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Parry with tribes on SABC2

By unknown | May 16, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

One evening, while searching for a good channel on television, I stumbled upon an educational and informative programme called Tribe.

A BBC show, Tribe is presented by Bruce Parry and is flighted on SABC2 on Thursdays between 10pm and 11pm.

Parry has travelled the world documenting the lives of various tribes. During the past two months he has encountered such tribes as the Dassanech, Nyangatom, Suri and Hamar, all of Ethiopia.

He also met the Adi tribe in northern India, the Sanema in Venezuela, the Babongo in Gabon and the Dar in Mongolia.

In exploring a tribe's way of life, Parry often "becomes" a member of the tribe, sleeping, working and eating with them. He spends four to five days with each tribe just trying to understand how the tribesmen perceive the outside world.

He follows them around while they go about their daily activities. Like people everywhere, the lives of tribal people are a reflection of their beliefs and traditions.

Though their lives might be simple measured by what they have materially, surviving in many different environments is an enormous challenge.

In the remotest parts of the world, food is obtained by hunting, gathering fruit, roots, nuts and seeds, cultivating crops or keeping livestock.

Because food is usually taken directly from its source, it often needs a lot of preparation to make it edible. Women tend to be in charge of nearly all the food production. The men do the hunting.

Living in the wild is not easy and life can be tough.

Hunters need a lot of skill to survive, especially if the animals become scarce.

In one episode, Parry visited the Kombai tribe in Papua New Guinea.

While he was getting to know them, it was shocking when it became clear that they eat each other.

They don't do this because they are poor or hungry, but it is their way of exacting punishment. If one member of the tribe kills another, he gets eaten.

The tribe regarded Parry as an animal rather than a human being.

They were afraid of him and he came close to being killed.

He found, however, that tobacco was a great way of appeasing them.

The tribe's only entertainment is stick fighting, ritual whipping, bull jumping and scarification, essential to fulfilling tribal functions.


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