the Origins : Fragments of the Hunt

a silent film of the origins of human culture

Origins presents a compelling argument that human imagination and art was evolved due to ancient art of persistence hunting (running and tracking down animals). The film is loosely based on the doctoral thesis work “Fragments of the Hunt: Persistence Hunting, Tracking and Prehistoric Art” (Aalto University 2017) by researcher and media artist Mikko Ijäs. The thesis deals with the early connection between trance rituals, persistence hunting and visual arts among the early hunter-gatherer societies.

The principal cinematography was executed among the Ju/‘hoan hunter-gatherers at the Nyae Nyae Conservancy in the Kalahari desert in Namibia and among the Ráramuri of the Mexican Sierra Madre.
The movie has two parallel story lines. The first layer is the story of how symbolic and visual culture might have originated from persistence hunting. The second layer is the story of how the modern culture is rapidly invading the last bits of land in the Kalahari and in the remote canyons in Northern Mexico and destroying the last indigenous cultures.

During the filming process the hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari have once more faced mass transportations away from their ancestral lands and this time they might actually lose their lands and their culture to give space for western trophy hunters. The drug violence that finally reached the “barrancas” of the Sierra Madre will also jeopardize the fragile culture of the Rarámuri.

The movie tells about the origins of human culture and the struggles of the last indigenous people in the Kalahari and in the Mexican Sierra Madre with minimal explanatory notes telling the
story. The music for the film was composed by Maija Kaunismaa and it was performed together in collaboration with Vox Aurea youth choir from Jyväskylä, Finland, saxophonist Jukka Perko, singer and igil player Imre Peemot and singer Rabbe Sandström. Vox Aurea is specialized performing traditional African music together with their conductor Sanna Salminen.

Produced by Maija Kaunismaa and Mikko Ijäs
Written, directed, filmed and edited by Mikko Ijäs
Composed by Maija Kaunismaa
Music performed by Vox Aurea youth choir with Imre Peemot, Jukka Perko and Rabbe Sandström.
Music produced by Maija Kaunismaa & Aki Sihvonen
Full HD, 16:9, 5.1 Stereo, 60 min.

For more information, please email:

The film is done in collaboration with:
Arts Promotion Centre Finland

Alfred Kordelin Foundation

AVEK / The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture

City of Helsinki Cultural Office

Aalto University

People´s Cultural Foundation
and The Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia.

With special support from Vox Aurea (Jyväskylä, Finland), Luna Sandals (Seattle, US), Jan Ijäs (Finland) Marttiini (Finland), Nicky Marais and Martin Harris (Namibia), Ville Virtanen (Finland), Andies and Annabel Fourie (Salem, US), Barefoot Ted (Seattle, US), Soft Star Shoes (Corvallis, Or, US), Yulan Niu (Finland) and Daniel E. Lieberman (Cambridge, US) and many more...

The film is done to support and to raise awareness towards the indigenous people in the Kalahari in Namibia and Botswana and support the important work done by the Norawas de Rarámuri in the Barrancas of the Sierra Madre, Mexico.

Nyae Nyae Conservancy

Please consider making even a small DONATION for the production of the Origins-movie.

There will be a percentage paid for the San of the Kalahari and for the Rarámuri of the Sierra Madre of all the proceeds of the final film. Thank you.

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