Talk:Ik people

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I notice a typing error in the last sentence of the section entitled "The Mountain People." It reads: "They would desert children at an early age and one story Trumbull tells is how after abandoning a baby to be eaten by wild animals the animals were hunted an[d] eaten." (talk) 05:31, 19 May 2011 (UTC)


In this sentence it is unclear whether the book was derogatory towards the Ik people, or the treatment of them: Colin Turnbull wrote an extremely disparaging anthropology book about them called The Mountain People. ----

Both, possibly, but mainly towards the Ik people, I would say, whom Turnbull personally loathed and regarded as pretty much the worst of all possible societies. - Mustafaa 21:25, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

--This is original research, but I have read this book a couple of times and Turnbull hated the Ik. He was saddened by their plight, but he surly felt they were beyond hope.

I just finished reading Mr. Turnbull's book, and while he does at times express hatred toward individual tribal members, his final feeling toward them collectively (so stated, anyway) was not hatred-- as his acknowledgments say: "To the Ik, whom I learned not to hate." Having read the book, I'm extremely curious as to their status today. I know, I know, sofixit... 00:42, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I was wondering how the Ik are doing as well, which is why I looked up this article. By this time that whole region has gone through Idi Amin and a collection of wars that would make the worst social systems look pretty tame. Kinsler33 02:22, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I do not think this article is balanced in its current form with respect to Turnbull's book. I haven't read it, but an article that only mentions what another person think is wrong about it and nothing what it actually says is obviously not a neutral point of view. Even when describing views that are totally wrong (which Turnbull may or may not be, I do not know), you should state what the view is -not just what is wrong with it. Even in the articles about such obvious nonsense as von Däniken's theories or Lamarckian evolution we are first told what it is before we are told what is wrong with it. -Sensemaker

  • I've added a summary of the book. I'm maybe 3/4 of the way through it and doing it from memory, though, so if someone with a copy at hand would like to come along... (talk) 09:54, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I think this page needs editing. When it comes to the very biased piece on Turnbull's book I require the following:

  • "There is evidence that Turnbull had limited knowledge of Ik language and tradition" - what evidence... give it to me.
  • "Some of Turnbull's main informants were not Ik, but Diding'a people." - yeah? and? most of them where Ik though, he lived with them for two years. The village he lived in was headed by an Ik. Big difference between some and all.
  • "Turnbull's claim that Ik raided cattle and frequently did "a double deal" by selling information concerning the raid to the victims is not corroborated by the Dodoth County Chief's monthly reports, as well as records of the Administrator in Moroto between 1963-1969. Rather, these files and reports actually suggest that the largest number of cattle raids occurred in parts of Dodoth County where no mention of Ik raiding livestock can be found in any of these documents." - well duh, obviously the government didn't know about it, if you are doing something illegal you don't exactly tell the government about it. -sigh-

I'm not going to go on combatting these stupid arguements, read the book. Turnbull clearly clarifies those arguements himself. This article is biased, illogical and clearly written by someone who has not even read the book. I don't like it either, but I don't think he was lying. Why would he? What would he stand to gain from it? Also, until this page has more up to date info on the Ik I am not going to discount a book which was far more informative than this article.

Lack of neutrality[edit]

The section on The Mountain People strikes me as violating NPOV. I have not read the book, and I am neither condoning nor condemning Turnbull's allegations. However, the current text is strongly biased against Turnbull, and clearly attempts to discredit his research. Any scholarly criticisms of Turnbull's methodology and/or conclusions should be cited and discussed, but it is not up to editors of Wikipedia to pass judgement. I propose adding a neutrality tag to the section until it can be cleaned up. --N-k (talk) 17:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

In order to get a balanced view of the book, editors should try and look up articles written after The Mountain People was published in Current Anthropology, Volumes 15 through 17 for contemporary anthropological debate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:01, 30 January 2011 (UTC)


The tag's been up for a while, so I went ahead and compared what it looked like then (here), to what it is now, and while the prose is generally similar, people have done a great job adding subheadings and referencing the criticism of Turnbull's book. It actually seems pretty fair and balanced to me. It was an extremely controversial book, and so naturally some of the reaction by other scholars in the field was quite critical, which is reflected (and properly sourced) in the sections. Anyways, I'm going to go ahead and remove the tag. Thoughts? Sloggerbum (talk) 00:11, 22 July 2011 (UTC)


This article presenting a general overview of the Ik is mainly based of of Colin Turnbull's account of them, which has been heavily criticised and discredited within the field of anthropology (see for instance Barth, F. 1974 "On Responsibility and Humanity: Calling a Colleague to Account", in Current Anthropology Vol. 15, No. 1 (Mar., 1974), pp. 99-103). The scope of the sources used in this wiki article is not broad enough; more sources should be represented to give a balanced and fair view of this people. A quick look at the citations show that sources are also outdated, and newer research should be represented.

(Sorry for any mistakes in citing etc, I am new to editing on Wikipedia)

Helene.Dorup (talk) 15:10, 22 November 2017 (UTC)