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