Return of the Tribe

return of the tribe (3/3)
20.00–21.00

Concluding this week on Five is the three-part documentary in which Donal MacIntyre guides six members of a Papua New Guinean tribe around Britain. In 2006, Donal visited the Insect Tribe of Papua New Guinea, who live deep in the jungle, far from civilisation. The tribe have a fascination with the West, and now they visit Britain for a fortnight to see a way of life quite unlike their own.

In this edition, the astonishing journey for the Swagap tribe comes to an end. They have been living in England for two weeks to get their first taste of life in the Western world. Staying with two families, the six tribe members have gone their separate ways in the UK: tribal chief Joseph, along with husband and wife Sam and Christina, have travelled to Wales to stay with the Binns family; while James and couple Steven and Delma are withthe Tanners in Bristol.

In Wales, the Swagap trio are shown the art of falconry, and wonder how they could apply the same techniques to birds in the jungle back home. Virtually everything is a culture shock to Joseph, butnone so great as the morning he awakes to find South Wales under a six-inch blanket of snow. “It’s like sand on the riverbank,” he marvels. “Except thisis white.” The tribe were due to give a talk to students at the school where Glenda Binns is a teacher, but sadly the school has been shut due to bad weather. Instead, Glenda introduces them to the delights of a snowball fight, and soon they are bombarding their host with freezing cold missiles hurled with pinpoint accuracy!

In Weston-Super-Mare, the other three tribesmen are learning a familiar skill: archery. In Swagap, they craft their own bows and arrows to kill wild animals to eat. Here, it is merely a hobby, and they are intrigued to see that the arrows have feathered flights. It is something that James plans to implement on his return to Papua New Guinea. After getting used to the new-style bow and arrow, James and Steven prove just how accurate they are. They are also taken to a kids’ wildlife enclosure with artificial tropical conditions near Bristol, where Steven is frightened to see a venomous snake –it takes a giggling Tanner child to point out that it is just plastic. Steven is a relieved man!

Back in Wales, the tribesmen discuss polygamy over dinner. Steven explains that he has three wives: the first, Delma, to raise the children, and the other two to carry out domestic duties. How does Delma feel having to share her man with two other ladies? “I feel very happy because I just look after my kids,” she explains. “The other two wives have to look for food and cook for me.”

Sadly for the tribe, snow once again foils their opportunity to meet Glenda’s school kids the next day –and they had even brought their ceremonial outfits to wear. When the snow finally melts, they are taken to a golf course to have a go on the driving range. After a hesitant start, all three are using their excellent hand-eye coordination to great effect, and the trio are delighted to be presented with golf clubs to take home. “When I go back I will play it all the time,” says Delma.

There is great sadness when it is finally time for the tribesmen to return home. “We will never forget you and your people’s kindness,” says an emotional James to the Tanners. In Wales, the families exchange gifts and vow to stay in touch. “It doesn’t matter that they speak English and their skin colour is different,” says Sam. “They are the same as us.” The cultural learning curve has been steep for the Swagap and their British hosts –and although chief Joseph considers himself privileged to have been to Britain, he is adamant the tribe will continue with their way of life. “Culture and custom will not change,” he says. “I’m a great supporter of tradition. Development is not going to come.”

return of the tribe(2/3)
20.00–21.00

Continuing this week on Five is the three-part documentary in which Donal MacIntyre guides six members of a Papua New Guinean tribe around Britain. In 2006, Donal visited the Insect Tribe of Papua New Guinea, who live deep in the jungle, far from civilisation. The tribe have a fascination with the West, and now they visit Britain for a fortnight to see a way of life quite unlike their own.

The Insect Tribe of Swagap, Papua New Guinea, hail from a village that sits above the waters of the Sepik River. The tribe live off fish and animals that they hunt in the jungle, and their chief source of income is crocodile skin. Now six members of the tribe are on their first trip abroad, having travelled 12,000 miles to witness life in Britain. This week, Donal decides to split the group in two. “To give the tribe a broader prospective on British life, we’ve found two families who are delighted to host the Insect Tribe for the next week or so,” he explains. The tribe will be leaving London behind and heading out on their own.

James, Stephen and Delmar will stay with the Tanner family of Weston-Super-Mare. The visit begins with the tour of the house, with the tribe fascinated to learn about various household appliances. They also wrestle with the concept of paying bills for electricity and gas: “In my own village, everything is free,” James says.

The next day, Mark Tanner shows his guests around a building site, where they are astonished to learn how quickly houses can be built. But the biggest surprise comes when they visit a retirement home. For the Papua New Guineans, the concept of elderly people leaving their families and moving into residential care is utterly alien. They meet Mary and Bob, a couple in their seventies, who try to reassure the visitors that their children love them, although they do not live with them. But James expresses his unease: “You make me worried,” he says, “because your sons and daughters are supposed to look after you.”

Meanwhile, the other three members of the tribe – the chief, Sam and Christina – arrive in Wales at the farm of the Binns family. At the welcome dinner, the tribesmen are surprised to see that Gwenda Binns is the boss of the house: “Normally the man is in charge,” Sam remarks.

The following day, the three visitors climb to the top of the valley and enjoy the scenery. Sam tries out a quad bike, before learning a bit about the Binns family’s sheep-rearing business. Although the tribe’s lifestyle is very different to that of the Binns, both they and their hosts depend on selling animals for their livelihood. Joe Binns invites the chief and Sam to visit a livestock auction, where they are fascinated to witness agriculture on such a large scale. The chief has come dressed for the occasion, having bought himself new boots and a flat cap: “Now I look like a farmer,” he declares. The tribesmen compare British pigs with the wild boar back home, noting that they have smaller heads and lack tusks.

To round off the week, Joe shows the tribe members how to catch pheasants with a hawk. The visitors are astonished to see a bird that has been trained to hunt, and vow to take the technique home with them. At the end of the day, Joe finds time to reflect on his guests, suggesting that their self-sufficiency means that they are less stressed than people in the West: “I don’t think that they worry about money in the same way that we do,” he says. Joe expresses his admiration for the tribe’s work-life balance, but there is one aspect of life that he would not swap with them: “I’d rather look after sheep than crocodiles!” he says.

return of the tribe(1/3)
20.00–21.00

Beginning this week on Five is a three-part documentary in which Donal MacIntyre guides six members of a remote Papua New Guinean tribe around Britain. In 2006, Donal travelled the world visiting remote tribes to learn about cultures far removed from our own (for his forthcoming series, ‘Edge of Existence’). In Papua New Guinea, Donal encountered the Insect Tribe of Swagap, who live deep in the jungle, far from civilisation. The tribe have a fascination with Britain and the West, and wanted to experience our world at first hand. Now they visit Britain for a fortnight to see a way of life quite unlike their own.

The Insect Tribe of Swagap, Papua New Guinea, live far away from the modern world in a village sitting above the waters of the Sepik River. The tribe are so-named because they worship the preying mantis, and were unknown to the wider world until the 1950s. They live off fish and animals that they hunt in the surrounding jungle, and their chief source of income comes from crocodile skin. The waters of the Sepik are some of the most crocodileinfested in the world, and the male tribesmen are highly-skilled crocodile hunters.

Donal MacIntyre was one of the first outsiders to be allowed to visit the tribe and experience their way of life: living, eating and hunting side by side with the tribesmen. Now he has the chance to return the favour, inviting six members of the tribe to spend two weeks in Britain. Some of the tribe have learnt English from visiting missionaries, but this trip will be quite unlike anything they have attempted before, leaving their natural environment and taking their first trip on a jumbo jet.

The six ambassadors of the tribe arrive in London with Donal as their tour guide. Donal shows them his view of Britain, from the obvious sights – St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and the London Underground – to the more unusual destinations of a landfill site and a pheasant shoot in Norfolk.

The second week of the tribe’s stay finds them visiting families on a Welsh sheep farm and on a modern estate in Weston Super Mare, providing them with snapshot views of different kinds of British life. In addition, the tribe are given the chance to see how issues such as farming, community, work, entertainment and care of the elderly are handled in the UK. The fortnight also sees much of the country at a standstill when a foot of snow falls without warning, presenting these tropical forest dwellers with their first experience of snow.

For Donal it is a chance to repay the hospitality that the Insect Tribe showed him in Papua New Guinea. He also believes that we may learn more about ourselves through the tribe’s visit than they do, as we gain a fascinating glimpse of Britain from an outsider’s perspective.

return of the tribe(1/3)
tuesday, 20.00–21.00

Beginning this week on Five is a three-part documentary in which Donal MacIntyre guides six members of a remote Papua New Guinean tribe around Britain. In 2006, Donal travelled the world visiting remote tribes to learn about cultures far removed from our own (for his forthcoming series, ‘Edge of Existence’). In Papua New Guinea, Donal encountered the Insect Tribe of Swagap, who live deep in the jungle, far from civilisation. The tribe have a fascination with Britain and the West, and wanted to experience our world at first hand. Now they visit Britain for a fortnight to see a way of life quite unlike their own.

The Insect Tribe of Swagap, Papua New Guinea, live far away from the modern world in a village sitting above the waters of the Sepik River. The tribe are so-named because they worship the preying mantis, and were unknown to the wider world until the 1950s. They live off fish and animals that they hunt in the surrounding jungle, and their chief source of income comes from crocodile skin. The waters of the Sepik are some of the most crocodile-infested in the world, and the male tribesmen are skilled crocodile hunters.

Donal MacIntyre was one of the first outsiders to be allowed to visit the tribe and experience their way of life: living, eating and hunting side by side with the tribesmen. Now he has the chance to return the favour, inviting six members of the tribe to spend two weeks in Britain. Some of the tribe have learnt English from visiting missionaries, but this trip will be unlike anything they have attempted before, leaving their natural environment and taking their first trip on a plane.

The six ambassadors of the tribe arrive in London with Donal as their guide. Donal shows them his view of Britain, from the obvious sights – St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and the Underground – to the more unusual destinations of a landfill site and a pheasant shoot in Norfolk.

The second week of the tribe’s stay finds them visiting families on a Welsh sheep farm and on a modern estate in Weston Super Mare, providing them with snapshot views of different kinds of British life. In addition, the tribe are given the chance to see how issues such as farming, community, work, entertainment and care of the elderly are handled in the UK. The fortnight also sees much of the country at a standstill when a foot of snow falls without warning, presenting these tropical forest dwellers with their first experience of snow.

For Donal it is a chance to repay the hospitality that the Insect Tribe showed him in Papua New Guinea. He also believes that we may learn more about ourselves through the tribe’s visit than they do, as we gain a fascinating glimpse of Britain from an outsider’s perspective.

REVISED RUNNING ORDER for Five’s Return of the Tribe and Edge of Existence

Running order:

1. RETURN OF THE TRIBE (Tues 8 May) 8pm

2. RETURN OF THE TRIBE (Tues 15 May) 8pm

3. RETURN OF THE TRIBE (Tues 22 May) 8pm

4. EDGE OF EXISTENCE : Papua New Guinea (Tues 29 May) 8pm

5. EDGE OF EXISTENCE : Borneo (Tues 5 June) 8pm

6. EDGE OF EXISTENCE : Oman (Tues 12 June) 8pm

7. EDGE OF EXISTENCE : Bolivia (Tues 19 June) 8pm

RETURN OF THE TRIBE (3x 60min- TX: Tues 8 May, 15 May, 22 May)

Synopsis: A Tribe from Papua New Guinea come to the UK to live with Donal MacIntyre

Return of the Tribe follows six members of the Insect Tribe as they hit Britain for a fortnight in 2007. Despite having never been on a jumbo jet, the first week is Donal’s view of Britain – St Pauls, The London Eye, the Underground, a landfill site and a pheasant shoot in Norfolk. The second week sees families on a Welsh sheep farm and a modern estate in Weston Super Mare hosting the tribe and providing a picture of British family life, with issues of farming, community, work, entertainment and the elderly all rolled in. The fortnight also sees much of the UK at a standstill when a foot of snow falls without much warning. How will tropical forest dwellers cope with snowballs?

EDGE OF EXISTENCE (4x 60min)

Papua New Guinea- TX: Tues 29 May Synopsis: Donal travels to Papua New Guinea to witness first hand how a Tribe lives

Throughout the world there are places so inhospitable that humans cannot survive there long term. In this new four-part series for Five, Donal MacIntyre puts his life and reputation on the line as he explores life in some of the most difficult environments on Earth.

Donal shows what it is like to live on the very edge of these places and will experience the natural world at its harshest first hand. The series features some of the most spectacular locations in the world. Combining survival know-how, journalistic observation, anthropology and physical challenges, the outcome will never be certain for Donal in this brand new action adventure series.

In this first episode, Donal experiences life first hand with the Insect tribe in Papua New Guinea. The Insect Tribe of Papua New Guinea were unknown to the outside world until 50 years ago and have a reputation as fearless crocodile hunters. Donal joins the warriors on a terrifying night-time hunt in dug out canoes, where the tribesmen think nothing of spearing crocodiles as big as their canoes. The tribe still uses seashells for money, but things are changing fast as the 21 st century encroaches on their lives.

Borneo – TX: Tues 5 June. Off the coast of Borneo he tracks down the Bajau Laut, a tribe of sea gypsies who are born, live and die on their boats, barely ever setting foot on land. They are true nomads who belong nowhere but the sea and have never been filmed before. Donal joins a family of 20 on their crowded boat where he must pay his way by free diving for fish. The sea gypsies can stay under water for minutes at a time but, as Donal discovers, it can be deadly dangerous.

Oman- TX: Tues 12 June. It hasn’t rained for six years and the temperature regularly tops 50C in the Arabian Desert but the Bedouin still choose to live there rather than the comfort of a modern town. Donal moves in with the Al-Amri family on the edge of the Sharqiyah Sands in Oman and is quickly put to work milking goats, collecting firewood in a treeless desert, delivering dates on a three-day camel trek and riding the family’s prize camel in a death-defying race meeting.

Bolivia- TX: Tues 19 June. The Altiplano region of Bolivia is one of the highest inhabited places in the world where every breath is an effort. It is home to the Quechuan Indians who worship Mother Earth with blood sacrifices, both animal and human. Donal takes his chances at a Tinku festival where rival villages fight, sometimes to the death, in honour of Mother Earth and battles high altitude exhaustion as he struggles over mountain passes with a Llama train carrying salt to remote villages.

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