by former Royal Marine officer Bruce Parry.

Amazon review (5 stars out of 5). July 16th by Simon Laub.

''Parry really does make you feel as if you are there but, as ever,
at the same time, you're seriously glad you're not.
                  Andrew Preston, Mail on Sunday.

''Tribe'' is a great TV series. Perhaps, as one reviewer suggested, the best in 10 years.
I was stuck from episode 1, where Bruce Parry and Mark Anstice, set off to West Papua to the unclimbed south face of Gunang Mandala. What a horrible idea!
Soon they find themselves in a world of insect bites, parasites, crocs, dangerous snakes, taking unknown drugs, walking barefoot and nude in dense jungles, where you could get sliced open by just about anything. Getting back to nature .....
After weeks of such horrors they meet a band of male nude stone-age people deep, deep inside the jungle. And you slowly begin to understand - that this is sort of a time-machine back to our ancestors. Even deeper inside the jungle they come across a hut, crammed with local people scared out of their wits, as they have never seen outsiders, and certainly not white outsiders.
You should buy the series for this clip only. Amazing stuff!

And so it continues in remote corners of the world. Many of the tribal people would probably prefer to live closer to cities! Indeed, one tribal woman says: ''she wants her son to move to the city, where he can earn a living by driving a truck or becoming a teacher.'' In the city there is medicine and (often) food, so ''you dont have to see your children die.''
Indeed, there might be drugs and other dangers in the cities. But they have their good share of that in the tribes as well.
Among the Babongo, Gabon, Africa, Parry himself takes a hallucinogenic drug substance called iboga, gathered from the root of a tree. After a lot of vomiting and being very sick, the drug apparently influences brain centers for social relationships, and Parry experiences how all of his actions have influenced other people. Afterwards the tribe declares him 'initiated''. That is serious TV!
The Sanema of Venezuala are apparently also high on drugs. Again, Parry takes the drugs and now sees the forest as being alive. Can a people where ''everyone'' is constantly high on psychedelic drugs really exists you wonder. Apparently yes.

Whereever Parry goes people like him.
Many tribe women says he would make a good husband. Strong and will bring back much meat. Unfortunately he doesn't belong to their tribe, and they are not allowed to marry outside the tribe.
The Hamar people live in the Omo Valley in Etiopia. A young mans coming of age ceremony requires his female relatives to be whipped. As the women go into trance and are seriously whipped, leaving deep scars, the men jump over the cattle nude.
Closeby, the mercenary Nyangatom, upon realizing that Perry is a former soldier, promptly makes him a member of their Ak47 gun swinging protectors. Law and order is apparently a complete joke in southern Etiopia.
With the Dassanech further south Parry gets the chance to hunt giant crocs from small dugout canoes - If you live you might eat.
And all the tribal people come across as really friendly people. They drink shit water, sleep with cockroaches, do drugs, and have brilliant insights about our human existence. Certainly, in the series, Parry drinks blood, do drugs, break important hunting equipment, almost fall off cliffs to certain death, kill cows with a spear, gets bitten, stung, laughed at... and he survives it all.
A great guy and obviously a hero.
I have never seen anything like it. If you weren't a firm believer in civilisation before, certainly you will be afterwards :-)
Still, there are many values from our tribal ancestors that we should not forget.
Wonderful stuff.


Simon Laub

Amazon: [1], [2] Posterous: [3].

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Original page design - July 16th 2010. Simon Laub - Aarhus, Denmark, Europe.