The Shackles of Tradition
The film describes the anthropological journey of Franz Boas. It is based on his studies concerning ethnography in the 1880s when he was in the Canadian Arctic. Later, he went to North America where he studied the indigenous Indians. As clear in the title, the film shows how the traditions were being lost through the embracement of the modern American ways of life. Additionally, the film recommends that one should break the shackles of his tradition which include ethnocentrism, preconceptions, and bias against other races and ethnic communities (Boas). Therefore, people from various ethnic communities should accept the ways of life of other so that there can be love and appreciation. Thus, peaceful coexistence.
Boas asks many questions in the film with the aim of understanding human being better. For instance, he wishes to know the determinants of the behavior of human beings. The first part of the film discusses the study that Boas did concerning the Eskimos who live in the Canadian Arctic (Boas). He discovered that the Eskimos were focused on their activities no matter the harshness of the environment that they lived in. The environment of the Eskimos had great challenges that could discourage them, but they persisted in making their lives better. Therefore, the study made Boas reject the previous assumptions which supported that the actions of human beings are determined by the environments they live. He disqualified the appropriateness of the con…
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