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La Tirana

This was a documentary I wrote. It was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and was produced. Then the director and the producer got divorced in Chile and perhaps that's where all the footage and equipment disappeared to.

La Tirana is a small village in Chile that, for a few days every July, swells to a population of over 100,000 as people arrive for the festival. It is billed as a Catholic festival, but it predates the arrival of Catholicism, which is part of why it is interesting. It used to be a fertility celebration combined with an annual moment of commerce and news for people from isolated places. The Catholics did their best to make it Catholic with the result that during the day the Virgin Mary is carried in processions, and during the night the population is regenerated as it had been prior to the arrival of Europeans on this continent. The new beliefs and practices did not replace old ones as much as get mixed in to coexist with them.

It also still is the time when people who bought transistor radios last year can buy new batteries for them this year before returning to the mountains.

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