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Adi (1/6)

This is also part of this series: Tribe (6)

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $249
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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: BBC
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 50 mins
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2005
Available in French: No

Intrepid explorer Bruce Parry spends four weeks with the Adi people, who live in Arunachal Pradesh in the Himalayas, a remote corner of India. After initial suspicion ("Our fathers told us about the battles they fought with the British," says one Adi, "and now they are here again"), Parry is adopted as a family member by the chief, and he reciprocates with openness and respect. There is nothing feigned about their mutual affection, and the programme offers a privileged and warm-hearted insight into an extraordinary way of life that will soon be gone for ever. As well as participating in sacrificial ceremonies with the tribe of former warriors who were cut off from civilisation for centuries, Parry tries the local delicacies: the flesh of the prized ‘toilet pigs' and then rat cake (“it tasted like a mixture of death and toilets"). Not surprisingly, he becomes ill, so the village shaman (a woman) twists leaves over Parry's chest to see whether evil spirits are to blame, and promises his symptoms will shortly vanish (they do). Later, even more impressively, she predicts with uncanny accuracy what will happen on the men's hunting expedition: they will catch rats and squirrels only; the white man will catch nothing. As well as learning how to hunt, Parry gets cured by a female shaman and participates in sacrificial ceremonies with the tribe of former warriors who were cut off from "civilisation" for centuries.