Tribe, BBC2

by | Jul 16, 2006 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

Although the novelty of Bruce Parry living with remote tribes has worn off, this is still stunning stuff.

What was good about it?

• The brilliance of Bruce, who plunges into tribal life, holding back from judging their more dubious practices and joining in fully with their strange customs.

• The Nyangatom tribe in Ethiopia had been portrayed by their neighbours as evil – but Bruce discovered they weren’t evil at all, just determined to guard their meagre possessions, although they did become a little bloodthirsty in pursuit of this goal

• Bruce’s quiet realisation that he’d got the name of the tribe wrong and they’d take offence if he called them “smelly ones” rather than “yellow guns”.

• Bruce entering into the spirit of things by killing a cow (“If I refuse, I risk offending my hosts”), a task made rather easy by the fact that the cow was tethered and he had a very sharp spear

• Bruce dancing with the kids to A Goat Is Bleating in the Pen

What was bad about it?

• We got a bit squeamish when Bruce drank blood and spat it into the faces of the tribal leaders (it’s a sign of respect, rather than something that calls for a right hander in return). They also spit coffee in each other’s faces, something we might try if we ever break our vow never to enter a Starbucks

• The ease with which the tribe has got hold of AK47s to replace their spear, due to the wars that have ravaged Africa and left it swamped with arms

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

16/07/2006

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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