So I'm at the gym yesterday morning. Look, I work in a small office, so my anthropological observations are by necessity done on the bus or at the gym. My office is too small to be a society; it's more like a nuclear family. If my office mates are having a conversation there is a strong chance that I'm in the conversation, which makes it heavy on the participant, light on the observation.
So I'm at the gym yesterday morning, getting dressed in the locker room, and the two women blow drying the hell out of their hair at the mirror nearby are discussiing hair conditioner. "I found this great hair conditioner. You should totally try it- it does wonders to your hair!" So I think to myself: a) hmmm, if I were the other chick I might think, what, you insulting my hair?; b) hmmm, your hair looks kinda limp and overprocessed; and c) you don't work for a hair conditioner company, do you?
"Oh yeah? What is it?"
"I ordered it from (names some company I've never heard of, but the other chick seemed to recognize it)."
"I've heard their stuff is really good."
"Oh yeah, it's great stuff. They have these researchers and explorers and stuff who went down to the jungle in South America or Central America or something. And they found this lost tribe of people, you know, natives or whatever, who had, like, great hair. And so they found out that these people rubbed their hair with this, like, nut that made their hair beautiful. And that's in this conditioner."
"Oh yeah, it's great stuff."
Uh-huh. Apparently my belief that the whole Tasaday debacle had closed the era of "lost tribes" was erroneous. Perhaps if beauty companies continue to comb the jungles of South or Central America (or what-ever) they will also find theLost Tribe of the Long-Lasting Luscious Lip Color or the Lost Tribe of the Perfect Appetite Suppressant. Because, of course, this is why "primitive tribes" stay "lost." They are waiting for the beauty company with the best marketing to find them and bring their ancient Chinese secret to the rest of the world.