This whole ‘tribe’ thing is something of a specialty of mine. Two classic sources people might be interested in reading are “The Concept of Tribe” by Morton Fried and “The Illusion of Tribe” by Aidan Southall.
Comment from: Anonymous
A tribe is a type of community. It does not imply them to be primitive unless you are ignorant of what the term really means. We assume too much of words. Tribe is really eh same as saying “suburb or rural area.
I’d rather say we assume too little of words and reflect too little about it. If you use “tribe” the way you described, that’s fine, but as shown here, it’s mostly used in a different way.
Comment from: Beau
I was looking for that statement. It’s not popping up after clicking the link.
-I should have saved it way back then for reference.
Thanks for letting me know. I will check the links by Monday
I have updated all links. The ASA statement is no longer to be found on the ASA website. But a copy is available here in the internet archive (scroll down the page a bit)
Comment from: Sarn
This subject is outside my area of expertise, so I’m asking for your advice. Is it appropriate to describe an item which used to be called ‘Primitive Art’ ‘Tribal Art’ instead? ‘Tribal Art’ seems to be the preferred term at present, but is there are better term? I would like to be accurate and communicatively effective in whatever terms I use, and this includes avoiding giving offence. Many thanks
Reading the statements above you will have to conclude that “tribal art” is not much better than “primitive art", is it? I would not use it and would try to find a more precise term instead. What exactly do you with to describe?
Comment from: Chris Healy
The word “tribe” is used to describe groups of baboons, chimpanzees and gorillas. How about : “kin-ordered societies", because that is what they are. In Suriname I used Indigenous and Maroon nations.
Thanks! This sounds like a good alternative!
Comment from: Joe Patterson
We need to get rid of all derogatory terminologies