AWIM and the Hands of Time is short film about the life and culture of the Awim people, who inhabit a remote area of Papua New Guinea in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. In 2008, there was a scientific expedition (the Cruz Mayor Expedition) that traveled through Papua New Guinea, discovering and investigating the great archaeological and anthropological richness of the area. One of the scientists’ goals was to explore the possible meaning of the “handprint art” that can be found in the caves of this area of the world; using non-aggressive methods, they were able to bring back samples from 15 caves for analysis in Canadian laboratories. AWIM presents an intriguing view of this aspect of the expedition, which located more than 200 grottos with cave paintings of a variety of motifs and figures – including animals that have been extinct for thousands of years. This film is the account of their expedition.
It has been speculated that the remote native tribes found in Papua New Guinea may be descended from the very first groups of humans. They, and their sites, are therefore of incalculable value to the archaeologists and anthropologists who are interested in conserving the richness of the area, which is riddled with the tracks of human history. From the very dawn of humankind, as clusters of people spread across the continent, they left specific markings in their wake. Handprints found in caves are a standard of world rock art; however, scientists have yet to figure out their true meaning. The Cruz Mayor Expedition team went looking for an answer. What they found was so much more.
Running time: 45 minutes