Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Migrants—In Search of Cool Ground III—The Mursi Trilogy: Disappearing World (01:32)


In a remote forest in southern Ethiopia, Mursi tribe members see a television for the first time and watch their own story in amazement.

Mursi Shop at Berka Village Market (02:37)

To find relief from hunger and drought, 1/4 of the Mursi population migrated to the Mago Valley where they now have regular contact with the outside world. As they rely more and more on the market, age-old traditions slowly disappear.

Drought and Starvation Impel Mursi Migration (02:46)

Those who migrated have managed to carve out a living in the Mago Valley wilderness area. A map illustrates the new homeland in relation to the original Mursi territory near the Omo River.

Tsetse Fly Threatens Cattle (06:08)

The Mursi rely heavily on the priest, Komorakora, to save the cattle that play a vital role in Mursi culture. The use of a modern drug, given in reduced dosages, will produce resistant strains of the parasite and accelerate the death of their cattle.

Army Worm Destroys Crop (05:30)

The loss the sorghum crop means months of hunger for the Mursi. Men gather in a debating area near the river to discuss how to tackle the threat of the worm. The meeting serves as a way to verbally pass down the history of similar situations.

Ritual to Banish Army Worm (02:44)

Mirodowa seals the mouth of an army worm with fat before he commands them to go. Smoke is used to gain the attention of Tumwi (God and sky).

Settlement of Women Healers (02:40)

A female healer treats a man who believes his body has been invaded by evil. Women discuss their workload in comparison to that of the men.

Changing Roles of Women Migrants (03:03)

With the shifting of traditional roles, Mursi women now find themselves at the forefront of their society's exposure to the outside world.

Outside World Influences Mursi Custom (01:48)

A Mursi man discusses the refusal of some women of customary lip cutting. Traditionally cattle herders, the men of Mago Valley will take on cultivation and buying and selling of grain increasing the dependency of women on them.

Ulikuri Rejoins Mursi (01:51)

Once a soldier with the Ethiopian army, Ulikuri shows off his medal and discusses the inevitability of change in Mursi traditions.

Tsetse Fly Only Deterrent (01:33)

Ulichagi travels 50 miles for two days to the Mago Valley for a visit with relatives and Anthropologist David Turton. He discusses why he and others will not leave the traditional lands of the Omo River area.

Encroachment of Tourism (02:17)

A member of the Kwegu people, Darchu remains in the Omo River area and describes the intrusion of white people in search of game animals.

Mursi Feared as Outsiders (03:30)

Mursi women negotiate goods at the Berka market. One Mursi woman uses deceitful tactics to obtain extra product.

Mursi Become People of the Government (02:01)

As chairman of the Mago Farmers Association, one man is charged with duties and responsibilities completely foreign to him.

Mursi and Ari Resolve Honey Barrel Dispute (03:22)

Newly migrated and hungry, the Mursi stole honey barrels belonging to the Ari. The only literate Mursi used his writing skills to negotiate a settlement between the two tribes.

Mursi Encouraged to Settle (05:07)

The chairman is denied grain relief by a government official who explains that the Mursi's "useless" customs and nomadic lifestyle have led to their hardships.

Films Seen as Historical Documents (03:00)

The Mursi migrants marvel at the television record of their lives over the past decade, unaware of the enormity of change still facing them.

Credits: The Migrants—In Search of Cool Ground III—The Mursi Trilogy: Disappearing World (00:43)

Credits: The Migrants—In Search of Cool Ground III—The Mursi Trilogy: Disappearing World

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The Migrants—In Search of Cool Ground III—The Mursi Trilogy: Disappearing World

Part of the Series : Disappearing World
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This last part of The Mursi Trilogy continues the story of the tribe's search for a more hospitable environment and further explores their relationship with neighboring peoples. Given their weakened foothold in the pastoral economy and their increased dependence on market exchange, the migrants have moved away from their traditional grazing lands in a desperate bid for survival, in turn becoming settled agriculturalists and traders like their highland neighbors, the Ari. As their migration brings them into contact for the first time with the outside world of money and government, traditional ways established over thousands of years are beginning to change. By tracing the current and potential impact of this move on the lives of the Mursi, this finale shows how they are beginning to carve out a new ethnic identity for themselves, as well as a new home. Part of the series Disappearing World. (52 minutes)

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL49240

ISBN: 978-1-62290-559-1

Copyright date: ©1985

Closed Captioned

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