Strange Relations

Strange Relations
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Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
The Western world's desire to remake other societies into its own image has robbed our modern world of the gifts of other cultures. By exploring the values and different worldviews that hold many tribal societies together, this series reflects on what the modern world can learn from tribal societies as…
Trekking on Tradition
This program explores the effects of mountain tourism on a small village in rural Nepal and the often ironic nature of the resulting cross-cultural encounters. Recommended for Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, The Anthropology of Tourism, Global Economics, and Mountaineering enthusiasts Filmmaker: Jennifer Rodes
A Poor Man Shames Us All
Have things replaced people as the focus of our relationships? Western views of wealth and economic needs have created a society of strangers in the midst of material riches, while tribal cutures such as the Weyewa of Indonesia and the Gabra of Kenya create economies of dependency on others and…
An Ecology of Mind
While tribal cultures seek harmony with nature, Western societies try to dominate it, often with devasting consequences. Visit the Gabra of Kenya whose relationship to their harsh desert environment is key to their survival; the Makuna of Colombia whose complex myths and rituals reveal a highly sophisticated ecological awareness; and…
Himalayan Herders
Himalayan Herders is an intimate portrait of a temple-village in the Yolmo valley of Central Nepal where Tibetan Buddhists consult shamans, married life begins by kidnapping the bride, and the nearest road is a two-day walk away. The community drama of marriage, death, and rituals is juxtaposed with the rich…
Mystic Vision, Sacred Art
This documentary provides an excellent introduction to the art of thangka, sacred Tibetan Buddhist painting in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Carefully filmed, it takes you through every step of the painting process of thangkas. It offers insight into the symbolic and relgious meaning of thangkas and their importance for…
The Shock of the Other
Host David Maybury-Lewis revisits the Xavante of Brazil to see how they have changed since 1959, and then journeys into the Peruvian Amazon to unravel the mystery of the Mashco-Piro, a tribe that has chosen to remain hidden from the outside world. Only by understanding "the Other" can we get…
Mistaken Identity
Where does individual identity begin and end? Western societies strive to answer these questions through biology - conception, birth, adolescence, maturity, death - while tribal cultures define identity through relationships with others and rites of passage with the living and the dead. Hear stories from the family life of an…
The Art of Living
Why do we separate art and living? In tribal societies, where there are no words for "art" or "artist", everyday life is an occasion for creative expression. Follow a Wodaabe woman from Niger as she judges a festival of beauty and grace; a Dogon man from Mali celebrating at a…
Touching the Timeless
People everywhere search for meaning in their lives, a sense of the sacred, a world beyond time. The Huichol Indians of Mexico make an annual pilgrimage to Wirikuta to consume peyote, the sacred food of the gods and, in Arizona, a Navajo medicine man invites the Holy Ones into his…
Inventing Reality
Every society has a system of knowledge, a way to describe reality that we call either science or magic - and sometimes both. Who will stop a fatal epidemic sweeping the villages of the Huichol Indians of Mexico - the medical doctor or the shaman? Can a terminal cancer patient…
The Tightrope of Power
How do tribal societies maintain social order and harmony without the vast legal institutions that we rely on? The tribal practice of democracy through consensus is put to the test when members of Canada's Objibwa-Cree tribe have a constitutional struggle with the federal government and the Mohawk community squares off…