HMBI066016 from HMH Archive on Vimeo.


This is the third of three reels of film documenting Helen Miller Bailey’s experiences living among the people of Santa Cruz Etla, Mexico, in the summer of 1934, together with her husband, Henry Morle Bailey. She returned several times over the next twenty years and her studies resulted in the publication of her book “Santa Cruz of Etla Hills” in 1958. The three reels contain overlapping footage, indicated in the descriptions. This reel includes additional color footage of a return visit to the village in 1969.

Film is in two parts. First section (B&W) from 1934; second section (color) from 1969. Printed titles narrate the action. [Here footage overlaps with i066009]: “Back in our schoolhouse the children skillfully sew the native costumes and . . .” –footage of children sewing. “Our dolls are ready to go to the Los Angeles schools, as a friendship gift from Santa Cruz Etla.” — “Cresencio brings wood for a fire.” — Boy loading donkey with wood.  — “Augustina brings corn” – – girl carries basket.  — “And Dona Navarra makes tortillas for the Americans.” — Older woman making tortillas by hand. — “Would you care to try? It looks simple.” — Helen Miller Bailey laughing while making tortillas. — “Augustina makes a sauce with tomatoes and chiles.” — Little girl using a mortar and pestle. — “Then all sit down to dinner.” — People sitting on the ground eating dinner. — “Our visit almost over, everything is scrubbed and cleaned for a farewell fiesta.” — Little children sweeping floors. — “Weeds are cleared out of the brook.” — Henry Morle Bailey helping. — “The young men decorate the school with willows.” — Helen Miller Bailey helping to make and hang wreaths. Helen Miller Bailey watering the floor. — “Rosita and the children dance for the fiesta.” — Children covering Helen Miller Bailey in wreaths. — “The mothers write words of farewell in our Travels book.” — Women lining up to write. Helen Miller Bailey saying goodbye to the women. — “And we are off to the train in the mayor’s ox-cart.” [Switch to 1969 color footage.] No titles in this section. Countryside – boy with cart, local farmers. Pueblo now more developed. Helen Miller Bailey posing with with local men, women, and children, shaking hands, talking to the villagers. Footage of church, other buildings, and landscape.