As of 1913, the Marquis Robert de Wavrin (1888 – 1971) was to spend many years exploring what were then the least-known areas of South-America. He would spend 25 years of his life returning there on a regular basis, and at his own expense, hoping to record on film with the camera he always carried regions, cultures and traditions whose primitive innocence would little by little destroyed by the inexorable advance of civilization and lucre. For it was the Walloon aristocrat’s wish, like Robert Flaherty’s before him, to immerse himself in these free and independent lands and peoples, blessed by an intact state of original innocence seen by de Wavrin, as by Rousseau, as the last sign of an unspoilt world which is condemned to disappear. He said that the Indians had confidence in his loyalty, and that he had never been able to remain in Europe for any great length of time. From 1913 to 1916, from 1919 to 1922 and from 1926 to 1930 he travelled throughout South America documenting the legends, the traditions, observing the customs, noting down many of the idioms. All his collections have found their way into the ethnographic museums of Paris and Brussels. This gives an idea of the interest of his films, first-hand records of primitive tribes which have in many cases since been decimated.
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