The Shackles of Tradition - Franz Boas (1858-1942)

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© Boas
52 minutes / Colour / 1986
Directed by
André Singer

Country of production

Series Strangers Abroad

Central Television’s major documentary series looks at the first anthropologists to stop ‘armchair theorising’ and go out to live among the peoples who so interested them. The six part series was filmed all over the world, from the frozen Canadian Arctic to the dry outback of Australia, from New Guinea to India, Africa to the South Pacific.The programme makers retraced the steps of the pioneering anthropologists in those countries and, by following the life story of each scholar, they reveal how social anthropology has contributed to our lives. This programme distinguishes a profile of the19th-century German anthropologist Franz Boas. Boas (1858-1942) set the style and the pattern for the anthropology that is taught in America today wherein other cultures were and are not seen as inferior but important to an understanding of our own. Boas began his work by mapping the uncharted coastline of Baffin Island in the 1880's where he recorded the lives and ideas of the Eskimo. Later he documented the culture of the North West Coast Indians.

Language and subtitles English (no subtitles)

Region Various

Country Various

Keywords History of Anthropology Public Figure