The Red Bowmen

[the-red-bowmen--Film-list-image]
© Owen
50 minutes / Colour / 1981
Directed by
Chris Owen

Country of production United Kingdom

In a remote part of the West Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea, the Umeda people eke out a difficult living from the sago swamps and primary rain forest that surround them. Until recently, these people performed an annual ceremony, the Ida, which dramatised their relationship to the forest and celebrated their continuing survival. The ceremony was the major social occasion of their year in essence a fertility ritual focussing on a complex metamorphosis of figures representing cassowaries. This film is a record of the Ida ceremony, and an analysis of it, seen through the eyes of anthropologist Alfred Gell.

Language and subtitles English (no subtitles)

Region Melanesia

Country Papua New Guinea

Keywords Ritual Religion / Belief / Faith History of Anthropology