Paul Henley
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List of figures


1.1 Alfred Haddon and Baldwin Spencer – unwitting witnesses. page 33
(a) Mer Islanders recreate the journeys of their culture-hero in the form of a shark.
(b) Tjintjingalla dancers carry dance sticks entwined with human hair.
1.2 Though an excellent photographer, Theodor Koch-Grünberg had difficulty mastering the skills of cinematography. 38
1.3 Films of Rudolf Pöch. Left, Kubi, a 60-year-old San man, records a story about elephants. Right, Russian soldiers dancing in a First World War prison camp. 39
1.4 Aupiais-Gadmer footage from Dahomey (1930). 41
1.5 La Croisière noire (1926) combined big game hunting with ethnographic reportage. 43
1.6 Voyage au Congo (1927). On the banks of the Logone river, French Equatorial Africa. 44
1.7 Scenes of Beti male initiation, Cameroon, as featured in Sso (1935). 46
1.8 Marcel Griaule's films of the Dogon (shot in 1935). 47
1.9 Bougainville (1935). Left, fishing is conducted by means of large nets slung from towers built out to sea. Right, a widow paints herself with white clay. 49
1.10 Song of Ceylon (1934). In the last sequence, magnificently costumed dancers are intercut with images of a giant statue of the Buddha. 50
1.11 South Australia Board of Anthropological Research films (1920s–1930s). 54
1.12 Rituais e Festas Borôro (1917). Left, Buturaguire, ‘evoker of the spirits’; right, in the burial scene, the corpse is doused with water. (Rondon 1946: 278, 285; © Acervo do Museo do Índio—FUNAI, Brazil). 55
1.13 Scenes from Forest People (1928). 58
1.14 Shalako Ceremonial at Zuni (1923). Ancestral beings, kokko, make their appearance. 63
1.15 Films from the Mato Grosso expedition of 1930–31. 66
1.16 Contrasting aesthetics in the films of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. 70
2.1 Left, Buffalo Dance, shot in the Edison studio, September 1894; right, opium smokers in the French colony of Annam filmed in the late 1890s. 79
2.2 Delhi, Great Capital of India (1909). In four minutes, a narrative is economically deployed. 84
2.3 Simba, King of the Beasts (1928), directed by Martin and Osa Johnson. 86
2.4 Grass – A Nation's Battle for Life (1925). The story of Bakhtiari migration is built around the headman Haidar Kahn and his son Lufta. 89
2.5 In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914). Left, Motana watches Naida depart; right, Motana's party arrives in style for the wedding feast. 92
2.6 Nanook of the North (1922) retained certain features of the travelogue, but offered an unprecedented intimacy with the subjects. 101
2.7 Nanook of the North (1922). Left, the family makes haste to find shelter; right, Alakariallak and ‘the hold that life has’. 108
3.1 Netsilik themes. The series was mainly concerned with ecological adaptation. Aimed at high school pupils, there was also a strong emphasis on parent–child relationships. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 116
3.2 Netsilik characters. Itimanguerk, left, a headman of around 50. With his wife, right, he provides a thread of continuity through the 11-hour series. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 118
3.3 At Patantja Claypan (1967). Left, a girl takes refuge from intense midday sun; right, a senior man sets out to hunt emu. (With permission of the Ngaanyatjarra Community Association). 124
4.1 The Hunters (1957). Left, the hunters are introduced with romantic profiles; right, the giraffe has come to a halt, but still will not fall. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 134
4.2 An Argument About A Marriage (1969). /Tikay, left, threatens /Qui but /Qui, right, does not allow himself to be provoked. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 140
4.3 Magical Death (1973). ‘The hekura, being beautiful, are likewise attracted to beauty’; right, in The Feast (1970), the headman calculates the distribution of food. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 144
4.4 The Ax Fight (1975). In the rushes, left, Napoleon Chagnon appears unconcerned by the threat of violence; right, a woman shouts insults across the village plaza. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 148
5.1 To Live with Herds (1972). Left, Logoth leaves for the cattle camps. Right, severely affected by drought, the Jie sell their animals. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 158
5.2 The Wedding Camels (1977). The formal blessing of the marriage is only an interlude in the incessant haggling about bridewealth. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 160
5.3 Left, in A Wife among Wives (1981), the prospective bride finally appears. Right, in Lorang's Way (1979), the subject is shown to be an idiosyncratic individual. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 163
5.4 Editing Good-bye Old Man (1977). David MacDougall is advised by Thomas Woody Minipini. (Image courtesy of David MacDougall). 166
5.5 Left, Takeover (1979): the Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs assures the Aurukun elders that nothing will happen without their consent. Right, The House-Opening (1980): the brother of the deceased man wails formally on the shoulder of his widow. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 168
5.6 Familiar Places (1980). Left, anthropologist Peter Sutton discusses mapping with Angus Namponan; right, Jack Spear sings about the Dreamtime sisters. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 171
6.1 Left, Jero Tapakan appeals to her guardian deity in A Balinese Trance Seance (1979); right, Jero discusses this film with anthropologist Linda Connor in Jero on Jero (1981). 178
6.2 The Yirrkala Film Project. Left, Pain for This Land (1970–71) – the Yolngu wanted to film traditional custom as much as the impact of the bauxite mine; right, Ian Dunlop with Dundiwuy and his daughter in Conversations with Dundiwuy (1995). (With permission of the Yolngu community). 180
6.3 The Drums of Winter (1988). The Yup’ik potlatch is the occasion for exchanges not only between the living, but also between the living and the dead. 186
6.4 Left, N!ai, the Story of a !Kung Woman (1980) – ‘Death is dancing with me’; right, A Kalahari Family: Death by Myth (2001) – captured by a night-time camera, an elephant destroys the Ju/hoansi irrigation system. 189
7.1 Navajo Film Themselves (1966). Intrepid Shadows, left, featured a traditional mask modified by a vertical strip resembling film stock. Right, in The Navajo Silversmith, the main character walks a great deal. 202
7.2 Left, Mokuka, of the Kayapo Video Project, at a rally in 1989 to protest against the Altamira dam. Right, the Kayapo also use camcorders to record traditional ceremonies. 204
7.3 Modes of collaboration. Left, a Q’echqi’ Maya crew in the community of Esperanza Chilatz, Guatemala, April–May 1995 (© Carlos Flores); right, In Search of a Bororo Mr. Right (2019) – a romantic comedy with an ethnographic subtext. 207
7.4 Video nas Aldeas cinematographers. Left, Kasiripinã Waiãpi, who shot additional footage for Meeting the Ancestors (1993); right, Divino Tserewahú, the Xavante cameraman. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 213
7.5 The Hyperwomen (2011) was co-directed by the indigenous cinematographer Takumã Kuikuru. 218
8.1 Jean Rouch in 1954 on the Gold Coast (now Ghana), aged 36. (© Jocelyne Rouch). 226
8.2 Experiences of migration. In Les Maîtres fous (1955), left, a migrant is possessed by the ‘Lieutenant from the Red Sea’; right, Moi un Noir (1960) is based on the real life experiences of Oumarou Ganda. 230
8.3 Le Dama d’Ambara (1980). The kanaga masks, left, evoke the Pale Fox, a trickster demiurge, while the longer serige masks, right, represent vertical snakes associated with immortality. (© Jocelyne Rouch). 232
8.4 Sharing anthropology. Left, Damouré, Lam and Douma Besso in Kumasi Market in 1954 (© Jocelyne Rouch); right, Jean Rouch shoots Damouré, Tallou Mouzourane and Lam in Amsterdam in 1992. (© MM Filmprodukties). 239
8.5 Les Tambours d’avant (1972). When the musicians saw that Rouch was still shooting, they played with renewed vigour, sending the spirit medium into trance. (© Jocelyne Rouch). 244
8.6 Modes of language in Chronicle of a Summer (1961). 251
9.1 Robert Gardner, aged 58, in Varanasi in 1984. (Photograph courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 257
9.2 Rivers of Sand (1974). Left, the beating of women is part of Hamar tradition. Right, ‘Men are also afflicted, through their own tyranny… ’. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 261
9.3 Deep Hearts (1981). Left, a man prepares for the geerewol ceremony; right, a young woman selects her favourite. (Photograph courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 264
9.4 Dead Birds (1964). Left, a Dani man injured by an enemy arrow while right, a warrior looks over the battleground. 266
9.5 Forest of Bliss (1986), material metaphors. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 269
9.6 Forest of Bliss (1986), subjects as metaphors. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 273
9.7 Forest of Bliss (1986), metaphors of transition to the ‘far shore’. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 279
10.1 Colin Young in his 91st year, in conversation with the author, August 2017. (© Richard Henley). 289
10.2 The ‘as if’ chronology of The Village (1968). (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 292
10.3 Peter Murray (1975). ‘The more energy you put into a piece, the brighter its light’. 294
10.4 Left, Cuyagua – Devil Dancers (1986); right, Cuyagua – The Saint with Two Faces (1987). (Photographs © Paul Henley). 306
10.5 Celso and Cora (1983). After one of their recurrent arguments, Celso ends up sleeping rough with their daughter. 308
11.1 The Last of the Cuiva (1971) opens with a 90-second pre-title sequence intercutting images of the Cuiva and the cowboys threatening their way of life. 330
11.2 In Ongka's Big Moka (1974), two Melanesian ‘big-men’ compete for prestige in a moka gift-giving ceremony. 334
11.3 New ‘ways of doing’ ethnographic film for television, 1977. Left, Some Women of Marrakesh, the first film to be made by an all-woman crew; for Eskimos of Pond Inlet, right, members of the community were consulted at all stages. (Photograph by Alex Williams, courtesy of Hugh Brody). 335
11.4 Newly appearing worlds in Communist Asia. Left, Mongolia: On the Edge of the Gobi (1975); right, Inside China: Living with the Revolution (1983). 339
11.5 Films about the Mursi age-set ceremony (1991). 343
11.6 We Are All Neighbours (1993). Left, Bosnian Muslims listen anxiously to the Serb bombardment of distant Sarajevo but their house, right, was later destroyed by their Croatian neighbours. 344
12.1 Caught in a Web (1986). Left, in Dorset, after the pheasant shoot, Lady Williams comes downstairs to visit the ‘beaters’, who eat separately. This reminds a Villes councillor of a world that disappeared long ago in France. 352
12.2 Baka: People of the Rainforest (1987). Mewunga, in search of honey, climbs through the forest canopy; right, a curer uses the heat of a fire to cure a baby. (Left image © Phil Agland, right image © Lisa Silcock, both courtesy of Phil Agland). 354
12.3 The Ark (1993). Left, the Head Keeper bids goodbye to a bird of prey. Right, the management team is advised by a public relations consultant. 357
12.4 The Women's Olamal (1984). Left, Kisaru explains that if a Maasai woman is childless, she will have no means of support; right, when male elders threaten to withhold the olamal fertility blessing, some women become hysterical. 360
12.5 Diary of a Maasai Village (1985). Left, Simel, laibon prophet and leader of the village. Right, Miisia, one of Simel's sons, undergoes the ibaa ceremony. (Images courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources). 363
12.6 Memories and Dreams (1993). Left, Miisia's senior wife misses her co-wife, Loise, right, who ran off to town as she could no longer tolerate beatings. 367
13.1 Survivors of the Rainforest (1993). During a three-day feast, the leader of a Yanomamɨ village on the upper Orinoco, Venezuela, sits with his guests. (© Andy Jillings). 376
13.2 Film series made in China by Phil Agland. Left, the acupuncturist Dr Teng is a leading character in Beyond the Clouds (1994), whilst his daughter, Teng Shao, and her landlady, Mrs Feng, right, feature prominently in Shanghai Vice (1999). 378
13.3 Films by Kim Longinotto. Left, in Divorce Iranian Style (2004), a woman pleads for divorce in an Islamic court in Tehran; right, a Senegalese judge dispenses justice in Sisters in Law (2005). 379
13.4 Royal Watchers (1997). The Queen, left, meets the ‘royalists’ outside Lincoln Cathedral, while Diana, Princess of Wales, right, meets the same group in London three days later. 381
13.5 Welcome to Lagos (2010). Left, cattle are brought to Lagos market from as far away as Chad and Southern Sudan. Right, Eric Obuh, aka ‘Vocal Slender’, scavenges in the rubbish tip to pay for his music career. 384
14.1 Photo Wallahs (1991). R. S. Sharma, at the doorway of his studio in Mussoorie, north India, specialises in formal black and white portraits. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 397
14.2 Tempus de Baristas (1993). Left, Franchiscu with his goats and right, Miminu and Franchiscu's son, Pietro. (© David MacDougall). 399
14.3 Films directed by Judith MacDougall. Left, Diya (2001) concerns a family of potters in Dehra Dun, north India, while The Art of Regret (2007), right, explores the uses of photography in Kunming, southwest China. (Images courtesy of David and Judith MacDougall). 400
14.4 Doon School Chronicles (2000). The first film of the quintet focuses on the way in which the environment of the school moulds the boys. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 403
14.5 Later films focus more on the boys’ own agency. Left, an argument breaks out in The New Boys (2003); right, Abhishek Shukla, principal subject of The Age of Reason (2004). (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 405
14.6 Films at the Rishi Valley School. Some Alien Creatures (2005), above, is similar to the Doon School films, whilst Schoolscapes (2007), below, is more experimental. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 410
14.7 Gandhi's Children (2008). Street children and orphans are given food and lodging at the Prayas Home, but it is also a place of imprisonment. (Images courtesy of David MacDougall). 414
15.1 Sweetgrass (2009). Left, Pat Connolly complains to his mother by mobile phone about life on the high plains. Right, at the end of the trail, John Ahern moves on to an uncertain future. 427
15.2 Sweetgrass (2009). Left, a ‘bellwether’ ewe. Right, the sheep are herded through the forest on the way to the high plains. 428
15.3 Foreign Parts (2011). Left, Road Runner says his prayers. Right, Joe Ardizzone, ‘When the real estate taxes come up … then all of sudden they know exactly where we live’. 439
15.4 Leviathan (2012). Left, the only well-lit shot of a human being is a reflection. Right, many dramatic shots were taken from GoPro cameras dropped over the side of the trawler. 443
15.5 Manakamana (2014). Each time a new set of travellers emerges from the darkness of the terminal works as an amusing coup de théâtre. 447
16.1 Cultural mapping in Tracks Across Sand (2012). (Images by Kirk Tougas, courtesy of Hugh Brody). 457
16.2 Transfiction (2007). Fabia Mirassos, left, who plays Meg, and Bibi Meirelles, who plays Zilda, at the salon where Fabia works as a hairdresser. (© Éric Brochu, courtesy of Johannes Sjöberg). 461
16.3 Koriam's Law and the Dead Who Govern (2005). Left, the people of Pomio, New Britain, offer food and money to the dead. But the Catholic priest, right, urges them to help their children instead. 468
16.4 The Hamar trilogy. In The Women Who Smile (1990), left, and Two Girls Go Hunting (1991), the focus is on the lives of women. Right, the third part, Our Way of Loving (1994), also embraces other themes, including the male initiation ceremony. 471
16.5 Duka's Dilemma (2002). Left, when Duka's husband takes a much younger wife, Boro, initially she feels threatened. But after she helps Boro giving birth, the two wives become mutually supportive. 475
16.6 Kalanda (2015). Left, the film-maker sits at the feet of a master-hunter; right, whilst learning to hunt, he used an extreme wide-angle lens to emphasize his perceptual frustration. (Images courtesy of Lorenzo Ferrarini). 478
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Beyond observation

A history of authorship in ethnographic film


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