matter of interest to both the professional archaeologist and to the person who is interested in the prehistory of the Peruvians before the Incas is a fascinating story of two decades of painstaking archaeological digging and scientific reconstruction which is revealed the existence of a vast highly diversified Incan society in what are now the republics of Peru
and Bolivia and is well illustrated and sophisticated account. We have the most recent archaeological discoveries in such areas as the ECO and she gone valleys and the lot of caves. Because of its nearest to the equator its great altitude is association with the Pacific Ocean Peru is a country of extreme Geographic and climatic differences. These and other factors the author observes helped cause distinctly different cultural systems in various pockets of civilization and make any broad re creation of Peru's prehistoric peoples a difficult task intensive archaeological probings of key regions help planning show what life was like in Peru's early villages temples and cities and to describe the prehistoric agriculture governments social systems etc.. This indeed then is a volume which
comes up to and its including chapter considers the income but it's the picture of life before that which we would normally have considered the beginning. It is the picture of Peru which suggests that dangerous generalisations are to be avoided. That a lot more research is needed. Indeed other volumes in time will appear. Let us now move from the prehistory that archaeology is unraveling to a prehistory that never was. As we shift from Peru to Chile from science to literature that special literature that is folklore. I refer now to a volume entitled folk tales of Chile edited by Hugh Lando Pino Saavedra of Chile a volume which is included in the very extensive series of folk tales edited by Richard
M. Dorson that series has for some years been emanating from the University of Chicago Press. As does this present volume it is included many countries of the Far East and of Europe. And this volume folktales of CI Les now introduces this audience for the first time to a Latin American setting. This being the first Latin American country touched upon in the series and so with the appearance of folk tales of Chile as the initial Latin American volume the question of how to define folklore in the western hemisphere comes to the fore. Oral traditions in North and South America differ in important ways from those of Europe Asia Africa. Indeed the only counterpart we have is to be found in Australia since the history of the Americas begins in the 16th century with the extension of Western European power across the Atlantic. The culture of the Americas in the 20th century is a
medley of imported and indigenous trends. In the old world we can speak confidently of national folklore as knowing they are possessed by people who inhabited the same land who spoke in the same tongue for many centuries in the New World. We wait with curious wonder to see whether the Aboriginal Indian The transplanted European or the slave African tradition will dominate or whether they will mix together or whether they will exterminate one another. Further the observer wishes to know what new contributions have stemmed from the extravagant geography and the revolutionary history of the Western world. A great deal of this is answered these questions by the approach to indeed the background of this man. Saavedra who is the assiduous field collector of folklore literature in Chile. Between 160 and 63 he
published in the Spanish a three volume work dealing with the Chilean folklore and it's from that but the present items have been translated and brought into this volume by the University of Chicago. Pino Saavedra thoroughly annotated Tex approaching the analysis of the study of origins the documentation of his informants as carefully as anyone could. Indeed he finds that his informants for the fifty stories in this volume come from 16 of the 25 provinces of Chile and he has forty different people telling in these stories the kind of stories that they usually use to entertain one another. At long the funerals and community activities such as shelling corn or other social gatherings. Indeed on occasion kind of stories used to assist suitors in fixing the minds of their sweethearts on amorous adventures. There's a high proportion of magical tales among these
in the volume related to Chile. In fact the analysis comes down somewhat as follows. There are two stories that tend to feature animals about 27 more than half of them are wonder stories magic stories. There are two that have very strong religious and this become synonymous with Catholic. Nature there are eight of a romantic nature and about 10 are specializing in the activities of tricksters and dupes. As one analyzes the Chilean stories you're struck by the fact that the usual quote of giants and witches and evil spells of deep forests and princes and kings and a lot of people living happily ever after are spread over these pages and that of course they have in part their Spanish-American their chili and flavor. Thanks to the persistence of such names as Pedro and Juan
and Maria. But when one gets to the informants who originally gave the recorder of the full details these oral traditions. It's interesting to note that the vast majority of the stories come from people who are more than 60 years of age. In fact many of the people 70 years of age and older. It's also noteworthy that the vast majority of these informants are illiterate. More male than female. Many of them are just day laborers. All of this adds up to something that strikes me as a social historian. On posing certain questions if the full Glore is the special concern of the old if it is a special concern of the impoverished. Is there a
relationship that derives from the fact that these people have seen their opportunities go by. They are now lost in a world of make believe because the world of reality remembering they are illiterate and impoverished is a drab thing that they wander off into the make believe of fairy kingdoms the to compensate for that which is their unhappy plight. Is it an intoxicant. Is it an addiction of old age of poverty of frustration. Ordinarily historians tend to shy away from folklorists but I can't help but wonder if there is not a significant relationship socially economically in the history of a people that finds the folk tales of the people held by passed along by what becomes
a minority element. A depressed element. One that is denied opportunity and so it is that we have looked at prehistory in Peru and we have looked at history that never was in the folk tales of Chile. This was a Latin American perspectives with Dr S. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program on Dr. Gardner We'll examine another aspect of life in Latin America Latin American perspectives is produced and recorded by station ws IUF Pham at Southern Illinois University and is distributed by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives
Lazaro Cardenas
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on Mexican politician Lazero Cardenas.
Series Description
A series of comment and analysis about current affairs in Latin American countries.
Global Affairs
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Host: Gardiner, C. Harvey (Clinton Harvey)
Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:48
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; Lazaro Cardenas,” 1968-10-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
MLA: “Latin American perspectives; Lazaro Cardenas.” 1968-10-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <>.
APA: Latin American perspectives; Lazaro Cardenas. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from