BBC & Travel Channel show ‘staged, false, fabricated and distorted’
A TV series about an Amazonian tribe has been slammed as ‘staged, false, fabricated and distorted’ by experts on the tribe.
‘Mark & Olly: Living with the Machigenga’ was shown on the Travel Channel in the US, and on the BBC last year. In the show Mark Anstice and Olly Steeds lived in a Matsigenka Indian village for several months to show the ‘reality’ of life among the tribe.
But now two experts on the tribe have gone public with a string of highly damaging accusations. Dr. Glenn Shepard is an anthropologist who has worked with the Matsigenka Indians for 25 years and speaks their language fluently. Ron Snell, the son of US missionaries, grew up with the tribe and and is also fluent in the Matsigenkas’ tongue.
Just some of Shepard’s accusations, published in the highly-respected journal Anthropology News, are:
• In order to present a ‘false and insulting’ portrayal of the tribe as sex-obsessed, mean and savage, many of the translations of what the Indians are saying are fabricated.
• Many events presented as real in the show must have been ‘staged’.
• A key scene in the show in which Olly is subjected to painful ant stings, since “according to Matsigenka tradition he must be cleansed” and “endure the ancient punishments” for buying deer meat is denounced by Shepard as ‘fabricated and [with] no basis in ethnography.’
Ron Snell, in an article on his blog, accused the film-makers of ‘paying the Machiguengas to perform for them, saying things the Machiguengas wouldn’t ordinarily say and doing things the Machiguengas wouldn’t normally do.’
After interviewing two of the Indians in the series, Snell reported, ‘Our suspicions were correct. They [Mark and Olly] entered the village on a well traveled path and only veered a few feet off the path to film themselves ‘hacking their way through the jungle.’ They contracted someone to make new cushmas [cotton tunics] so everyone would be wearing one. They staged the whole drama about one of the guys being accepted and the other treated as a lazy outsider…
‘The translator quickly became disillusioned with the whole thing, but kept going because of the money. He is ashamed and embarrassed that he had anything to do with it.’
The series was previously at the centre of a media storm when a scouting expedition for the show was accused in Peru of provoking a flu epidemic among isolated Indians which caused the deaths of four of them. The show was eventually filmed a short distance from this incident.
Cicada, the production company responsible for the series, has made no comment on the accusations.
Stephen Corry, Director of Survival, said, ‘‘Mark & Olly: Living with the Machigenga’ was a depressing example of the way tribal people are routinely portrayed on TV. One stereotype followed another, with the Matsigenka variously portrayed as callous, perverted, cruel, and savage. Is this what the film crew really thought of those whose guests they were? Broadcasters wouldn’t dare to make similarly false claims about other such minority groups: imagine the same descriptions applied to any ethnic minority in the industrialized world. Sadly this is all too common – TV is now getting away with portrayals which wouldn’t be out of place in the Victorian era.’
In response to a worrying trend to portray tribal peoples in a negative manner, Survival is drawing up a code of practice for documentary makers to follow when filming with them.
A background briefing with further examples of mistranslations and inaccuracies in the show is available to download here.
Note to Editors:
1. The tribe’s name is today usually spelt Matsigenka. Previously, Machiguenga was more common. Machigenga, as used in the Mark and Olly TV show, is incorrect.
2. Dr. Glenn Shepard is an ethnobotanist and medical anthropologist who specializes in the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. He has published more than 50 scientific papers and is currently a researcher in Indigenous Ethnology at the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi in Belém, Brazil.
3. Ron Snell grew up with the Matsigenka, where his parents were missionaries. He is the author of several books about his childhood there, and still visits the area regularly. He is now the director of a homeless people’s shelter in Nebraska, USA. His mother, who has also watched the series and corroborates the accusations, is the author of a 900-page Matsigenka dictionary.
4. A longer version of Dr. Shepard’s article can be found on his blog: ethnoground.blogspot.com
- ‘Noble Savages’: Chagnon’s new book triggers resignation and protests (alethonews.wordpress.com)
4 Comments »
or go to
From the Archives
By GARY LEUPP | CounterPunch | September 20, 2013
1. Which of the following is the most accurate statement?
1. chemical weapons were first used during the First World War
2. chemical weapons were invented and first used in the 19th century
3. chemical weapons have been around since prehistoric people first put poisons on arrowheads
4. the first real chemical weapon was “Greek Fire” invented by the Byzantines in the 7th century
5. chemical weapons were first produced in the 18th century, based on formulae found in Leonardo da Vinci’s rediscovered writings
Aletho News Original Content
By Aletho News | January 9, 2012
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
March 8, 2011
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,897,210 hits
Follow Aletho News on TwitterMy Tweets
Brian Harry, Austral… on French ‘Proof’ Tha… aletho on Using Children for Israeli… aletho on French ‘Proof’ Tha… Brian Harry, Austral… on The Guardian Takes Aim at Vene… Brian Harry, Austral… on Israel is Trying to Legitimize… Brian Harry, Austral… on French ‘Proof’ Tha… Eddie Herbert on Israel is Trying to Legitimize… Anthony Clifton on Using Children for Israeli… NobodysaysBOO on Israel is Trying to Legitimize… James on Israel is Trying to Legitimize… roberthstiver on Israel is Trying to Legitimize… traducteur on Using Children for Israeli… redracam on French ‘Proof’ Tha… roberthstiver on Intel Vets Voice Doubts on Syr… redracam on Intel Vets Voice Doubts on Syr…
- Endgame: Comparing results and intentions in the terrorism narrative April 28, 2017
- Body cam footage withheld in 3 Baltimore County police-involved shootings April 27, 2017
- Who are the killers? April 27, 2017
- Using Children for Israeli Propaganda April 27, 2017
- Israel is Trying to Legitimize Airstrikes on Syria April 27, 2017
- The Guardian Takes Aim at Venezuela’s Democracy April 27, 2017
- Why Is Britain Rattling its Nuclear Saber and What Could Be the Consequences? April 27, 2017
- South Korean Protesters Think THAAD System Aimed at Russia, China, Not DPRK April 27, 2017
- Shift in Trump Policy on North Korea April 27, 2017
- Trump’s North Korean Obsession April 27, 2017
- Intel Vets Voice Doubts on Syrian Crisis April 27, 2017
- US missile shield aims to cover sudden nuclear strike against Russia – General Staff April 27, 2017
- French ‘Proof’ That Assad Used Sarin in Khan Sheikhoun Turns out to Be Complete BS April 26, 2017
- Japan Proceeds With Controversial New US Air Base on Okinawa April 26, 2017
- Lavrov: US Inability to Ratify Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Raises Questions April 26, 2017
- South Koreans protest movement of US THAAD Missile System April 26, 2017
- US to launch Minuteman III ICBM to show ‘nuclear capabilities’ amid N. Korea tensions April 26, 2017
- Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition April 26, 2017
- Endgame: Comparing results and intentions in the terrorism narrative April 27, 2017
- Debunking Trump’s Casus Belli in Syria April 26, 2017
- Requiem for the Suicided: the DC Madam April 25, 2017
- VIDEO: Corbyn lays out Labour’s campaign message for the coming election April 25, 2017
- US Provocation and North Korea: Pretext for War with China April 24, 2017
Looking for something?
CategoriesAletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism Fake News False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Militarism Nuclear Power Progressive Hypocrite Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC al-Qaeda Argentina BBC Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA CNN Colombia Da’esh Donald Trump Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times North Korea NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria The Guardian Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Site infoAletho News
Blog at WordPress.com.