A tribe is viewed, historically or developmentally, as a social group existing before the development of, or outside, states. A tribe is a distinct people, dependent on their land for their livelihood, who are largely self-sufficient, and not integrated into the national society. It is perhaps the term most readily understood and used by the general public. Stephen Corry, director of Survival International, the world's only organisation dedicated to indigenous rights, has defined tribal people as "those which have followed ways of life for many generations that are largely self-sufficient, and are clearly different from the mainstream and dominant society". This definition, however, would not apply in countries in the Middle East such as Iraq, where the entire population is a member of one tribe or another and therefore tribalism itself is dominant and mainstream.
There are an estimated one hundred and fifty million tribal individuals worldwide, constituting around forty percent of indigenous individuals. However, although nearly all tribal people are also indigenous, there are some who are not indigenous to the areas where they live now.
In each series, Parry visits a number of remote tribes in such locales as the Himalayas, Ethiopia, West Papua, Gabon and Mongolia, spending a month living and interacting with each society. While there, Parry adopts the methods and practices of his hosts, participating in their rituals and exploring their cultural norms. This often enables him to form personal bonds with the members of each tribe.
Parry tries to learn the basics of the tribe's language but is also accompanied by a translator.
The series is co-produced by BBC Wales and the Discovery Channel. A second series aired in July 2006 and the third began on 21 August 2007 on BBC Two, and ended on 25 September 2007. No further series have been made, though Parry's 2008 series, Amazon has a similar synopsis.
Parry was awarded the BAFTA Cymru "Best On-Screen Presenter" award in 2008 for his work on the 'Penan' Episode. A BAFTA Cymru "Best Camera: Not Drama" award was also awarded for Gavin Searle's work in the same episode.