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The History of the Luiseno People

James Luna

1993 00:27:00 United StatesEnglishColorMono4:3Video


Based on his ever-changing performance Indian Tails, this video features Luna sitting alone in his darkened room in front of the TV on Christmas Eve. As he sits, he calls friends, family and ex-lovers, excusing himself from all their celebrations. Luna tells us, "In the work there is a thin line between what is fictional and what is non-fiction, and what is real emotion and what is art. … There is a cultural element where I let (or seem to let) people in on American Indian cultures. There are also elements in the work about American culture that everyone can identify with, and that makes for an understanding that we are all more alike than different."

This title is also available on the compilation What Was Always Yours and Never Lost.

About James Luna

James Luna was an artist, performer, and educator who lived on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in California. His performances and one-man shows have been exhibited widely across the United States. The History of the Luiseno People has been screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Robert Flaherty Seminar, the San Antonio Cine Festival, and received the 1993 Best Short Subject Award at the American Indian Motion Picture Awards in San Francisco.