In the documentary "Keep the River on Your Right," anthropologist Tobias Schneebaum is the cultural expert aboard a cruise ship traveling the waters near the Asmat region of New Guinea, where Schneebaum once lived. He brings fellow passengers ashore to witness tribal dances and circumcision rituals. Schneebaum characterizes these passengers as tourists who are interested visitors. In contrast, he presents himself as an observer who stayed. It's an interesting continuum: from passive interest to active examination, from temporarily visiting to semi-permanently staying. One of the criticisms (and there are several) that academic anthropology and its adherents have voiced over…
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