Tribal Wives

2010, Society  -  11 min Leave a Comment
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Six British women swap their everyday lives for life as tribal wives in some of the most remote communities on earth. Like many women today juggling career, home and family, they feel that something is missing. By spending time in societies where female roles are very different, they hope to find answers that could change their lives.

Kuna/Panama. The Kuna Indians are a deeply spiritual people who live on a stunning scattering of coral islands off the coast of Panama. A monogamous tribe with tight-knit families, they are a deeply spiritual people who believe that their homes and families are protected by ever-present spirits.

Waorani/Ecuador. 46-year-old Karen Morris-Lanz stays with the Waorani, one of the world's most isolated tribes, deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle. Once known as the savages, they have a fearsome reputation. But behind this formidable facade is a way of life unchanged for centuries.

Afar/Ethiopia. The Afar are one of Ethiopia's most fiercely independent tribes, nomadic cattle and camel herders with a tough reputation, carrying guns to protect their herds from rival clans and wild animals.

Himba/Namibia. The Himba are a semi-nomadic tribe of pastoralists who live on the harsh sun-baked plains of northern Namibia. The women are striking, covering their hair and bodies in red ochre.

Maasai/Tanzaniai. The Maasai are one of the world's most famous and largest tribes in Africa. They are polygamous, with men allowed to have up to ten wives, and women expected to marry and bear children from the age of 14.

Mentawai/Indonesia. The Mentawai live deep in the jungle on a remote island off the coast of Indonesia - a monogamous tribe where women are tattooed and sharpen their teeth. Their lives are dominated by the spirit world and male sikerei, or witch doctors, watch over the village.

Yoruk/Turkey. Twenty-three-year-old Charlie Brades from Hampshire joins the Yoruk, a tribe of nomads who live in the remote mountains of southern Turkey. Charlie is fiercely independent but her life has been far from carefree.

Babongo/Gabon. Linda Plover from Liverpool is going to live as a Tribal Wife with the Babongo in southern Gabon. Linda is haunted by memories of a poverty-stricken childhood and feels an overwhelming sense of bitterness towards her mother.

Raramuri/Mexico. 40-year-old Michelle Frost from London is travelling to northern Mexico to stay with the Rarámuri, an ancient tribe who live perched on the edge of the spectacular Copper Canyon.

Kitava/Papua New Guinea. Becky Camilleri, a PA from London's East End, travels to the idyllic island of Kitava, off the east coast of Papua New Guinea. Becky is successful, talented and beautiful but unlucky in love.

Karen/Thailand. Jackie Davis from Bristol spends some time with the Karen, Thailand's largest hill tribe. Jackie is divorced, with two young children, and grappling with life as a single parent.

Hamar/Ethiopia. Anna De Vere from London is going to stay with the Hamar in southern Ethiopia. Anna has a comfortable life in London, living with her partner and running her own business, but deep down she has a feeling that something is lacking.