Guide to the Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World collection, 1989-1992, undated
HSFA.2012.13

Summary
Collection ID:
HSFA.2012.13
Creators:
Biniman Productions (Firm).
British Broadcasting Corporation.
Grant, Michael
KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.).
Malone, Adrian
Maybury-Lewis, David, 1929-2007
Meech, Richard, 1954-
Dates:
1989-1992, undated
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
701 sound tape reels
1/4 inch
40 film reels
silent color negative A and B rolls
16mm
4.37 linear feet
172 sound cassettes
1,336 film reels
in 399 cans
silent color negative outtakes and trims
16mm
10 film reels
silent color print
16mm
Repository:
Human Studies Film Archives
The
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
collection consists of film materials and associated documentation for the editing process of the ten-episode ethnographic television series aired in 1992 and hosted by Harvard anthropologist David Maybury-Lewis. The collection consists of field sound, camera original film in the form of outtakes and trims, edited silent film (A and B rolls and prints), and technical paper documentation including field and lab reports.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
collection, 1989-1992, undated, comprises edited and unedited film, audio, and associated paper documentation. Footage in edited form includes A and B rolls and some resulting prints, while unedited film is in the form of trims and outtakes. Depending on the stage in the editing process, film is associated either with a general subject or with a specific edited title. Audio is largely 1/4-inch audio tapes of original field sound and translations. Associated paper documentation is largely technical and lab reports and does not exist consistently for subjects and episodes.
Of note is the large collection of trims and outtakes. As these rolls are camera original film, they are printed with "latent key numbers" along the edge of the film, or codes that advance sequentially through the roll. Each roll is associated with a unique range of latent key numbers, allowing researchers to trace camera original film through the editing process and narrow down filming order. Sequences removed from trims and outtakes for use in final episode cuts are also associated with these latent key number ranges. The National Anthropological Film Collection holds searchable lists of the collection's latent key numbers; contact the NAFC for more detail.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
collection is arranged in 3 series: Series 1. Edited film materials, circa 1992; Series 2. Unedited film materials, 1989-1991, undated; Series 3. Technical documentation, 1989-1991, undated.

Administrative History
Administrative History
The television program
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
, hosted by Harvard anthropologist David Maybury-Lewis, was a television series aired in 1992 that interrogated universal human themes such as death, life, love, and spirituality in the lives of a wide range of indigenous peoples at the turn of the millennium. The program juxtaposed lives and customs in tribal societies with those of urban Canadians to underline the relevance of indigenous values.
Maybury-Lewis, at the time professor of anthropology and the curator of South American Ethnology in Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, worked extensively in Brazil and particularly with the Xavante. He was also co-founder of Cultural Survival, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of culture, land, and human rights of indigenous peoples.
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
was created by Richard Meech and Michael Grant and written by Adrian Malone. The series was was co-produced by Biniman Productions Limited, Adrian Malone Productions Limited, BBC-TV and KCET Los Angeles, in association with the Global Television Network, and with the cooperation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, Rogers Telefund, and Telefilm Canada.

Administration
Processing Information note
Audiovisual materials have been grouped, rehoused, and numbered for preservation and access. Paper materials were separated from film and placed into series. Sound recordings remain unprocessed and some have not been identified with subject names.
Contact the National Anthropological Film Collection for further item-level documentation, including the latent key numbers for each roll of outtakes and trims (see "Scope and Content" for details).
Processed by Annie Schweikert, Caroline Waller, and Pam Wintle, 2012-2017; encoded by Annie Schweikert, 2017.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Annie Schweikert, Caroline Waller, and Pam Wintle
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
collection was donated to the National Anthropological Film Collection (formerly the Human Studies Film Archives) by series co-producer and co-director Richard Meech in 2012.

Episode list
Episode list
1.
The Shock of the Other
: This episode follows Maybury-Lewis and crew as they film the Xavante people of western Brazil; La Rábida Friary, a small Franciscan monastery in southern Spain; and the Machiguenga, Yaminawa, and Mashco-Piro peoples of Peru. Filmed on the Madre de Dios River is a saloon and funeral in Laberinto. Filmed on the Manu River is a hunter-gather family of the Yaminawa, a tribe recently decimated by disease; a visit to a Machiguenga village; and a glimpse of the Mashco-Piro.
2.
Strange Relations
: This episode focuses on cultural components of marriage, courtship, and romantic love and the place of romantic love in marriage. Filmed is the Wodaabe (Bororo), a subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group of southern Niger and northern Nigeria, including a traditional Yaake dance during the Guerewol Festival and the marriage of a Wodaabe man to his third wife; the wedding of Rodney and Jennifer, an American couple in their forties; and the Nyimba of northwestern Nepal, including a fraternal polyandrous marriage.
3.
Mistaken Identity
: This episode focuses on the formation and understandings of personal and group identity in various cultures. This episode includes footage of the Weyewa of Sumba in Indonesia, focusing on the importance of words and language in their culture and their traditional funeral practice, which includes a collective moving of a massive stone block; “Day Nurse,” a Canadian abortion counselor, focusing on family planning, adoption, and abortion practices in 'modern' western culture ("Day Nurse"); the Xavante of western Brazil, focusing on the “coming of age” process for males; and Tammy, a girl who attempted suicide, focusing on contemporary mental health and identity struggles in western culture.
4.
An Ecology of Mind
: This episode focuses on the relationships between various societies and their environments, physically and symbolically, and the environmental destruction caused by modern society. The episode includes the return of aboriginal people to remote Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Australia, 70 years after they were forcibly removed from their lands; the Gabra of the Chalbi Desert in northern Kenya and highlands of southern Ethiopia, exploring the different ways the Gabra rely on their environment, including goat, camel, and cattle herding and the search for natural resources and water in the desert; Heather Apple, a Canadian organic gardener who runs Canadian Organic Growers’ Heritage Seed Program; and the Makuna of Colombia, exploring their spiritual relationship with the environment and their annual Peach Palm Festival.
6.
Touching the Timeless
: This episode draws on specific ethnographic examples to examine the roles, practices, and goals of spiritual systems across the world and how different cultures draw meaning from spiritual practices. Footage includes a lama in Nyimba of northwestern Nepal, including a discussion of “The Hidden Valley” in Nepal; the Huichol, or Wixáritari, people living in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain Range on Central Mexico, including a pilgrimage led by a shaman, ending in the procuration of peyote; and the Navajo, a Native American tribe of the southwest United States, including a medicine man, chanting, and sand painting process.
5.
The Art of Living
: This episode focuses on the ways art is used, valued, and interpreted by various societies and argues that the separation of art and daily life exists only in modern nation states and that art is an important aspect of personal identity. The episode includes footage of a Canadian family visiting an art museum; the Wodaabe (Bororo), a subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group of southern Niger and northern Nigeria, including a young woman’s experience at the Guerewol festival; the Dogon of Mali, including their cultural interpretation of death and funeral practices; and Jack Pollock, a Canadian painter dying of AIDS.
7.
A Poor Man Shames Us All
: This episode explores various cultural understandings of wealth and argues that society should value people over things in the coming millennium. Episode includes footage of a reenactment of “The Gift of the Magi”; a Sanitation Worker in New York City; the Weyewa of Sumba in Indonesia, focusing on their funeral practice that includes a collective moving of a massive stone block; Amsterdam, focusing the cityscape, bikes, a church, holy relics, and banking; the chairman of BBDO Advertising Agency, advertiser for Pepsi; and the Gabra of the Chalbi Desert in northern Kenya and highlands of southern Ethiopia, showing herding practices, nomad camps, and desert life.
8.
Inventing Reality
: This episode focuses on cultural belief systems and how various societies understand reality and spiritual beliefs. The episode argues against the “modern” western separation of scientific knowledge and spiritual belief systems. Footage includes a television interview of a United States park ranger who survived seven hits by lightning; the Huichol, or Wixáritari, people living in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain Range on Central Mexico, focusing on traditional healing practices and how they interact and clash with “modern” western medical practices; a Canadian doctor experimenting with psychological and spiritual healing, focusing on his work with Jane Ekers, a woman battling cancer; and the Goolarabooloo community, a small Australian aboriginal group near Broome, focusing on the perspectives of an aboriginal and a Dutch man and their understandings of tribal beliefs concerning time, ritual, supernatural forces, illusion, and reality.
9.
The Tightrope of Power
: This episode explores the relationships between indigenous cultures and the modern western world, providing examples of how power structures have overlooked the voices and needs of indigenous communities, and arguing for cultural diversity. This episode includes the Mohawk people, an Iroquoian-speaking indigenous people of North America, living on the Kahnawake reserve in Quebec, Canada, including footage of a Mohawk school and the Oka land dispute, exploring the importance of language to culture and identity. This episode also includes Elijah Harper, a Canadian politician and chief of Oji-Cree First Nation, with footage of the rejection of the Meech Lake Accord.
10.
At the Threshold
: This final episode wraps up the themes of the series and argues that westerners should value and learn from other world cultures, belief systems, and traditions as the world moves into the new millennium. This episode includes footage of a Navajo family, a Native American tribe of the southwest United States, including sheep shearing, weaving, storytelling, and traditional “Hogan” dwellings; a small French farm, focusing on a 12th century love story Abelard and Héloïse and the modern French family occupying the working farm; Elijah Harper, a Canadian Mohawk politician who opposed the Meech Lake Accord; and the Nyimba of northwestern Nepal, including footage of a fraternal polyandrous marriage.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use note
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access note
The
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
collection is open for research. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the National Anthropological Film Collection may not be played.
Preferred Citation note
The
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
collection, National Anthropological Film Collection, Smithsonian Institution.

Repository Contact
Human Studies Film Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland, 20746
Phone: 301-238-1330
hsfa@si.edu