Tribal Wives

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Culture, History Documentary hosted by Paul McGann and published by BBC in 2008 - English narration

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Image: Tribal-Wives-Cover.jpg

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BBC Two commissioned a documentary series in which ordinary British women were given the opportunity to travel to the remotest parts of the world and experience life as a tribal woman. In Tribal Wives, six British women gave up their everyday lives and spent a month living with some of the world's remotest tribes – in Greenland, Papua New Guinea, Africa, and Northern Mongolia. The women acted as a 'second wife' by shadowing the tribesman's real wife in her daily duties.

They worked, ate, and slept exactly as the other tribal women in order to experience what it was really like to live in the community. To get a real sense of their new life, all the women spent a month living with their new families and immersed themselves fully into their new culture. Jana Bennett, Director, BBC Vision, said: "The beauty of this series is that it is a modern format that plays to the traditional strengths of BBC documentaries, with the aim of bringing a challenging and unfamiliar world to a wider audience."

Tribal Wives gave audiences a real insight into how tribal women really live, the everyday issues they deal with, their hopes and fears, and their views on life. Viewers will see the women of the tribe speak with passion, emotion and humor about their lives, in a way that has not been explored before. In turn, the series reflects on the tribe's perception of Western culture and garners their views on their visitors: members of the tribe were interviewed each week to assess how the British women were doing, how well each woman was integrating into the community, how useful she was, and the strength of the individual relationships she forged.

Crossing continents to some of the remotest places in the world - from jungle to desert – viewers were able to follow the progress of the tribal wife to see if she was accepted by the community, and was able to rise to the challenges thrown at her by her new life - or whether she simply missed her Western lifestyle too much to truly benefit from the experience. Paul Cleary, Executive Producer, Goldhawk Media, commented: "We were very excited by this project, which took the audience on a journey to remote corners of the world and gave them an inside view of cultures they hadn't experienced before."

Episode 1

Kuna/Panama - Following six women as they learn about the lives of their counterparts in remote tribes from around the world. The first programme features Sass, who stays with the monogamous, deeply spiritual Kuna Indians off the coast of Panama, learns to put aside the concerns of her busy life in Oxford and deals with recurring nightmares related to her mother's abandonment of her when she was 13.

Episode 2

Waorani/Ecuador - A workaholic businesswoman and single mother who walked out of a violent marriage spends a month with an Ecuadorian tribe, immersing herself in a community with a reputation for savagery. Embracing the hunter-gatherer life of the Waorani, she participates in boar hunts and befriends the village's weaver, rediscovering her identity and earning a special nickname in the process.

Episode 3

Afar Tribe in Ethiopia- Lana Inglis, an air hostess troubled by her alcoholic past, experiences life with the fiercely independent nomadic Afars. The Ethiopian tribe have an uncompromising reputation and carry guns to protect their cattle, while female circumcision is common and their strict Muslim culture forbids alcohol.

Episode 4

Himba/Namibia - Single mother-of-three Yvonne spends time in northern Namibia with the semi-nomadic and polygamous Himbas. Drought threatens the village and temperatures reach in excess of 45 degrees centigrade, while the woman begins to make discoveries about herself as she struggles to get to grips with the tribe's deep gender divides and culture of arranged marriages for young girls.

Episode 5

Maasai/Tanzania - Dionne Braham, a 33-year-old teacher who is single and still living at home with her mother, stays with the polygamous Maasai tribe in Tanzania. In a community where men can take up to 10 wives and women are expected to have babies from the age of 14, she takes an objective look at life back in the UK and comes to terms with the possibility she may never have children.

Episode 6

Mentawai/Indonesia - Andy Wraith, a dentist with no time for herself, experiences life with the Mentawais based deep in the jungle on a remote island off the coast of Indonesia. She is adopted as a daughter of the tribe and is fascinated by a people who sharpen their teeth and are controlled by witch doctors, prompting her to reconsider her own life.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD 1.1.2 Final
Video Bitrate: ~975 kbps
Video Resolution: 624x352
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.773:1
Frames Per Second: 25.000
Audio Codec: 0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Bitrate: 122kb/s VBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: English
RunTime Per Part: ~58 mins
Number Of Parts: 6
Part Size: ~480 MBytes
Subtitles: English
Ripped by: Unknown

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