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Tribe : Complete BBC Series 1-3 Box Set [DVD] 
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Former Royal Marine officer and expedition leader Bruce Parry, sheds the trappings of a western existence and lives alongside tribes, such as the forest people of central Gabon, adopting their methods and practices.
Taking adventure into a whole new realm, Parry dares to go where other presenters fear to tread: hunting, cooking and eating like a native and even trying the local recreational and ritualistic poisons. He also examines the way in which western influence is encroaching on these remote areas and asks whether this is a good thing.
This box set includes series 1, 2 and 3.
One of the more interesting and diverting shows of recent times has seen former Royal Marine Bruce Parry head off to the far reaches of the planet to live among the various tribes of the world. And with all three series of the intriguing Tribe now collected together in this one sit, its an invitation to catch up on his adventures that youd be unwise to decline.
The central idea finds Parry adopting the workings, methods and practices of the tribes that he spends time with. And the reason this works so well is Parry himself, providing a respectful, clear and calm core to a programme that could so easily have fallen foul of many assorted trappings of the genre. His findings throughout Tribe are frequently fascinating, and the programme itself is diligently paced to give you ample opportunity to take it all in. Its immersive and genuinely involving television.
The episodes collected together in this Tribe boxset find Parry travelling through the likes of Ethiopia, Mongolia and the Himalayas, and theres a real sense of not knowing what youre going to discover when each episode begins. Marry that into episodes with strong rewatch value--for both educational and entertainment purposes--and Tribe emerges as little short of a modern television treat. --Jon Foster
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Parry visits fifteen tribes in all, spending a month living and interacting with each community. While there, he adopts the methods and practices of his hosts, participating in their rituals and exploring aspects of their culture.
The episodes in this set are as follows:
1 Adi (India).
2 Suri (Ethiopia).
3 Kombai (West Papua).
4 Babongo (Gabon).
5 Darhad (Mongolia).
6 Sanema (Brazil).
7 Nyangatom (Ethiopia).
8 Hamar (Ethiopia).
9 Dassanech (Ethiopia).
12 Matis (Brazil).
11 Nenets (Russia).
12 Anuta (Solomon Islands).
13 Akie (Tanzania).
14 Layap (Bhutan).
15 Penan (Borneo). Parry was awarded the BAFTA Cymru "Best On-Screen Presenter" award in 2008 for his work on the 'Penan' Episode. A BAFTA Cymru "Best Camera: Not Drama" award was also awarded for Gavin Searle's work in the same episode.
There is also a book to accompany the series Tribe: Adventures in a Changing World. Parry has also engaged in a number of other adventures. The following may also be of interest: Amazon [DVD] , Blizzard: Race to the Pole [DVD] and Arctic with Bruce Parry [DVD] .
We love Parry's humility and respectful approach to every new tribe he encounters. How he arrives in a new location, with new language barriers, new laws and tribal customs and each time he quickly embraces it all and becomes a member of the tribe for a few weeks. How the locals warm to him and often adopt him for these brief periods. Loved it!Tribe : Complete BBC Series 1-3 Box Set [DVD]
Parry isn't an academic anthropologist. I think that's okay, but it does lead to a few problems. One is that the people in question are somewhat exoticised. On Anuta, Parry refers fairly briefly to the conflict between the traditional command economy and the introduction of markets, money, and modern medicine. In Bhutan, the practice of polygyny is discussed primarily in terms of the potential for male jealousy. That's important, but the reality of it isn't fleshed out in anything like enough detail, so it becomes another exotic fact about Bhutanese Layap people. I don't want to sound too idealistic, but it could have been an opportunity to introduce a discussion of why polygyny is found at all (prevailing theories are that it has a beneficial effect with regard to population pressure, but that can hardly explain everything), why it's so rare, what other forms of marriage exist, and the general flexibility of human kinship. Instead, Parry muses on having a past life as an elephant and on whether being a Himalayan Buddhist might give some insights on which to ground one's life. It's pretty exotic.
It's a fun series and it humanises groups that most people have heard little of. Cannibals in Indonesian New Guinea? Lovely, genial guys. Amazonians with noses full of spikes and a plethora of pain-inducing hunting rituals? Sharing, caring, witty folk. This is a good thing, I think. Ordinary Britons, and others, can take a look at the lives of people in communities whose ways are (usually) quite unique and on the way out in this globalising world. But it must be borne in mind that this series isn't all that intellectually profound. It's not very questing when it comes to the major issues of human diversity, and instead presents an impressionistic, subjective view of topics in each episode in a way that feels superficial.
I am an anthropologist, and I realise that my criticisms might appear to be like an evolutionary biologist questioning the academic integrity of "Natural World". Nonetheless, don't mistake this fun, entertaining, and even humanising series with the activities of anthropologists. As long as that point is made, I'm quite happy for this series to represent the face of popular anthropology.
If you enjoyed "Tribe", then I recommend a David Attenborough series from the seventies called "Tribal Eye". Attenborough doesn't live as "one of the tribe" as Parry attempts to, but instead documents particular facets of the societies under discussion. It sometimes feels like a nature documentary, but it has a greater intellectual depth to it than Parry's series (I like both very much). The first episode on the Dogon people of Mali and the last on the impact of modern, complex societies on smaller ones are both truly exemplary television.
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