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This Tribal Odyssey collection of three episodes is based upon character led stories told in their own words. These are real stories about real human dramas, containing narratives repeated throughout every human community in the world. In the film the viewer has a strong sense of 'presence'. You feel that you are actually there and that the stories and relationships that intertwine with the characters are familiar even to Western audiences.
|S01E01||The Wolani, West Papua||00/00/0000||The highlands of West Papua are home to a mosaic of tribes who, because of the impenetrable terrain, live in isolation from everyone except other tribes. These tribal neighbours have been at war with each other for generations. Peace between the tribes is never certain. The Wolani chief has recently been murdered by his third wife. She did not want to have sex with him and has disappeared with her boyfriend. The tribe of the murdered chief wants compensation or war. The tribe will not take money because it is no use to them. Only traditional cowrie shells are acceptable.|
|S01E02||The Dinka of Sudan||00/00/0000||The dancing begins just after sunrise as the thump of a drum splits the cool morning air in the Mangalatore camp on southern Sudan’s vast savannah. A bull’s horn wails. A swell of song fills the air. Young men run and leap, legs splayed, in a traditional Dinka dowry dance. During the dance, men try to jump the highest to impress the women and family of the bride-to-be. This impressive sight is augmented by their very distinctive appearance – they are very tall people with dark skin, narrow square shoulders and piercing almond-shaped eyes below tribal scars on their foreheads. The Dinka are the richest and proudest tribe in Africa’s largest country. Split into twenty or more tribal groups, they are further divided into sub-tribes, each occupying a tract of land large enough to provide adequate water and pasture for their herds. To this day, the Dinka lifestyle revolves around cattle: the people’s roles within the groups, their belief systems and the rituals they practice, all reflect this. Cattle give milk (butter and ghee); urine is used in washing, to dye hair and in tanning hides. Dung fuels fires from which ash is used to keep the cattle clean and free from blood-sucking ticks, to decorate their bodies and as a paste to clean teeth. Skins are used for mats, drums, belts, ropes and halters, while horns and bones are used for a range of practical and aesthetic items.|
|S01E03||Path to Manhood The Mek, Papua New Guinea||00/00/0000||High in the rugged highlands of the New Guinea rainforests live an elusive tribe called the Mek. Their villages cling to mountain peaks, which soar to a staggering fifteen thousand feet. The Mek\'s recent history is one of cannibalism and tribal warfare. They still maintain their ancestral customs, virtually untouched by the outside world. This is the story of one of the elders, Barnabas, and the coming of age of two young Mek boys, Mabet and Dimius.|
|S01E04||Pokot – The Sacred Path to Warrior Hood||00/00/0000||In the vast and arid Northern territories of Kenya live the Pokot people. Known and feared as fierce warriors and cattle rustlers they are in constant conflict with their tribal neighbours. The Pokot remain isolated from the outside world, and continue to follow their ancient traditions and secret ceremonies. Each year during the short rains, they hold sacred Sapana initiation ceremonies for their young men. A boy must have his ceremony if he wants to join the ranks of his elders and become a warrior. Lomali is 22 years old, and has not had his ceremony yet. He is overdue, but his family cannot afford the great expense. A few years ago his father died, and the family herd of 85 cattle was rustled by neighbouring tribal enemies, leaving his family destitute. Luckily a family friend, Chief Joshua steps in and donates a camel and grain for brewing traditional beer needed for the ceremony. Lomali and his family rejoice as better days are on the way. Lomali\'s friend, 19 year old Shokon is also ready to have his Sapana ceremony. He faces none of the hardship of Lomaili, as his father is rich in cattle and has eight wives and 18 children. As a ranking elder in the community, Shokon\'s father decides to combine Shokon\'s Sapana with Lomali\'s, so that they can share the experience. The weeks pass, and Lomali and Shokon attend many local ceremonies and dances where they meet potential wives. The day of the Sapana ceremony breaks with heavy rain, and both Lomali and Shokon must each sacrifice their own camel with a spear and have its intestines read and their future foretold by a soothsayer. Shokon\'s reading is trouble free, but Lomaili\'s future shows a possible death. He is devastated and must kill a goat to help cleanse the bad news. The boys must then strip naked, and have their animal\'s stomach contents smeared over their bodies as their elders chant blessings in a ‘men\'s only’ sacred grove. They will spend several hours cov|
|S01E05||Pigs, Planes and the Price of Brides - The Megani, Western Papua||00/00/0000||This film is about a group of clans who live in the Zombandoga Valley in Western Papua. They have recently become aware of developments going on in other valleys that have airstrips, and have decided to build their own. The preacher is a driving force in this. He wants change and this includes driving out the old customs, such as tribal warfare, mourning ceremonies and belief in the ancestral spirits.|
|S01E06||The Hamar of Southern Ethiopia||00/00/0000||Just East of the Omo River in Southern Ethiopia live the Hamar People. They are a Hamitic tribe and are deeply superstitious, believing that bad luck exists by certain omens, such as twins or children born out of wedlock. These are left out in the bush to die to avoid risk of drought or disease. Their women are hauntingly beautiful; their traditional ornamentation consists of heavy metal bangles for the wrists and legs, and heavy neckbands, with beautiful wide cowry shell necklaces. They are cattle people and cattle are both their wealth and their pride. Men are all named after cows. Their most significant ceremony is called "The Jumping of the Bull" which signifies the passing from boyhood into early manhood. On the day of initiation the elders line up thirty beasts side by side, held closely together. The novice is brought into the arena, totally naked, and held tightly by the elders. When they let him go he rushes towards the line of cattle, leaps onto the first one, and runs across all the bulls. At the end he jumps down, turns and leaps onto the first bull and runs back to the starting point. He makes four passes along the backs of the bulls and then leaves the arena to the cheers of the crowd. A boy who fails to make his four passes will be whipped by the girls, and will be humiliated for the rest of his life. Those who succeed are considered to be men.|
|S01E07||The Woodabe of the Sahara||00/00/0000||This new programme begins at the most exciting, and extraordinary, time of year in the Woodabe calendar: the season of courtship rituals. Once a year, at the end of the rainy season, when there is enough grass to feed large herds, the Woodabe meet to celebrate the Gerewal festival. This festival lasts for seven days and is an opportunity for the nomads to meet and exchange news. During these rituals, the men famously decorate their tall, athletic bodies in what appears to be a feminine way. Beauty, for the Woodabe, is there to be admired and encouraged. In fact, these beauty contests have the combined feel of a sport, a ceremony and a celebration. The young Woodabe \'warriors\' will compete to be the most desirable to the women. The winner of the Gerewal will be admired for many generations to come. He\'ll win the chance to marry several women, and mix with many others - all because he is the most beautiful young man of all. We observe the dramatic build-up to the Gerewal through the excitement, concerns and ambitions of our characters. Young Woodabe herdsmen tell us how \'winning\' will bring attention and \'love\' into their lives. For the women, it\'s their chance to find the best man. For older Woodabe (who no longer partake in the contests), the rituals bind together the clans. During a Gerewal, clans will compete, but overall it\'s a happy and necessary coming together of a people constantly on the move.|
|S01E08||The Yawalapiti from the Amazon||00/00/0000||The Yawalapiti live in a remote natural habitat in the Amazon known as the Xingu National Park. They are a hugely decorative tribe that has many shamanic ceremonies. The Yawalapiti are also a wrestling tribe with many sexual games. The film follows the tribe as a recent lunar eclipse initiates a ceremony to protect against spirits. What follows is a mixture of wrestling innuendo; trance induced rituals and elaborate and colourful body painting.|
|S01E09||The Himba from Namibia||00/00/0000||The Himba live in Namibia, Africa. They live as their ancestors have done for thousands of years. The women decorate themselves in not much more than red clay. Their hair is platted into shapes with the clay. The redness of the clay makes their appearance stunning. This film has two main stories. Two young boys are circumcised in a path to manhood. Two people are to marry. The marriage was arranged before the girl was born. The boy also had no choice in his future bride. This is the culture of the Himba.|
|S01E10||The ZO-E from the Amazon||00/00/0000||The Amazon rainforest is home to the most primitive hunter-gatherers left on the planet. The 'forest tribes' still exist in the way they have done, untouched by the world, for thousands of years. One of the most remote and mysterious of these ancient peoples is the Zo-é. Only contacted in recent years, their language and way of life is little known to the outside world. The film explores their unique way of life. A glimpse of a very unknown culture.|
|S01E11||Maasai – The Last Dance of the Warriors||00/00/0000||Seven young warriors - and best friends - from a small village in Kenya are about to go through the most important ceremony of their lives. Their Eunoto ceremony will transform them from glamourous, long haired, carefree warriors to serene, bald, elders within a space of five days. Once they graduate from their Eunoto ceremony, the warriors will give up their lives of freedom, settle down and get married and take on the responsibilities of Maasai elder- hood. They\'ll also give up the songs and dances of warrior-hood, that defines the lives and spirit of the Maasai people. 22 year old Korisa and his best friend, 23 year old Mushiri, lead their friends through the final month of warrior hood, and on to the long journey to their Eunoto Ceremony over 200 kilometres away in Tanzania. Korisa and Mushiri are philosophical about their upcoming change in status. They have spent seven good years as warriors and are looking forward to the next stage in life. But Mushiri\'s younger brother Kupente and his best friend Toto, are both only 18 years old, and can\'t believe their youth is almost over! With mixed emotions, all seven warriors travel together on foot to the ceremonial site where 900 warriors from the Salei Maasai will gather on a sacred mountain to perform secret and ancient rituals. The Eunoto ceremony includes two days of the red dance. Glistening with red ochre, they will dance the red dance, a tribute to the fiery temper of the Maasai warrior. Then comes two days of white dance, where the warriors dance painted in white chalk, as they are transformed into elders. White is the colour of non-violence, peace and elder-hood. Driven by intense emotion, the Eunoto moves to its climax when all 900 warriors run around the sacred Osingira hut, where only warriors who have not slept with older women are allowed to enter! Will any of the seven Kenyan warriors be allowed inside? As the ceremony concludes, the long tresses of all 900 warriors are shorn off by|
|S01E12||The Gentle Cannibals: The Stone Korowai, Western Papua||00/00/0000||Eighteen year-old Alahope is mourning her husband who died two days before. Although he appeared to die of an unexplained sickness she believes he was murdered - by a sorcerer who ate his soul and body. Now, she and her Aunt Dup want revenge and are urging their men to kill the sorcerer. What happens to an alleged sorcerer? Our people tell us with relish and in chilling detail of their encounter with a previous sorcerer a few months before. They ambushed him with arrows, carried his body parts back into the bush and ate him.|
|S01E13||The Chief Who Talks to God - The Mee Papua||00/00/0000||The Bunani Mee people live in Western Papua, the Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea. They live a traditional life style and keep out those who have embraced the modern world of their Indonesian rulers. They call it living "Inside the fence". The Bunani Mee live inside this fence, isolated from the outside world. Itapi recently took over the leadership of this group, and wants to make it clear that he was told to be chief by God.|
|S01E14||Rendille – Death & Rebirth During the Cycle of the Moon||00/00/0000||The Rendille people of Northern Kenya live between the Ndoto \'dream\' mountains and the Chalbi desert. They are a peace loving people, and are known by the Maasai as the \'staff bearers of God\'. They maintain their ancient customs with little change, and live quietly as camel nomads. The rains have finally arrived after a three year drought, and the Goborre Rendille are preparing for their moon cycle ceremonies. The desert is green and in full bloom, and there is a sudden rebirth and plenty for all. Due to the harsh after effects of the three year drought, there have been three deaths in the Goborre village recently. The deaths have left a profound affect on all the villagers as they come to terms with the cycle of life and death in the desert. We meet Lajili as he prepares the funeral ceremonies for his mother who died a few days ago. His sister Ntarauu, and family members perform ancient and secret funeral rites over the next several days, as they honour their mother\'s memory. The elders explain the Rendille meaning of God and their belief in life after death. The leader of the Gob (Rendille village), Lomugi, 55 years old, also lost his wife a year ago. He decides to remarry during the moon cycle ceremonies and has chosen a 16 year old bride - Sabdio. She is spending a month in his home and getting to know his teenage children to see whether she could be happily married to a much older man. Lomugi showers the frightened young bride with love and humour, and she agrees they will make a good couple. The marriage ceremony is arranged, and the dowry is settled. Lomugi prepares the traditional camel pack procession to accompany Sabdio to her parent\'s Gob for the elaborate wedding ceremony. Meanwhile, Lomugi\'s brother also lost his wife during the drought, and has gone insane with grief. He lies outside his family\'s hut naked all day, and has given up on life. His eight children are left parent-less, but not completely d|